Use a business card as a note pad for recording important information.
I am sometimes asked why I make such use of business cards. My reply is that they are easy to transport and I do not need an extra envelope. I particularly make use of others’ business cards for taking notes on our conversation. I am one of the worst when I get home and cannot remember who Gary from XYZ is and what he does that will make a good connection. Write it down right after the conversation, make the notes very brief but make sure that you write down why you are interested in furthering the relationship. You do not need to take up a lot of lines of information, but you do need to note when you agreed to contact that person and why. The other person is not likely to remember who you are either and if you have a few notes, they will appreciate it as well.
Special information is only special if it leads to a business relationship and ultimately to doing business with that person. Make sure you know exactly what you expect to get out of the contact. Do not bother contacting everyone you meet; if you do, you will not have time to get down to the real business of making money. I only write down information for those that I put in my “interested" list so that I can follow up with a brief meeting to explore the possibilities. If I am not in the market for an item or I do not want to meet with the person for some reason, I file their card away in a separate location. I never throw out valuable contact information.
I do have a large database of contacts that I add to everyday. I also make note, in my contact file, of what possible potential there is or what service that person could possibly need from me or my company. Not everyone will be a buyer, but everyone knows someone that may be one.
Bette Daoust, Ph. D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people’s attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the “Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com