New business owners often like to get their business cards in the hands of other business owners. Its not an unknown fact that established business owners often have lots of resources and connections that could really benefit your business. But, if youre a small business owner just starting out, how can you get these business owners to take you seriously and keep your business card?
1. Stop handing out your business cards to business owners like it's candy. Business cards are such wonderfully creative little marketing products. Most of them, unfortunately, end up in the nearest trash can. The manner in which you hand out your little marketing product will also play a factor in the rate of which your cards are kept or tossed. Nobody wants to be bombarded with a big sales pitch. If you meet a prospect and within two minutes you are promoting your own business or stretching out that business card, your card will more than likely end up in the trash.
2. Start by making the business owner you are talking to feel important. Ask questions about them and take time to really get to know them. Ask them for their business card (they may respond later by asking for yours). Make them feel really important by showing true, genuine interest in their service or product. If they ask you about your business, instead of saying "Im a stockbroker", you might first start off by saying instead, "I help people create financial success". This will leave a far more positive and appealing impression of what you do. Then, once again direct the subject back to them. They will remember the good feeling they received from your genuine interest in them. It automatically places you in a positive spot in their "emotional" and "mental" association.
3. Take the business owners card and jot down some important facts that you need to remember. We often forget details when we meet so many people. Remembering little details makes quite an impression and shows that you care. You can jot down details on the back of their business card or create your own file to keep an extensive list of details.
4. Write the business owner a nice thank you note. Let them know that you enjoyed meeting them. This is a nice reminder of who you are and another positive reinforcement. A preprinted card with your picture and business name is a good asset. Again, dont make a big sales pitch, just be personable. Personalize your envelope with a big stamp and handwritten lettering. This may seem like a lot of work, but it is far more profitable than throwing hundreds of business cards in the trash. Your business name and card will more than likely stay in that business owners files or nearby on his desk somewhere. The next time he is seeking that particular product or service, you will have a good chance of getting his business.
If that business owner already uses another company for the type of products or services you offer, your business card can still be very beneficial to you. While it is true that he may already be loyal to another company, he will usually feel very comfortable referring you to others who are seeking your particular product or service.
*For some more great tips and ideas on successful networking and advertising visit your local library and check out "Endless Referrals" by Bob Burg which demonstrates how true networking should be done and many great concepts of successfully marketing your business.