A Pocketful of Business Cards

cards pile

You know how it is. You go to a networking event and everyone is exchanging cards. You come home with a pocketful of business cards. What do you do with them or better yet, how do you avoid collecting so many? Below are some suggestions.

First of all, collect less of them. Only accept cards from those you know you are really interested in doing business with at some level. Otherwise decline cards politely. You both realize the expense of business cards, only to end up in the blue box.

So, now you have fewer cards, but how do you manage those few? Well, as soon as you get home from your event or even at the event itself, jot down the date, place & a word or two to indicate the initial connection made. Something that will trigger your reason for having the card – their product, service or their interest in yours i.e. “discussed project”, “possible alliance” etc. I have found that people are not offended that you write on their cards but rather pleased that you have accepted their card and noted your intentions.

Because you are being selective of what cards you accept, most of them will require immediate action. The other few need to be filed for future reference. A great economical way to file these cards is in an empty business card box. One that you received your last order of cards in. If you still have a large supply of cards on hand you can simply take the lid off the box and use it for the cards you have collected. Or if you have fewer cards on hand you can divide the box to accommodate both your cards and the cards you collect. It’s neat, organized and costs nothing and will usually hold at least 250 cards. File by date, the most recent cards at the front.

Go through your business card file regularly. Once a month should be sufficient. For those cards that don’t automatically ring a bell and it’s been 6 months and nothing has transpired, it likely won’t in the near future. Shred or recycle.

If you deal with business cards in this manner, you’ll find it almost takes care of itself!

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