Tip #1 — ask for it
Collect these things like rent on Boardwalk. And if they don’t have one, grab a napkin and force them to scribble out their digits. Because every person is a dot you can connect to later.
Tip #2 — take notes
After getting a biz card, take a second to makes some notes on the back: date, event, what did you talk about? Trust me, it makes tip #4 so much easier.
Tip #3 — organize ’em
After the event, spread all those beautiful cards out on the coffee table. Grab a beer and organize them in some way. It’s up to you. As you go through them, try to recall the conversations, what the person looked like, what did you think of that person, etc.. Jot it all down in a notebook. The idea is to create a record of your networking.
Tip #4 — follow up
There’s a thin line between following up and stalking. Don’t cross it. Wait a few days before contacting. It’s A-OK to email but be smart. Use the subject line to get their attention, something like: “AAF Dinner: nice to meet you.” Then be brief and specific in your message. Give them a reason to reply: “Your thoughts on social marketing were interesting. I’d love to continue that conversation sometime. Could we chat briefly at the Addy’s in a couple weeks?” In just a couple lines, you complemented that person, showed interest in building a relationship and put the ball in their court. High Five!
Now if you played your cards right at the event, people will be contacting you. If not, here are a couple things to consider. What does your biz card say about you? Is it just a logo, an address and some numbers? Give people a reason to remember you. That doesn’t mean a orange tux. It simply means have something fresh to say or do something cool.
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