10 Ways to Transform Business Cards into Lucrative Opportunities

Networking with business cards may seem outdated in today’s digital age, but it still holds great value and can lead to significant business opportunities. In fact, the advancements in technology have made it easier to connect and follow up with contacts after exchanging business cards. This article will outline a simple formula on how to develop a follow-up system and turn your business cards into meaningful relationships.

The first step is to get your contact’s business card. When you receive a business card, see it as an opportunity to exchange more cards. Instead of focusing on the design or font of your own card, focus on mastering your approach to handing it over in a way that ensures you receive a card in return. This reciprocity is crucial because it allows you to own the process of following up.

To build a strong connection with your contacts, go beyond typical networking conversations. Take the time to connect on a personal level, discussing topics outside of business such as shared interests or hobbies. Bonding over something memorable will help both you and your contact remember each other, establishing a stronger connection.

Once you have received a business card, it’s important to digitize it using tools like Evernote. This free program allows you to scan business cards and make them searchable. By creating a “Contacts” notebook and a follow-up template for each contact, you can streamline your follow-up process.

The follow-up template should include an objective for each contact, whether it’s a potential customer or a connection for future job opportunities. It should also contain action items and notes from your initial conversation. Additionally, make a note of any next steps that need to be taken and document them on your action list.

Tags in Evernote can be used to further customize your data. Use tags to describe the stage of your relationship with each contact, such as “follow-up,” “intro call,” or “monthly client.” You can also use tags to track important dates, such as when you followed up or received a response.

To further streamline your follow-up process, consider using the Evernote Web Clipper browser extension to save emails, files, or webpages that your contacts share with you. This integration with Gmail allows you to keep all relevant information grouped together with the contact’s information.

The most crucial part of the follow-up process is the introduction email. Before reaching out, know the purpose of the networking relationship you want to establish. Whether you’re looking for a client, a mentor, or a connection at a specific company, shape your introduction email around this objective.

Make your email memorable by including a personalized message. Since your contact may have received numerous business cards and follow-up emails, you want to stand out. Consider recording a short video or sending a picture with a handwritten note referencing your meeting. These personal touches will make you more memorable and increase the chances of a response.

Finally, include a clear and compelling call to action in your email. Whether you want to set up a call, meet for coffee, or invite them to an event, make it easy for your contact to say yes. Propose specific dates and times, or provide a calendar link for easy scheduling.

Implementing a follow-up system may seem overwhelming at first, but the benefits are worth it. By investing the time now to set up a system, you can easily stay on top of all your connections and stand out as a networking superstar. So take action now and start turning your business cards into meaningful business opportunities.

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