Are you a business card collector?
Perhaps you network for work, or to grow your own business and you’re constantly on the go, at conferences and networking events meeting new faces and picking up business cards.
You get home after the event, tired and ready to take off your high heels and slip into your jammies, and the business cards stay in your purse or wallet or stacked up on your desk.
Maybe you do actually take time to organize them, but you still have so many of them and you have no idea who half these people are.
While we’re still attending fewer in-person events, but most likely about to start getting out a bit more now is a great time to tackle them. Less new ones are coming in and it gives you an opportunity to create a system for moving forward with business card organization.
I recommend two ways to achieve this feat:
- Gather all your business cards up in one place and chip away at them regularly, choosing only two categories: Keep or Toss. You will then only process the ones you decided to keep.
- Grab a stack every day, once a week, or a couple of times a week, and use the same keep or toss method but process the ones you choose to keep as you go.
Who goes in the “keep” pile?
- Someone you want to connect with
- A potential lead or business opportunity
- Someone you’ve been looking for your - like a dentist, plumber, acupuncturist, etc.
Who goes in the “toss” pile?
- Someone who you have no idea who they are or where you met them
- People who you can’t remember why you connected with them
- People who you just took their card to be polite
- Folks whose card you grabbed at the time, thinking it would be a connection but it’s no longer a good fit
There’s no shame in getting rid of and recycling these business cards. If they are not viable contacts, someone you want to meet with and connect with, it’s ok to toss the cards!
What to Do With the Cards You Choose to Keep
For all the information hoarders out there, don’t get too excited, you’re not going to keep these for long! Keeping business cards indefinitely is a form of information hoarding and it creates open loops, and could potentially cost you clients and new business.
When you choose to keep a card and encounter people you want to connect with, start by checking to see if you’re already connected. Are you connected on LinkedIn, social media, via email, or are they in your CRM already?
Maybe if they’re already in your contacts, this is the nudge you need to reach out to them!
The goal is still to get rid of the card in the “keep” pile after processing them - but they are people you will take action on and connect with.
Sometimes you won’t need to connect, you will just want to have their information in your contacts in your phone.
I love Evernote for it's feature of being able to scan business cards (with the premium version) and input them as contacts. I simply scan them, tag them with the proper follow-up, and I can easily search and find them later when I need their information.
Close the Loops!
Whether we care to admit it or not, having the stack of business cards on our desk (or in the back of our closet) is affecting our brains. It’s a signal that we’re dropping the ball, not doing enough, or it’s a constant reminder that we should be following up with someone. The key is to close the loops so you can rest easy and still be assured that you will have the information when you need to access it.
Take time to process your business cards now so that when we go back to fully being in person at networking events, conferences, and luncheons, you’ll have a solid system in place to keep them organized and make the valuable connections that you’re there for!
Do you have other areas of your office or business that you need to get organized? Click here to learn more about my monthly membership where you can get the coaching, strategy, and accountability you need to finally get and stay organized. https://joannkrall.com/membership