This is a guest post by a dear friend, Wendy Caverly. She specializes in referral marketing and helping small businesses get the most out of their relationships with each other. I asked her if she had any tips for small business owners and I was excited to see what she came up with.
When attending networking events, it’s important to focus on meeting new professionals. Hopefully by the end of the event you have several new business cards to sort through. Here is 1 tip and 3 tricks to keeping your new contacts organized.
Pro tip: Having a business card holder is a convenient thing to have. Not only will it ensure you have enough of your cards with you, but a good place to keep the cards you collect. Place all new cards either in front or behind your personal cards so they are all in one place.
1- a Hot Contact:
Fold one corner of the card down. This marks the professional’s card as someone you connected strongly with and want to make sure to follow up with quickly. Make sure you email them the next day to set up another meeting or coffee appointment with them. Get it on the calendar!
Leave the card intact, unfolded or creased. This way you can remember while it was a good conversation, it was not a hot lead, but you still want to stay connected to them. Within a couple days send a ‘it was nice meeting you’ email, and offer a chance to further connect with you.
3-Cold or Nope Contact:
Rip the card about half way through. This is someone you connected with at the networking event who either is not a good contact for you or presented poorly. (disrespectful, rude or dismissive; was not interested in listening; or only interested in what you had to offer them.) This is not someone you will follow up with, and will leave it up to them to initiate any additional contact.
If you follow this 1 simple tip and 3 easy tricks at your next networking event, you will effectively keep your new contacts organized and help streamline and speed up the follow up connecting process.
It is also worth noting that no matter what type of contact each person turns out to be, keep them on hand for follow up! You never know when you could check in with “nope” and it turns into a big “yes”.