Do you have a pile of business cards that you’ve collected? Perhaps that pile has morphed into boxes of them!
You know that there is potentially gold hiding in there in the form of leads and sales, maybe a few strategic alliances or a big opportunity that could transform your business, but you’re just not sure how to follow up from this point.
So what’s the next step to maximise this potential and sift out the gold that’s hiding in there?
You can watch the video now or keep reading for all the tips 🙂
Well first, we need to avoid making some big mistakes that can break trust faster than Vanilla Ice’s music career.
Mistake #1 – Adding them to your newsletter
Unless they have specifically given you permission to do so, most people really hate being added to a newsletter or email list. Their inbox is already overflowing so adding to that pressure without permission is going to leave a sour taste in their mouth.
Remember just because they gave you a business card (or even connected with you on LinkedIn for that matter) does NOT indicate that they have given you permission to add them.
Remember the name of the game is to get people to know, like and trust you!
Mistake #2 – Immediately spamming them
Just to be clear, spam can be done face-to-face, over the phone, direct mail as well as email…so let’s discuss how to avoid making this common mistake.
You’ve got their business card in your hot little hand and dollar signs are starting to pop in front of your eyes. You’ve identified a hot prospect and are eager to go for the kill.
The problem is your unwitting victim has no idea what’s heading their way.
You pick up the phone, ring their number and immediately launch into your agenda. They are broadsided and most often trying to find a way to politely brush you off or decline.
I liken this to opening a bank account with no money and expecting to make a whopping withdrawal. You’ll probably get knocked back.
There’s an elegant way to follow up on those business cards and build trust at the same time
So grab your bundle of business cards and follow these steps:
Step 1 – Search for the person’s name on LinkedIn
Simple right. Well you’d think so, but if it’s been a while since you first met that person they may well have changed jobs during that time, so you may need to check their profile and see if in their Experience section that they have listed the company marked on the card.
TIP – if you are using the free version of LinkedIn, just be aware that you only have 25 searches available to you per month. Once they are used up you will either have to wait until the beginning of the next month (ie: 1st of August or whatever the next month is) before you will be able to continue searching OR you will need to upgrade your LinkedIn account to Business Plus or Sales Navigator (I would recommend Business Plus
Step 2 – Connect (if you are already connected, move on to Step 3)
The key here is to send a personal note with your connection invite, this will increase the conversion rate of acceptance. Here’s the one I used that has been well received:
Step 3 – Reactivate (if you are already connected)
If you are already connected on LinkedIn however the relationship has been as barren as the Sahara Desert then it’s time to reactivate the relationship.
All you want to do is to just show the person that they have crossed your thoughts and you took the time out to say hello. It’s such a rare thing that someone will reach out without an agenda and it really shows you as a thoughtful person…which is a major step on helping to build trust.
Here’s the message I used to reactivate the relationship with my business card connections:
Just came across your business card in my files and thought I’d reach out and say G’day.
How are you?
Again, the only agenda here is to show that you thought about them and are interested in them. Once that has been achieved, you want to continue to nurture the relationship by adding value…so if you have a great LinkedIn article (like this one hehehe) you could share that on the next message. The goal is to add value rather than pitching them your product or service.
If you found this helpful, please share it with your connections and I’d love to hear from you too…please share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂