You meet a new person at a networking event. The conversation is going great and suddenly you exchange business cards. There you go, a new addition to your growing network, or so you had hoped.
I can relate. I have an extensive library of eye-catching, snazzy business cards from multitudes of awesome people. The trouble is, that is all they are, really pretty pieces of paper. Understand this, the volume of cards you have does not equate to the actual size of your network! A business card is utterly useless until you know how to put it to work.
The purpose of the business card is to provide you a means of giving your contact information to a person and keeping his or her attention. You use business cards to build relationships. The key is to take action!
How Turn Your Business Card Into A Viable Relationship:
The Five-Step Secret:
1. Treat The Card With Respect:
Each time you are given a business card, you should give it the utmost respect. You should do so because the card is a representation of the person your received it from. There are three nonverbal forms of meaning with how you treat a business card. First, the way you hold the card. Second, the actual amount of time you take to read the information, and third, where you keep it. If you respect the card, the person who gave it to you will respect your interest in him or her.
2. Connect With The Person Within Two Days:
It is imperative that you contact the person within two days of receiving his or her business card. Ideally, it should be done in less than two days. When you contact the person for the first time, here are some tips to make a firm connection:
1. Be Friendly
2. Be Sympathetic
3. Discuss Common Interests
The goal is to meet with the person again. After your follow up connection, make an effort to stay in touch with one another and build a relationship.
3. Use Professional Networks:
After you have had your first connection, add your new friend to your professional networks like LinkedIn. Communicating regularly on professional networks further gains the person’s interest in you. He or she will read your profile and learn more about you. Read his or her profile too and learn more about them as well. This will give both of you more to talk about in future meetings.
4. Remember The Little Things:
Now, you must use a strategy to keep your relationship growing. After each meeting with a new contact, go home and write down the details of the conversation that were most important to the other person. Take a picture of the business card and keep it with your notes. Store this information in a file so you can return to it easily. Before your next meeting, read over your notes and be prepared to engage in a meaningful conversation. By asking the person about the issues that were important in the previous meeting, the person will see that you were actually listening and you care. This makes your relationship stronger and it can lead to new opportunities for you!
What To Document:
1. Full Name
4. Phone Number
5. Email Address
6. Where You Met
7. How You Met
8. Where He or She Lives
9. Where He or She is From
10. Names of Family Members
11. Number of Children, (Age of Children)
12. Date of Last Encounter
13. What You Discussed
14. How Can You Help Him or Her
15. How He or She Can Help You
5. Keep In Contact
Continue to meet up with the person to keep growing the relationship. Here are some ways you can stay in touch:
1. Share Contacts (Interesting people he or she may like to meet)
2. Share Useful Information (Something that would be beneficial to him or her)
3. Personal Greetings (Birthday wishes, Holiday Wishes, Congratulations for Recent Successes)
It takes time to build strong relationships. Put these steps together to create solid relationships that can help you and your friends achieve goals together in the future!
@Lirone Glikman – All rights reserved