I Threw Away All the Business Cards on my Desk: Now What?

Date September 19, 2008

I had a few people who made the comment, “OK, I have thrown all the business cards away that were on my desk, now what do I do?” or “Now that all my cards are in the trash, where do I get more leads?” Another comment came from an associate of mine, “I did what you said and threw all my business cards away!”. I of course reminded him that this is not what I said at all. Thinking about it now I realize this may not have been such a bad idea for him… I have been in his office a few times and I know half the cards on his desk are over a year old! What if anything can business cards which you have had on your desk for over one year, most likely not followed up on at all, do for you now?

Ideally we have all removed our business card collection from our desk or at the very least are working through the stack by calling, making connections, adding them to our data base and slowly throwing those business cards away. I know this week I had some great conversations and reacquainted myself with those people behind the business cards! In fact right now I am skipping the first day at Blog World Expo just to catch up on calls. I have been regretting this decision at times today but the reality is following up with contacts is more important to me.

You are not alone if you threw away all of the business cards on your desk! Many people realize the cards on their desk were just too old to follow up on. The next step is to change how you follow up with them in the future! In my previous post, 7 Steps to Follow Up Success, I discussed my approach to following up with new contacts I meet at networking events, chamber mixers, trade shows, and expos. I also just read another great article by C.J. Hayden in the Entrepreneurs Blog section of About.com titled A Pocket Full of Business Cards. C.J. offers another perspective on following up with new contacts.

My challenge to you is to attend a networking event this week, collect new business cards, and implement the 7 Steps to Follow Up Success with them. Just don’t start another business card collection!

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3 Responses to “I Threw Away All the Business Cards on my Desk: Now What?”

  1. Casey Eberhart said:

    I love this! I have not thrown all my cards away but I did have my assistant put them into a list. We are going to take your lead and invite people to enjoy a quote action daily. I hope folks reading this will ask you about the program of Quote Action as I love getting them everyday. Benefit to them? Daily exposure to a previous dead list of contacts.

  2. Kathi said:

    Hi Alan,

    Great job! I always instruct my clients to scan in their biz cards and import into their contact management program as they collect them (at least once a week) so that the contacts they have made at networking events can be put into action with follow up protocol.

    Here is a link to an article that I wrote about this topic a few years ago:
    http://www.addspacetoyourlife.com/site/2008/09/06/articles-advice/organize-business-contacts/

  3. DeeKay said:

    A new mobile application, Card2Contact does some service in turning business cards into contacts within Mobiles as well as Web storage. do not know how high the benefits are… and have not personally used..

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