Networking Information

How to Collect Business Cards

Why the business card grab is not why you are there? So how do you obtain the card and show interest that gains confidence?

One of the things I am also always asked is, "How do you collect cards?" and "What do you do with them when you get them back to the office?" What really happens when you collect business cards? Often they get put into a pocket with many others. Have you ever collected cards to later find out that you have no idea who the person was? This happens all the time. It is probably better to pick a few good leads rather than collect everything (sometimes that is difficult to do if people trade cards with you). Choose one pocket for the timely leads and carry post it notes to add information.

It is quite easy to cull the cads as you gather them. First, I only collect cards from people that I can either do business with, form an alliance with, or simply become a referral for them. Sounds easy, but the trick is to be able to ferret out who these people are. I also take notes on the back of the card or on a pad of sticky notes and attach it to the card so that I do not forget who they are and what services they provide. I even try to put faces to the cards by describing them on the sticky notes. These people will be amazed that you can remember them the next time you meet and they will then want to talk to you.

Some people look at their stack of cards the next day, or two days later is even worse, and they are bewildered: they can't remember who was who. Cards with simply black and white designs can look very alike; it is very important that you try to differentiate the cards you collect. Do this by writing on the back with a Y or N or M for Yes, No, Maybe significance. I then keep my cards in a zip lock bag for each type of card. It makes it easier to follow up. I also make note of the event we attended so as to keep a record of what we were there for. It also helps me to keep track of where the best events for attracting business are. If you are starting out cold, then keeping records will be very important - just remember not to collect every card on the floor.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit

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