I recently delivered a keynote address on referral sales at a company sales meeting, and I met several interesting people with important positions within the company. I typically offer to autograph my book and I give it to the participants with my compliments. I include my business card with all of my contact information. And I always get their cards in return.
Well, almost always. At this particular event, several people told me they didn’t have a business card (really?) and they would email me with their contact information.
I goofed: No business card, no contact. Well, you can guess the outcome: no email. Can I find these people’s information by using the company email convention or sources such as InsideView? Of course. But what if an individual is a senior resource who consults for the company or a vendor partner who happened to attend? What if these people are not on LinkedIn? Where does that leave me?
Focus and make contact. I was so intent on my presentation and on connecting with the audience afterward, that I got sidetracked. I was not focused on following up. I believed these people when they said they “didn’t have a card.” (What sales professional doesn’t have a card? I mean, really!) This was a huge mistake, my mistake. Surprise: I never heard from any of them.