The Smart Alternative to Handing Out Your Business Cards

The Smart Alternative to Handing Out Your Business CardsAre you in the habit of giving people several of your business cards in the hopes that they will pass them on to their networks? If so, you may be wasting your cards, and more importantly, the opportunity to connect directly with prospects.

Lots of real estate agents have been trained to hand out five or six business cards to clients with the request that they pass them on to people who may be looking to buy or sell their home. The problem with this strategy is that you relinquish control of building a relationship with prospects. Instead, you are left waiting on the sideline for people to call you. Plus, tracking studies show that even if people pass on your card, recipients of those cards will rarely ever call you.

Take the lead in cultivating a relationship with your referral sources. Collect information about your client leads. When you make a request to your clients to reach out to their networks, make it your goal to secure names, contact information and any other information that might help you get a sense of what they are hoping to achieve.

By taking the lead, you are in the driver’s seat in building this relationship. If this approach feels too direct, you can also ask your referral source to make a direct inquiry with the prospect on your behalf.

If you’re going to collect a business card, make a point of following up with the individual. Networking events are notorious occasions for giving away lots of your business cards. Most of the time, you give them to people you have hardly built a rapport with or you’ve exchanged cards for the sake of being polite.

Instead, as you are talking to people, find out about their business and if there’s anything you can do to help them. On the back of their business card, take note of where and when you met, anything interesting about the person, and a follow-up action item.

There’s no point in collecting a card if it’s headed for the trash after an event, so follow-up!  Be sure to do this within 24 to 48 hours while the contact is still fresh in both minds. Leverage each opportunity you have when you meet people to think of a way to be of service to them. This is key to building relationships and being memorable.

How do you make the most of your business cards and those that you receive?

This post has 3 comments

  • Scott Dawson says:

    Whenever I pickup and business card I will typically follow up with and email but I also like to connect with the person on LinkedIn as well. That way I have online access to their contact info should I need it.

    • Dal Sohal says:

      Following up on LinkedIn is a great way to keep the connection alive. You can use LinkedIn to participate in discussions and show your knowledge in the real estate market, thus building on your visibility and credibility. Thanks for the comment, Scott!

  • Interesting perspectives as i have accumulated business cards but hardly make reference to them. I note that the cards I have could have been very good prospects. I will follow advise of making a quick follow up email to just create the initial contact. I also note that if you do not put a little note at the back of the business card at times you can not place the person and why you have the card after a while. Thanks

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