How To Effectively Use Business Cards to Knowledge Network Your Small Business
By Don Osborne
I admit I’m guilty of collecting lots of business cards and failing to tap into the expertise and experience of the people I’ve just met. It seems the act of small business networking often boils down to exchanging business cards. And, that’s where it begins and ends, card collecting, not business building via networking.
What’s on the Card?
If gathering business cards for the purpose of sending someone an email, giving them a call, sending a text or doing some social networking is your goal, then all you’re looking for is contact information. That may technically qualify as small business networking but it’s not “knowledge networking”.
To gain more business in today’s marketplace, it takes more than gathering cards and making contact. It takes connecting. So, what you’re looking for is more than information to insert into your contact management system. You’re looking to learn something about the business and it’s expertise and experience. Use the business card as a resource to do the research you’ll need to effective network with the person you’ve just met.
Who Needs the Card?
Well, maybe you do to solve a problem you’re experiencing in your own small business. Chances are you’ve exchanged business cards in the hope the person giving you the card needs your product or services in their business right now!
All in due time, but it may serve you better to learn enough about the business you now have a card for so you can pass it on to another small business owner who, in fact, has a problem they want to solve right now. Exchanging business cards at an event is the perfect starting point for building your own referral network.
Where is the Card?
The first challenge of an active business networker is location. Yes, where do you put the card so it doesn’t end up as part of that pile of cards you’ve collected and never contacted and, certainly never passed on to someone else who could benefit from it to solve a problem they have.
As fast as it possible, you need to get the basic information and how it can help another small business in front of others. Doing that makes the information available to yourself and others. There’s no reason you can’t do some quick research and feel comfortable posting the core information to the appropriate social media network. By getting the business card, I don’t mean the email address and cell phone number, in play everybody wins. Simply provide a quick comment about the person or business and the business area they provide expertise and experience in.
Card Problem Solved
The biggest problem many of us have with small business networking is not doing something with the business card we’ve collected and not gaining any new business as a result of the business card networking we’ve done.
The solution is found in networking the business expertise and experience embodied in the business card we’ve collected by passing it on to others. By doing so you eliminate the guilt of adding one more card to the pile on our desk without doing something with it.
Plus, let the person you exchanged your business card with know that you have passed it one and are actively networking them. The appreciation you gain from them over time will get you a lifetime of referrals as you expand your small business knowledge network.
You know how most people start a business without knowing much about business? Problem Solved! Knowledge Networking. Start, run and grow your business by knowledge networking with others to exchange expertise and experience. Use the Small Business Knowledge Network Powered by ProfitPuzzle.com to Learn & Do more business and list the products and services you have to offer: http://www.ProfitPuzzle.com
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