12 Oct Networking, not just an elevator pitch.
I really enjoy networking and have found it hugely beneficial to the growth of my virtual assistant business. For anyone undecided as to whether it is for them, I would definitely say ‘give it a go’. You never know, it may be the best decision you have ever made for you and your business!
I am sure we can all appreciate that networking is a fantastic way to meet potential clients and fabulous, like-minded people. Also, for those working on their own, in a home office, networking can be a wonderful opportunity to get out of the office to enjoy some company, have a chat and a delicious meal.
Networking is something that has become a big part of my ‘business month’ and something I look forward to. I could very easily take this time to explain the benefits of networking such as business sales, referrals/leads and the building of a support system. However, I don’t think I need to sell the concept of networking to you.
What I would like to do is share a top tip with those of you who already network and explain how I have applied my organisational skills to help many of my clients.
So, my question to you is, what do you do when you get back to the office with the huge ‘wodge’ of business cards acquired during the meeting?
- Do you pop all the cards into a folder and forget about them?
- Are they placed in your in-tray as something that you will get around to, eventually?
My top tip for today is to take a few minutes of your time and apply some of your organisation skills to the following task. The benefits will be worth it, I promise.
You will need an lever arch folder, some plastic business card wallets, file dividers, access to spreadsheet software and time.
The cards I collect are filed alphabetically (by first name) in a lever arch file and the following data is entered onto a spreadsheet (you can add more fields such as webpage, address etc if you need to): First name, Surname, Email, Mobile,
By having your networking cards in a spreadsheet and filing system will help you in so many ways and I have listed just a few below –
- All your contact details are in one place.
- It will be so easy to export the details into mailing software for your e-newsletters.
- If you include address details in your spreadsheet, it will be in the ideal format for a mail merge, e.g. when printing labels for a Christmas Card ‘snail mail’ mail-shot.
- You can search your contacts easily and quickly.
- You will have your spare cards readily available, and easy to find, when you want to give that all important referral.
I hope this handy hint has been useful and I will look forward to sharing some more tips soon.