At a trade show, a business card is your key to sealing the deal. If you can talk to potential clients and customers and exchange business cards with them, you'll have your foot in the door for what will likely turn out to be a lucrative deal. Know how to properly collect business cards at a trade show, and you'll soon see the benefits of being a business card collector.
Always ask for a business card. Whether you are talking to passers-by or to potential new clients, ask for a business card from anyone showing interest in your products and services. And make sure you are quick to give a business card in return, but be genuine about it. Make sure the person you are receiving the card from knows your name. And shakes hands after each valuable conversation. Being as personable as you can at a trade show, especially when asking for a business card, gives you the best chance of hearing from those customers again.
Take notes on the business cards you collect. Rather than just filing your collected business cards in a stack at trade shows, take the time to write a quick note about each person that gives you a business card at a trade show. On the business card, write products he was interested in, services he needs, and any other important info that may help you recall this person when you go to contact them later. A business card should serve as a memory tool for you after each trade show, outlining who the person was, important aspects of your conversation, and what information they are expecting to get from you in the near future.
Stay organized. You can collect hundreds of business cards at a trade show. Don't be overwhelmed by your business card collection by keeping all of them neatly organized. Invest in a business card book (or Rolodex, if you prefer the old-fashioned methods). Sort cards alphabetically by name or by company. That way, you'll be able to quickly find a name or company card in your business card collection.
Follow up with your new customers. More than a simple professional exchange of names, a business card exchange at a trade show usually indicates that more work needs to be done for that person. Build good relationships with the people you meet at trade shows by staying true to your word and providing them with information you promised them after the trade show. Again, this is a great reason to record aspects of your conversation on the business card itself. You'll have a written reminder of what needs to be sent to whom. Make sure that you get back to your potential customers as soon as possible after a trade show so that you can begin to establish a strong business relationship with them. It will also reinforce your professional manner and keep their good impressions of you intact. Being a business card collector at a trade show is your ticket to securing new leads, new jobs and new relationships.