"The Networkers Place"

Low-Cost Business Networking

Although it's been determined that networking takes time and is work,
that doesn't mean that it has to cost a lot to do it.

Here are some ideas for low or no-cost networking using business cards:

1. Keep them EVERYWHERE so you always have some on- hand. Keep them in every vehicle, in the office, at home, in every purse or wallet you own - everywhere. Post them on bulletin boards in stores. Leave them with your tip when you pay at a restaurant.

2. Enclose them with all correspondences- especially bills (There is a realtor who sold a house because he included his card every month in his electric bill).

3. Attach ad specialties or premiums to them. I have received business cards with little bars of soap and tokens for a car wash attached to them. I have also received business cards which had magnets on them which are now hanging on my refrigerator.

4. Have some laminated so they can't get wet, perhaps with a quarter laminated on the back of it with the message they would always have money for a phone call.

5. Use the back side to print information people will keep for a long time- a calendar, metric conversion information, measurement equivalents, mortgage amortization schedules- anything that people would need to refer to again and again. A word of caution- in some cultures it is an insult to write on the back of a business card.

6. Use the business card as a coupon. Buy $10.00 worth of products and get the card punched. Ten punches gets the bearer a free gift.

7. Get 500 business cards printed and visit EVERY business that could possibly help you in your area to promote your business. Leave 2 cards with each person (one for them to keep - one to give away).

8. Use OTHER PEOPLE'S cards as a networking tool. Approach the manager of a local restaurant for permission to put a fishbowl there, agreeing to give away a free dinner to the person whose card is drawn. The restaurant gets some free publicity out of it, plus the profits on the dinner given away. The person placing the fishbowl in the restaurant gets all those names and addresses on the business cards as LEADS! When contacting the leads, thank them for entering the drawing at the restaurant.

9. Agree to enclose the cards of other business professionals in the mailings you do in exchange for them doing the same for you. Offer joint specials for presenting business cards of the professionals in your networking circle to each other's business.

10. Use your business card as a survey- have customer satisfaction questions printed on the back and ask that they be returned with the client's next order or invoice payment.