Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Quick Tip: What To Do With Business Cards

By Matt:

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.
Having these notes on the back of the card will enable you to quickly call to mind who this person is and what they are like. It also gives you a common ground to start from in future conversations - ask them if they've been on any epic kayaking trips, or have seen their favorite band in concert since you last saw them.

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.

3 comments:

Ryan Paugh said...

Matt,

It took us so long to get business cards at Brazen Careerist. And then when we finally got them we asked the same thing: "What the hell are we going to do with all of these?"

I think what you're suggesting is a great idea though. I picked up a few business cards today from people in town, wish I read this earlier.

Matt @ Corporate Hack said...

I know, right? It's like, great, maybe if I stay here for 15 years and never get a promotion I can get rid of all these!

Thanks for the note Ryan - good to hear from you.

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