Here is the 5th Article I wrote for 336Events.com
by Teddy Burriss Social Networking Pro
My business card rolodex is one of my most treasured personal belongings.
I hope you all know that I don’t own a rolodex. I also don’t collect business cards in those old plastic business card holders. And, I don’t use a shoe box to manage my baseball or business card collections.
I do have a powerful collection of contact information that I honor and respect in every way possible. I collect this information in my Google Contacts. Having all of my contacts in my Google account lets me see them anytime and anywhere I am. I can access this treasure trove of information instantly from my iPad, iPhone, MacBook Pro or from any computer in the world.
When I meet someone new and feel that there is a reason to connect with them, I politely ask for their business card. I never give out my business card unless there is a clear reason for us to connect.
Here is the ritual I perform when I get a business card, or meet someone online and get their contact information.
- I enter all of their contact information into my Google Contacts.
- I make a note of where and when we met. It’s an old man thing, accept it.
- I send an email to my new connection and thank them for meeting or contacting me. I will reference the conversation, meeting or event where we met.
- I search LinkedIn for my new contact. If I find them there I send a LinkedIn connection request using the option “Other” and their email address. I put a relevant and interesting comment in the “Personal Note” area of the connection request so that they know I am excited about making the connection IRL (In Real Life) as well as virtually thru social media.
- I then file the business card away in a big plastic bucket. I’m working on my second bucket now. I don’t need the cards, just the connection and contact information.
Now that I have all of my contacts at my fingertips, at all times, I can contact them when needed and more importantly, I can connect them to each other when needed & appropriate. Once a year I send all of my contacts an email just to say hello, and to confirm their email address is still working.
My contacts have been a real blessing to me. We help each other when we can and often share ideas that can benefit each other.
My contacts are not just business contacts. We help each other in life, career, business and community.
My contacts are valuable to me. More valuable than gold.
I encourage you to treat your contacts like your greatest asset as well. Keep their contact information at your finger tips. Connect with them on LinkedIn or other social media platforms where relevant and useful. Introduce them to each other when the introductions can be mutually beneficial. Help them when you can. Their value increases significantly when you pay attention to them.
Your contacts can help you in your life, business, career and community as well. But only if you treat them like the treasure they are.
This article is an excerpt from the book, “Networking for Mutual Benefit.”
This series is brought to us by Teddy Burriss, a world renowned Social Networking Coach. Teddy teaches “Networking for Mutual Benefit” and “Building Relationships through Social Media.” Teddy is an accomplished author, public speaker, avid social media engager and blogger.