When business cards are left to accumulate on a desk or in a drawer, these are missed opportunities to attract attention and to begin to build relationships.

Look at your desk right now. Is there a stack of business cards waiting for some action?

Maybe enter them into your contact list or review them to determine if any of them are worth a phone call or follow-up?

Have you ever considered those business cards are seeds for future harvesting?

Of course, right now sitting there unattended, they are drying up and dying as we speak.

I attended a business-to-business networking event two weeks ago in Naperville, Ill. During the event, I amassed 20 business cards.

72 Hour Rule

Within 72 hours, I had entered them into a file, as I did not want to add them to my contact database right away.

Then I sent out a few handwritten notes and individually emailed everyone with a thank you and a reminder of the offer I had presented.

I also included some additional information respective to signing up to receive notice of this column or a monthly ezine. Within several hours after sending the emails, I had more than a 10 percent response rate.

Missed Opportunities

When business cards are left to accumulate on a desk or in a drawer, these are missed opportunities to attract attention and to begin to build relationships.

People buy from people they know and trust. As a small business owner, you must reach out and touch the owners of those cards.

Now grab your business card and see if you can be easily touched.

I was amazed that of the 20 cards I collected, very few had any social media information. A couple had the embedded graphics to be scanned.

This presumes everyone knows how to scan the cards and actively takes that action.

Some of the cards didn’t adequately present the person whose name was on it. Had I not spoken to the person, I would not know what he or she did for a living.

If people pick up your business card and do not know what you do, you have literally sown the marketing field with bad seeds. Additionally, the font of several cards, though creative and “pretty,” were extremely difficult to read.

You Reap What You Sow

Your business card is a seed for new business. It should be easy to read and contain all the vital contact information. If your phone number is mobile, let others know it.

In these days of social media, include specific social media sites along with your blog if you have one.

Asking people to check you out or find you on social media sites is rather presumptuous.

Why make it difficult? Sure include the scan icons, but also list the actual urls.

If you want to increase sales, then you must sow the field (market) with viable seeds as well as capture the seeds from others.

Not a Matter of Time

And if you believe you do not have time to follow-up on all those business cards, please answer me this question:

Do you waste 12 minutes a day?

So time is not the issue and stop with the whining of “I don’t have time.” The challenge is you, your attitude, and your commitment to change the status quo.

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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