Friday, March 6, 2009

Follow Through


So often our desks have a towering pile of business cards screaming at us to "do something". On February 19 I discussed the rhythm of a task and how we often skip that last step in the rhythm. That is what has happened when we have a stack of business cards. We go to a networking event or meet someone at a party or at the store. We exchange cards. If we are on top of our day we write a note on the card like "son goes to Ga Tech" or "wants to know about DBA". Now the next step should be, when we are at our desk for the first time after exchanging cards, to send out an email or call to the person and follow up with a short message. Now the card can go into a holding folder. I call mine "waiting for". About once a week I check that "waiting for" folder. If it has been a week or more and I have not heard back from that person I will follow with another email and/or call and put the card back into the folder. Each time I write on the card the date and what action I took. After about a month if there has been no response from that individual, I usually throw out that card. If we have made further contact and we set up a one to one meeting I make a folder for that individual. After meeting with that person if I feel we will make good referral partners, I take several of his/her cards and put them in my card holder that I carry with me on jobs and one to ones. However you go about it, you should take an action and clear those cards off the desk so that they stop screaming at you and disturbing your work day.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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2 comments:

Mical Traynor said...

Jonda,
This is a great idea. Do you have recommendations about disposing of cards that have been around for six months to a year? Should I reach out to them or just let them go?

Thanks,
Mical

Jonda Beattie said...

Mical,
I would go ahead and reach out to them if you still see them as a potential referral partner or client. If you can't really recall who they are or when you met them or why you have their card- just dispose of the card.