A System For Managing Business Cards

business card

Did you know you need a system for managing business cards?

Yes, you need to process all of those cards you’ve collected at networking events, at Chamber events, and at association meetings. And no, stuffing them in a drawer doesn’t count! Here are five simple questions to help you turn business cards from “clutter” into a powerful networking tool:

Is this useful?

Ask this of each new card immediately when you get back to your office. If the answer is no, throw it away. If yes, proceed to the second question.

Is it actionable now?

In other words, is there some action you need to take that will require only 2 to 3 minutes?  This might include a follow-up phone call, quick note, or email. If it is actionable now, do it NOW. Either way, move to question three.

Is this for future action?

You may want to follow up with this person on a project down the road. If so, put the card/information in a project file or in your CRM to take action later. If you use a digital to-do list, you can even schedule a follow-up for days or weeks later.

Is this information I need to keep?

If so, determine where it needs to be kept – in your CRM system or Address Book, for example. This is the point at which I decide if the information should be included in our CRM. If so, I store it in the appropriate place.  You may also want to utilize a business card scanner or have an administrative assistant take it from here. Just make sure you know where the information is going to reside. There are even apps that can take a picture of your business cards and save the information to your phone contacts!

Is this for future reference?

If you will potentially use it in the future – for plumbing or printing services, for instance – then place the card/information in a "category file."  Make a note on the card (if you plan to keep it) or in your database about when and where you met and why you are keeping the card/information. Create a paper or electronic file for "Vendors" and store the information. Some people separate the information into "Home Vendors" and "Business Vendors."  Do whatever makes sense to you – just be sure you know that you can retrieve it quickly when needed. One final piece of advice: If you have a pile of cards that are more than 60 days old, purge them! You probably won't remember why you kept them, but if you do, then take action and process them now using the above questions. Make it your goal to take a few minutes to use this method so you never have loose business cards laying around. As a business coach and executive coach in Sugar Land, Katy, and the Houston area, I'm committed to helping you achieve exceptional performance in your business and to live an extraordinary life!

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