Business cards... they're kind of that rite of passage type thing aren't they? I remember getting my first box of cards thinking, "Yes! I've arrived!" Gave a card to a friend down the hall, and then went back to my desk asking, "What in the world am I going to do with 1500 of these things?"
Likewise, I'm never quite sure what to do when someone gives me a business card, but I had this revelation recently. When you receive a business card, do the following:
- On the back of the card, write down a few memory joggers about the person - the color of their hair, their personality (outgoing, shy, funny), or distinguishing features
- Also, jot down personal information that they reveal in their conversation with you - things like their interests (biking or rock climbing), their music tastes, where they're from, etc.
Business is all about relationships, but a business card is kind of a one-dimensional relationship. Add some depth by taking a few quick notes and then logging them into your contacts database. And for bonus points, as you're inputting information, take two minutes to send a quick email saying "it was a pleasure to meet you"... well, as long as you can say it and mean it.