I have a tendency to throw away business cards. When someone walks up to me and wants to trade cards without purpose, I kindly oblige, and put their card in my left pocket. When I walk out the door I throw away all the cards in my left pocket. Why? Because the reality is that business cards piled in your drawer or entered into your contacts are pointless without taking the effort to build them into your network. The reality is that business cards aren’t networking, they are simply a tool for use while networking. I am interested in developing meaningful relationships; ones where I can help other people succeed.
I received an e-mail yesterday from Charlie Martin, the owner of a writing and editing business (Sorry for the lack of a link, no website is available) that has severed some notable firms including Landry Construction, Sheridan Construction Corporation, and Catholic Charities Maine. We traded contact information, learned more about one another, and I developed a base line of information from which I can work to help him build success (Just send me an e-mail if you need a outside writing or editing consultant and I will gladly pass along his information).
During our correspondence he mentioned his relationship with the SMPS Past-President Mike Reilly of Reilly Communications, a person whom I would like to connect with at this years SMPS national conference. Through it all I was able to identify the key items that I can use to help Charlie, and in doing so build him into my network. Now that is a ‘business card’ worth keeping. The reality is that Charlie and I may not connect again in the future, but it is my hope and intention that we do. Thanks for the e-mail Charlie!