We have many opportunities to connect with potential customers or clients. I am constantly amazed and amused by the number of opportunities that are missed.
How many times have you been at a Chamber Luncheon or other event and when you meet someone new they say they forgot to bring business cards? Several times I have been given business cards with non-existent websites or e-mail addresses that won’t connect. This does not present professionalism to the potential customer or client.
Recently I attended a Business Expo put on by our local Chamber of Commerce. It was a very successful event with over one hundred exhibitors. The majority had a draw for a gift or service of some nature to encourage you to put your business card in a bowl. This year I did not have a booth and chose to circulate among the exhibitors.
I visited with thirty to thirty-five of the exhibitors and placed my card in their draws. It has been two and one-half weeks since the expo and only one exhibitor has e-mailed me to thank me for stopping by their booth.
What a missed opportunity! When I exhibit, the first thing I do following the event is send an e-mail to each person who left a card. I thank them for stopping by and invite them to visit my website. Simple, but gives them recognition.
What have the others done with the cards and why did they bother to collect them? Maybe they trade them like baseball cards! What a missed opportunity to connect with the potential customer a second time! They have missed the point that networking is building a relationship, not just shaking hands with someone on the elevator and never seeing them again.
For a business person your time is valuable and limited. Make the most of it and network effectively.
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