Last week I attended Ali Brown’s Shine event in Dallas, Texas. It was great listening to all the awesome speakers, but was even better getting to network with so many women entrepreneurs. If you’re attending a huge event like Shine, a local Chamber of Commerce event, or something in between, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your opportunities!
- Take plenty of business cards. I was surprised how many people had forgotten their business cards at home, ran out, left them in the room, or just hadn’t ordered any. What?! They missed huge opportunities to connect with prospects and circles of influence (those that will never do business with you but are in a perfect position to refer prospects to you).
- Make sure your business cards are up-to-date. Has your email address recently changed? Or maybe your phone number? No problem, but make sure you order new cards. Do not cross out the old information and write in the new. Business cards are inexpensive nowadays and won’t cost much to order new ones to portray your professionalism.
- Ask for the other person’s business card. Yes, it’s great to get your cards in other peoples’ hands, but it’s even better to get their card.
- Follow up. Okay, so you’ve received their business card…now what? Make sure within a few days of getting back home or back to the office, you follow up with an email. Let them know it was great to meet them, invite them to sign up to receive your free report or schedule a consultation call, and connect on social media. (Note…here it is six days after the last day of the event, and I’ve received one follow-up email inviting me to schedule a free 20-minute consultation.)
- Keeping the information. You do not necessarily need to keep all the business cards, unless that’s your preferred method of storing that information. If you do keep business cards, organize them in your binder or rolodex. You could also use scanning software like NeatWorks that allows you to scan the business cards, catalogs the information and keeps a copy of the business card in the program. Or you can enter that information in your contact management system. No matter which system you use, be sure to make a note of where you received it. That information might come in handy later!
I hope these five tips will help you make the most of your networking opportunities! Please share your tips below!