Write It Down!

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Why would you want to write information on paper when you have a business card in hand?

Putting it on paper can mean a number of things. It can simply mean putting notes on the back of someone's business card, or it can mean to take extensive notes in a notebook. Which ever method you choose, be certain that the notes can identify who it was that you were conversing with. Nothing is more embarrassing than talking to a person sometime in the future and finding out you are talking about something they know nothing about.

If you remember some of the Leslie Nielsen movies, he starts talking with a business executive about a project he is starting. He mistakenly identifies this person as the one that hired him. As you can imagine, by the end of the skit, Leslie Nielsen is trying to hide and disappear until he can find the correct individual. Name recognition in this case was the difficulty. Here is another example: a buyer from a company walks in and says he wants to order the usual and then walks out. If you do not know who he is or cannot remember his name, that order may never be filled - total embarrassment for the sale person. The same can happen to you if you do not take the time to write it down on paper. Meticulous notes are not necessary, but if you want to remember, you must put in some key factors that will jog your memory in the future. Practice going back to the person at the same event and repeat their name and go back to one of the points they made.

Also, a lot can be told from the prospects' business cards: are they original, colorful, on good stock, informative, tasteful? Now that you have all the information you want from the other person, you should make sure that they know about you. You have given your pitch, asked your questions, collected their card, made notes and are ready to take the next step. You need to have something that will catch their attention and make them remember you. Most often that something is your business card.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit

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