How Many Business Cards Does It Take for Success?
I'm changing banks and dropped by the office of my banker. Great lady. Great banker. And a huge pile of business cards on her desk.
It reminded me of how crazy things can get in the networking world. You promise yourself you are going to:
- network like crazy,
- enter the business cards you collect in some sort of system and
- follow up.
You promise yourself. You swear on a huge stack of Bibles. Then...
Let's get honest with ourselves.
Why bother networking at all if your follow up is pathetic?
I'm sure you see the huge waste of time and money I am pointing out here. But did you think through the implications. You see, it takes multiple touches to connect with a new customer. Getting their business card is only step one. You have to continue with additional touches like:
- sending them an email,
- giving them a call,
- including them in a mailing,
- hearing your name mentioned by someone you know in common or
- seeing you referenced in a local paper or flyer.
The key to effective networking is to meet someone and develop a relationship with them over time. That involves meeting them, introducing yourself and telling them what you do. Then you need to stay in touch using as many ways possible so they understand what you have to offer and keep you at the top of their mind for when they want to make that buying decision. The end goal, of course, is to transact business and get referrals.
The problem many of us face is buyers typically need seven or more touches before they decide to buy from you. In contrast, sellers typically give up after touch number 2 or 3.
For lack of time, organization or whatever, they can't or don't stay with it.
Please remember: If you stay with someone long enough, they will buy. People buy when they are ready to buy, not when you are ready to sell. So your job is to make sure they think to call you when they are ready.
The networking process is simple, but if you never get past touch number 1 – exchanging business cards - you aren’t going to get very far. To keep my business card backlog in check, this Infusionsoft consultant eats his own dog food. I enter these contacts (or have someone on my team do it) automating as many of the time consuming steps. For example,
- Entering the contact's information into my customer relationship management (CRM) system.
- Sending them an introductory email no more than 3 days after meeting them. It's just a simple “Hi” and explanation of what I do.
- Emailing them once every two to three weeks, (like I did with the email that led to you this article) telling them something new about what I do.
All this is made possible through Infusionsoft automation. It has been priceless for keeping me connected with people who need the Internet marketing services I provide. It’s also been great for getting referrals and who doesn't need a lot of those.
And, of course, if you’d like to know more about the Infusionsoft Consulting, Infusionsoft Executive Services and the Internet marketing strategies my team and I can provide to you and your business, drop me a line or send me an email. These techniques work for any small business for reaching new customers. I’m always happy to chat over coffee about this; one favorite topic of mine.
Hope this helps!