Twenty five years ago in a land far far away a man went to a business conference with the plan to land not just the big one, but anyone. The salesman was in a slump and he was contemplating getting out of the business. His income was like a roller coaster, and the valleys kept getting deeper, and the hills to climb up kept getting steeper.
The conference was to start the next morning and he prepared himself by practicing his value statement, then he chose his clothes, shined his shoes, and reached for his stack of 100 business cards to pass out to each person he met. The business cards were not there, he frantically looked round and round the tiny hotel room for them but they were nowhere to be found. The poor salesman remembered he’d left them at his house on the nightstand while packing for the trip.
Despondent, the salesman fought through and decided he would go to the conference and try to salvage his sales career without cards and these are the things he did to make it work and get the sales that kept him in business for far more years than he initially believed he could have survived.
Every person he met he made a point of asking for their business card and assured them that he would send them an email with his contact information once he got back to his office.
He made a point of telling everyone he met that he felt it was more important for him to take their card than give them his, “I know that I will absolutely call you, and I want to control that aspect of our relationship.”
He found the roster of everyone that was scheduled to attend the conference. If he had not already met and spoken with them during the networking times he sent them invitations to connect on linkedin. Those who he connected with he sent them emails directly introducing himself, his business and offering to meet face to face, conference call, or video call to talk further about how they may be able to work together.
When the conference was over and the salesman got back to his office he realized that he had personally connected with more than sixty persons and with the roster of the attendees still had a hundred more he could could reach out to.
He still carried business cards but not as many as before and he does not pass them out nearly as often as he did before he went to the conference.