You swapped business cards, now what?

So much of our lives, business and personal, are online these days, the effort needed to reconnect with someone becomes fairly easy. However, typically the most meaningful connections we make with vendors, prospects, customers, etc, are in person. You meet face to face and there is a different level of connection that carries value. Many times these first face to face meetings happen at a conference or networking event that you’ve paid to attend, or through some marketing campaign, which, by the way, is just another way of paying to meet people.

The internet knows a lot of things. We found some great ideas via our twitter followers.

Here are 5 things you should do with every business card you collect:

1. Context – Take a moment to immediately write on the back of the card, the event and details of your conversation. If you promised to follow up, write that down too.
2. Storage – While at the event, be sure you store the card in a secure place: preferably your wallet, purse or notebook pocket. Avoid putting them in your clothes pockets. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll lose them.
3. Review – Once your back at your desk, review the cards for context and action points. You’ll want to be sure you do this within 24-48 hours of making a connection. Also, a quick email follow up, or better yet, a handwritten note is a nice touch.
4. Address Book: Take the time to input each contact into your address book. You can do this manually or using one of those nifty business card scanners. Don’t forget to insert your contextual notes too.

5. LinkedIn & Connect. You now hold in your hands the currency for connecting to people on LinkedIn: an email address. Do a quick search and LinkedIn.com and request to connect with your new contact. Be sure to erase the generic note and write something related to your meet and greet. Including details will be a good reminder of who you are and why you’re asking to connect.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful the next time you’re swapping cards at an event or meeting.

To read the entire blog post that these 5 ideas were pulled from, click here.

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