You've filed lots of business cards... When to revisit them?
from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here)
Following a previous post about 'What to do with the business cards you collect,' the next question is what will ever prompt you to actually go back and have a look through the cards you've neatly (or not) filed away and possibly even digitised?
Prior to a recent hop across the Atlantic Ocean, I decided to scan the current 'business card book,' as it's almost full and I daren't think the hard work collecting the cards, one by one, would be lost if there weren't some sort of back up.
As I went through the pages, scanning each one, I found myself thinking things like:
"Ooh! X and I haven't had that meeting we discussed. I need to get in touch."
"Oh my goodness, X was in interested in X. Time to follow that up!"
So now that most of the art world is commencing its longest and deepest break of the calendar year (noting that some places have their high season in the middle of summer, such as Santa Fe), it's an ideal opportunity to review collected business cards and follow-up.
Here are some follow-up ideas:
Needing to bring in some fast $ over the summer?
Prioritise following up people who were interested in buying something (or a service) from you. While an email is likely the first thing to come to mind, also consider picking up the phone, which helps to re-establish rapport, and re-ignite interest on their part.
Wanting to develop new professional partnerships, like working with a gallery / artist / interior designer / etc?
This is a great time to reach out to such people with whom you've exchanged details and arrange a meeting. These relationships are based on building blocks and can take months, if not years, to turn into something. Your job is to make certain it keeps building over time.
Trouble-shooting: If you don't live anywhere close to one another, arrange an online call with video which will help build the connection between one another.
And... If you come across people for whom you don't know what the opportunity might be, however you feel like there's future potential, arrange what I describe as an 'exploratory meeting.'
Developing your mailing list and following, to nurture future sales, commissions, collaborations, reviews and more down the road?
Invite people to join the mailing list (don't just stick them on there!) and connect with them on social media (include LinkedIn and see what other platforms you share in common).
All sound like good ideas? But also possibly daunting too?
It's common to connect with other human beings and then to forget about one another. The schedule can get busy and memories fade over time. By reviewing business cards and determining follow-up on a one-by-one basis, you're tapping into the way that you connected with others, and they'll be delighted to hear from you.
I for one can't wait to get started going through cards! I LOVE building and nurturing relationships that are mutually beneficial :-).