Monday, April 30, 2012

You may be a hoarder.

Are you a hoarder?
Between reality TV shows, articles in magazines, newspaper headlines about the latest cat lady--one would think that there is an epidemic of hoarding behavior in our country.

So . . . are YOU a hoarder?  Let's take a quick quiz to find out.

1. At networking events do you collect business cards?
If you answered YES
Surely you know that collecting things without thinking about the purpose and usefulness of the item can be an early sign of hoarding.
If you answered NO
Why are you going to networking events?  When you leave a networking event without any cards, either you already knew everybody in the room or you were just there for the coffee.  And I ask you--is that effective networking?

2. If you are collecting business cards--the key is what you do with the cards, are they in a drawer or box on your desk? 
If you answered YES
Not only do you need to worry about hoarding behavior, I would like to point out that these business cards become  Schrodinger's Cat.  When you open the box--maybe there's business in there or maybe the business is dead.
In any case--the point is . . . well . . what IS the point.  So you have a nice collection of business cards.  Are you expecting them to go out and do business for you?
If you answered NO
I'm intrigued . . . what are you doing with your cards?

3. Do you scan all of them into your database?
If you answered YES
Are you also making quick notes of how you met the person, or their business, to trigger your memory?  And are you throwing the cards out (or recycling) when you're done?  Or better yet--are you selecting a few key cards and passing them on to your network?
If you answered NO
Okay, seriously, I'm intrigued--WHAT are you doing with your cards?
Do you display your business cards as part of a collection--bragging about your latest acquisitions?  I'll grant you, some business cards ARE very creative.

Business cards can be the mulch that help you grow your business.  But NOT if you're storing the mulch in your office and not cultivating anything with them.

You're a hoarder if your piles of business cards are negatively affecting your quality of life.
You're an ineffective networker if all you have are a handful of cards from people you don't know.

Be an amazing networking and stifle the hoarding instinct.

Use the networking events to get to know people.
Use business cards to quickly gather contact information that you follow up on.  Put the information in your data base within 48 hours of a networking event.  If you don't do it right away--you will forget who the people are behind the cards.

Connect with your contacts on Linked In.  Check out their Facebook page.

Spend time thinking about how you can help THEM--and not just about how they can help you.

These are the keys to growing your business AND keeping the clutter out of your office.

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