business card collectingToo often at networking events it seems as though there is a secret contest for who can collect the most business cards. Which might not be THE biggest or dumbest mistake, but in my business I see what happens to those cards. While intentions may be good, when folks get back to the (busy) office the cards get tossed in an ever-growing pile on the desk — the black hole of undeveloped connections.

What should be happening is that you take the card, you follow up with an email, call or note. You add them to your contact list. Maybe they add themselves to your subscriber list. (Please don’t do that last one without permission.) You make a connection on LinkedIn or perhaps Facebook if that’s your thing. You schedule lunch or coffee in order to begin developing a true business relationship.

If you look at each business card you collect as requiring that much of your time, how many would you take? You’ve only got so much time in a day. Go for quality in relationships not quantity of cards.