Networking and what do you do with all these Business cards?

Now that I’m a business-woman, I’m attending local networking events and I’m connecting with new people all the time.  It’s recommended you attend a networking event at least once a week to meet new people who will then become your sales force and recommend your services too.  I love it when a business card captures my eye and if they are on a table then I have a good look and try and hunt out people to talk about their design or to understand more about their business.  But what do you do with all the business cards you get in this digital age?

Business cards

When I get a card I make notes on it as I’m talking to the person, either reminder’s of our conversation or things that spark my interest that I want to follow up later.  But now I have a pile of business cards in the office.

I have tried to keep them in batches of where I met them as I have a visual memory so can often place a conversation by remembering where it took place but I do love organising things so am now turning my attention to organising my business cards.

As a virtual PA I am often asked for contact details of useful people and as a self-confessed people pleaser, I want to have this information at my fingertips.  I want to be able to recommend the person I met at my last networking event.  I was looking into a CRM system to track my network but I wanted to be able to search for things quite freely without being tied into search criteria.  Then it occurred to me, Outlook contact manager!  I am a touch typist so copying the data onto outlook is fine for me.  It also makes the information stick in my brain by retyping although I know some people take a photo an store that on their phone.  More importantly, it is searchable!  I always put the date and where I met them and their profession so I can search for all members in a certain networking group, or for all my photographer contacts, or I can even search for a postcode!

I like simple but effective solutions.  After every networking event, I have my checklist of activities on Trello and I follow people’s facebook pages, connect with them on twitter and linked in and review their websites to ensure I fully understand their business.  I send a personalised connection to things like linked in so they know where we met.

So that’s what I do with my business cards – what do you do with yours?  If you don’t do anything and think “I really should be more organised” then I can help you get organised by typing the data into whatever system you use.  Contact me at katrinasummerfield@hotmail.com for a quote or advice.

 

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