The Two-by-Three Inch $5,000 Bill
by Andrea Nierenberg
Think about how you would handle every business card you received if each one was worth $5,000. Probably with greater care and attention. Unfortunately, too often we minimize the value of business cards that people give us. As entrepreneurs and network marketers--we must turn on our headlights to be aware that each person we meet could become a prospect, client, and friend or possibly knows someone who could be one of them and add to our organization. We need to realize and remember that 80% of our job is to create new opportunities and develop new business and sharing our products. One way we do that is by valuing and cultivating the different contacts we make.
Here are some steps to ensure that you always take a business card to its highest potential.
- Have a "Marketing Plan"
Letís say you have 50 business cards from a meeting you attended. First, send each person a short note letting him or her know that you enjoyed the meeting. Secondly, decide which ones may not immediately become customers or associates and file them away to add to a mailing you may do later. Finally for the people you most want to connect with, decide who should get a call and letter and who you want to call right away to set up a meeting.
Develop your own system, stick to it and make sure you follow up. The key is in the follow through. Also, to help remember as much as possible, when you meet someone, write some notes about them a.s.a.p. I use a digital pen that is a conversation starter and time saver also and whenever I write with it, it goes directly into my docking station and I have all my notes on each person without having to retype or find them. Also as you add peopl to your database, youíll have some notes to refresh your memory as you contact them.
- Itís Just the Beginning
Perhaps you got a card from the director of operations from a company you would like as a customer or part of your down line. However, the person you need to speak with is a buyer in the purchasing department. Make a call to the operations contact youíve already started to develop a rapport with and ask for a suggestion on who they would recommend you speak to in purchasing. Be sure to follow up when you do connect with that referral and keep them in the loop. They may run into each other in the cafeteria and when your original contact knows whatís going onóhe/she can put in a good word for you. With one of the large security firms I work with, I now have 20 contacts that all started with one person. Every time I work with someone else, I immediately email the full protocol to let them know who Iíve talked to and worked with, etc. Yes, it takes a bit of time and itís totally worth it. I have my advocates working internally for me. I also build more people and interest in my network-marketing product.
- Be Playful
Plato said, "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Therefore, after you get to know someone, follow up with a small gift. Hereís one idea. Mount a picture of one of your products on cardboard and then cut it up into a puzzle. You can then send the potential customer a piece of the puzzle each week. Finish with a note that says, "I hope it all fits together." When may I visit you and show you the real thing and how it works? Send some inexpensive teasers relating to your product to show interest and of course to share the product.
One of the business cards I received on an airplane trip five years ago just turned into a $15,000 sale. I used the tips mentioned here. They do work wonders! Go try them! Sometimes the results come years later but other times they deliver instantly!
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