Do you go to a networking event to see how many business cards you can collect? Do you take business cards with you that actually say what you do and have your correct contact information on them? Believe it or not I have talked to folks that think the more cards you get the better it is. Some folks even have business cards that don’t have the necessary contact information on them.
Always carry a small pen or sharpie with you to an event. When you accept someone’s business card write something on it if you told them you would contact them later or write what they were wearing that will jog your memory as to why you valued meeting that person. I always write someone on my card when someone accepts my card as well, that way they will remember I wrote on it and my card will be easier to find when they follow up. Don’t hand out cards just to be handing out cards. It is okay to visit with someone and not give them your card? If they are not a potential referral for you and if you feel they don’t know anyone you need to meet why give them a card?
Immediately after the event go over the cards you have and make notes on them or on a follow up sheet concerning how and why you will be following up with that person. Make any other notes or concerns that you had during your encounter with them. At this point you may even eliminate some of the cards you accepted due to second thoughts or you may have decided it isn’t a good potential client/contact after all. However, if you told that person you are going to follow up then by all means follow up. You can chose to follow up in a non-committal form such as just a note or email that is was nice to meet them and you wish them luck in their future business endeavors. Remember networking events are for making qualified contacts, not for a sales call. Set a goal for how many qualified contacts you want to make for the event and stay on tract to meet that goal.

Author's Bio: 

Jacque Miller holds a Masters degree in Holistic Nutrition, is a Certified Behavior Specialist and Certified Lifestyle Coach in Cave Creek, AZ and developed the networking card game “Promotion Motion”.