How you read business cards has much to do with marketing
OK. Last week I talked about printing a business card for a specific project (remember MarketingHack#29) and from my experience, many people I speak with think that business cards are not important in today’s digital world. I can just hear you say: “And now you’re saying how I read someone else’s business card is important to my brand? Come on – I mean it’s a little piece of paper, that we’re not quite sure to do with, once we walk out of a networking situation.”
Let’s back up a bit. Marketing is “the process of promoting, selling and distributing a product or a service“. So how does the other guys business card fit into this definition? Knowing your target audience is vital, but don’t forget that this group is made up out of individuals. The more you know about each one of them, the more you know about the whole, right?
Think of business cards as a key to the kingdom
Usually a business card has at least one way of contacting this person, often more than one: email, phone number(s), website, mailing address, ect. It’s a virtual goldmine of avenues to connect with that person. However, if you just toss these little cards into a box or go as far as sticking them into a Rolodex (Do you even have one of those?) they won’t do you much good. You got to be able to have the information at your fingertips to be useful, which means the phone number needs to be in your address book; the address should be linked to the account in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. It would be even better, if you could connect with the person who handed you the keys to their kingdom, aka their business card, on Social Media, but in reality who has time to enter all that info in the correct places every time, without forgetting to do so?
Make reading business cards a habi-matic
Make this a habi-matic (and no, that’s not the latest kitchen appliance as seen on TV). It’s a habit, you make automatic: Here’s what I mean – can you image a utopian world, where someone hands you a business card and while you are talking with that person, your staff automatically…
- captures the information from the card,
- fills in the missing items, by searching an online database,
- creates a complete contact in your mobile address book,
- syncs that info into your CRM and sends you a reminder to follow up
- and sends a LinkedIn invitation to connect
…quickly enough, that you can actually ask the person, if they would like to connect on LinkedIn. Sounds impossible, right? Check out a screen cast of all this happening inside of one minute:
Using this opportunity for more than just accepting a slip of paper, but connecting (and then following up on that new connection), shows someone how serious you are about keeping in touch with them, it gives you all the info you need to promote, distribute and sell your services and that’s the definition of marketing.
So get off your butt, start developing a habi-matic and show your prospects how efficient you are.
You can read how this process actually happens in the first post of my new blog series “Solving the productivity puzzle“.