Tag Archives: Boston

Business Cards: Are They Just a Waste of Time and Money?

by Stephen Labuda

It’s a funny thing about business cards…they always seem to find their way into the trash! Now, some of you may be thinking, “WHAT?” but follow me for a second…

Let’s start with what happens at a networking event. People are milling about, shaking hands, handing out business cards, etc. You meet new people, establish possible referral relationships, tell others about what you do and above all, you collect business cards…sometimes LOTS of business cards. Now, let’s fast forward to the next day…

There you sit at your desk…a stack of business cards looms before you. You flip through the stack, then put it in your desk. “I’ll get to these later” you say, and you go about your day. A few days later, you open up your desk drawer and BAM…there are those cards again. “I have to make time to get back to these people…” you say, and again shut the drawer. After a few weeks, you don’t even care, and chances are, that stack of cards will make its way into your trash. Well, if this is what YOU are doing, you can imagine that the cards you give out will eventually have the same fate in the offices of folks you have given your cards to. It starts to seem like business cards are just a waste of time and money, but is there a way to change this outcome and make them incredibly valuable tools for business? Absolutely…

First of all, think of your business cards as merely a barter tool to get business cards from others. It is THEIR card that is really valuable to you. When you are at an event and you get a business card, it is what YOU do with THEIRS that matters…follow me on this…

When someone gives me their card, I hold it up at eye level to the side and look at it as I ask them questions. “So, tell me more about ABC company.” Looking at their card while I speak with them helps me to imprint their face along with their information at the same time. This will become extremely valuable as I am looking through the cards I received after the event.

Once our conversation is over, I thank them and tell them I will be following up. Then, I turn over their card and write a few key points of our conversation on the back. This will help me to refer to these points when we speak again.

Finally, after the event (aim for WITHIN 48 hours) I follow up. This could be a phone call, an email, a letter, whatever you decide. Because I have taken the time to imprint the person’s face with their business, and write key points about the conversation on the back of the card, AND follow up, I will make myself stand out from just about anyone else that will contact them after the event. The fact is, most won’t even bother so not only will my competition be light, my technique will ensure that I am the one that makes the most memorable impression on them.

There you have it. The information above can greatly increase the value of business cards and how they can positively impact your business. Remember, business cards are NOT a waste of time and money…you need yours to get theirs and getting theirs and following the tips above is what will set you apart from most of the other business people they come in contact with.

About the Author

Stephen Labuda is an entrepreneur who built his business by networking with other professionals. You can connect with him through his Boston web design website or Boston Professional Networking.

The 3 Types of Business Referrals and When You Should Use Them (OR NOT!)

by Stephen Labuda

I LOVE REFERRALS! If you like making easy money, then you should too! Referrals are a business person’s dream because most of the work has been taken out of the process and all you have to do is follow up properly on the referral and the business is likely yours. The fact is, though, some referrals are better than others. Knowing the difference between the kinds of referrals that exist in the world of business and how to give and get them more effectively can be the key to your closing more business and making more money.Below is a list of the 3 types of business referrals and when you should use them (OR NOT!)

1. The USE MY NAME referral-You know this one. It is the kind we as business professionals give and get all the time. Someone you know tells you to call someone they know and they say, “Just USE MY NAME.” The person giving this kind of referral may have the best of intentions, but the fact is, these kinds of referrals are really not all that valuable. unless the referral is properly warmed up, it is not likely to turn into real business. You should only use this kind of referral when it is impossible to warm the referral up or time is of the essence.

2. The VITRUAL INTRO referral-Virtual intros are great. These have come about since the advent of the internet. It is simply a way of introducing someone to someone else via email. It is a great way to give and get referrals because all parties are attached to the email. It also gives you the opportunity to explain in detail why you think the two parties should get together and do business. It also offers an easy way to follow up on the referral using the initial email text. Use the Virtual Intro email whenever you can…it is second only to…

3. The FACE TO FACE INTRODUCTION referral-Obviously, there is no better way to give and get referrals than through a face to face introduction. Introducing business professionals face to face is a perfect way to start and build business relationships. It allows the parties to chat and get to know each other a bit. Face to Face introductions are certainly the most valuable type, but it can often be difficult to get all parties in the same place at the same time. Therefore, a 3-way call works great as a second choice here. Now that technology allows us to do 3-way calls from just about any phone that exists, this can be a great way to help refer business.

There you have it, 3 types of referrals and the times to use each. Practice turning USE MY NAME referrals into Virtual Intros or Face to Face Introduction referrals and you will quickly become the star of your personal network!

There is an added bonus, by giving great referrals you can help shape the referrals you receive too!

About the Author

Stephen Labuda is an entrepreneur who built his business by networking with other professionals. You can connect with him through his Boston web design website or through the Boston Networking Group.