Your 18 years in the restaurant industry served you well in learning some first rate marketing techniques.
Another great article!
You have just arrived home from the latest networking meeting and you are pooped. You have a fistful of business cards as you clean out your pockets. You really want a cup of coffee to gear back up or a sandwich to power up and relax. Whew! You just kind of toss the loose stack of cards onto the dining room table. The cards land and spread out some. When you come back you start to gather and straighten the cards and you realize that you can’t use all of them, hence you stand over the circular file and file some. Out of twenty you keep five. One of the ones you pitch was the carpet cleaner. You know your business and his fit and but he was a little pushy. Consequently, the carpet cleaner gets lost in the shuffle.
Later you attend another network meeting and you run into the carpet cleaner. He’s talking about social media marketing and says something that catches your attention. A real estate investor joins the conversation and the cleaner continues to talk to both of you but somehow he is paying more attention to the investor and then the conversation changes. You would like to talk further with the cleaner but you tossed his card and would be embarrassed to ask for another.
Still later you are at work and your PC crashes and you need to call the computer guy whose card you did save in the stack now on the desk at home with a rubber band around it. Alas, you are at the office and nobody is at home. Sissy doesn’t get home from school till after 4:30 and the cards are on the desk. You can see them in your mind’s eye. You can’t look the guy up on the Internet because you don’t have the Internet. Dang!
Unknown to you, across town an apartment building owner, the real estate investor who was talking to the cleaner, is frustrated because his tenants have left a mess that needs to be cleaned. The investor is fed up because he is tired of dealing with this sort of thing. He had a card from a property manager at a networking meeting but he didn’t keep it because there was nothing that stood out so he tossed it in the circular file. You, the property manager, were Lost in the Shuffle.
What was it that the carpet cleaner was talking about at the second meeting that you wanted more information about? He was talking about a free app for a smart phone (either iPhone or Droid) that you can take a business card, lay it on a table and take a picture of it. With this business card reader app you ‘recognize’ the card and directly import it into your contacts on your phone.
Some business cards are easy to do this with. Bankers and insurance sales people usually have boring cards but they scan like a dream. Some cards are distinctive, even beautiful but don’t scan worth a darn. In the future any business card you order should be scan able and have a reason to keep it.
How about the investor and the property manager? Well, the cleaner had a card that included a FREE Room of Carpet Cleaning offer on the back of his business card, a good reason to keep it. So, the investor called the cleaner and he cleaned a free room and the rest of the apartment, and hauled away some of the trash.
Yes, but how about the property manager? Oh, yes, the property manager. When the cleaner was wrapping up and the investor was thanking him for the job, the investor asked the cleaner about the property manager from the networking meeting. Do you have his number? “Oh, sure, said the cleaner, “its right here on my phone.”
Learn more about the author, Steve Borcherdt.
Dear Randal, I was paying attention when I was in the restaurant industry but whatever marketing savvy I may now have, has come mostly in the carpet cleaning industry rubbing shoulders with some real powerhouses. Its always a pleasure when someone else connects with what you have written. I appreciate your comments as always.
Steve, that is a great article. One never knows when you can either connect with someone you met or colaborate businesses with someone from networking. I have learnt to really organize my cards and send everyone i met an email to say great to meet you, and then reconnect in 3 mnths just to have me top of their mind if they need anything. One never knows when you are gonna share businesses together. thanks for a great article shona brenner sdb style
Dear Shona, I agree an organized plan is essential. I find that Biznik offers a great opportunity to stay connected to your network by giving something of value. This accomplishes two goals. Keeps you top of mind and builds on reciprocity without a sales pitch. Thanks for your kind words and sharing your plan to keep in touch.
Very thoughtful and nicely written - thanks for sharing!
Dear Rebecca, It means a lot to me that you are keeping tabs on my writing. I agree that our businesses are a good match. I RSVP'd the elevator speech meeting. So we will get another chance on Friday. Looks to be a lot busier than the Loft, though.
See you there. Steve
Steve, like you, I do a lot with business cards. They are cheap and loaded with useful info. Protect them eh!
Dear Dave, As Shona pointed out you just never know when you are going to need that valuable information.
Steve, You know stuff-good stuff and sage advice. Thanks for another good article. Cheers, Terra
Dear Terra, Thanks for your kind words. I do know stuff but I am always on the lookout for more stuff, new stuff, and better stuff.
If you ever need a service of any kind, let me know. I collect business cards as a hobby - probably have at least 15,000 of them. I keep my Biznik cards in a separate file, and will be delighted to add yours when we meet at an event.
In the meantime, as I prepare to redesign my own card, I appreciate your advice to make sure it's scan-able.
Dear Patricia, Thanks again for your positive response. I was in a meeting this morning with a printer and he had a very sharp card and it was eminently scan-able. So, it is possible to get the best of both worlds.
The power of the business card is not on the front, it is the back.
How many people become special "friends" with a "personal number" for direct contact (hotline) or written note and invitation to a secret link which is not in the navigation of a website.
Synergy between the offline and online tools improves connections exponentially.
thanks for the reminder.
I agree that what you do with a business card is more important than what is on the business card. I have an offer for a free room of carpet cleaning that comes with my business card and I validate it with my initial.
Thanks for your comments.