In this transcript Clay Clark (Speaker of choice for Hewlett Packer) and Caleb Taylor (Correspondent on Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA) discuss the importance of organizing your contacts.
Caleb: All right Clay, we're just staying in this topic of networking right here. We're going to focus on organizing your contacts. Taking business cards and turning them into business deals. I'm guessing that many entrepreneurs, all entrepreneurs actually, are ready right? They always got their business card right there.
Caleb: They're throwing them out all the time. Throwing out those business cards, but when they receive them, if you don't have a specific idea on how you're going to contact that person, what you could connect to them about, you often lose track of that. Those don't always translate into business deals. This is something that you think is really going to be worth our time?
Clay: I would say, for most American entrepreneurs, most entrepreneurs throughout the world, networking is a complete waste of time, because they're not actually turning relationships into value.
Think about this. If you meet somebody at lunch, he might be a great person or she might be a great person. We all have a very limited resource of ... A very limited amount of time. If you're taking their time and you're not offering them value, and you're not offering your self value, you're just hanging out with a bunch of acquaintances. Which doesn't make any sense.
It'd be better to nurture your existing relationships. This is a defining thing. It's either a waste of time or a good use of time. Then, normally, that's what we're talking about is, trying to making- because it could be a fabulous use of your time. I'm just saying, for most people, it's a complete waste of time. Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA, will teach you how to save time.
Caleb: It definitely will be a waste of time if you're disorganized and don't have a way to keep track of all these.
Caleb: Clay, I read an article on the Entrepreneur.com written by Ivan Misner. We weren't sure about his name, if it was Misner, [Misnizer 00:02:45], [Missimeser 00:02:45].
Caleb: Miss Miser?
Caleb: Miser? He's the chairman of the business networking organization, BNI. Actually, CNN called him the "Father of Modern Networking."
Clay: The father of networking.
Caleb: Let's learn from the father shall we? He says, to integrate the new information into your existing network, you need to do three things. Prioritize, organize, and follow up with your contacts.
You will follow your own inclinations, preferences and criteria for accomplishing each of these tasks, but the end result for your effort should always be to strengthen, extend, and enhance the effectiveness of your network of contacts.
There are different episodes that we have that you need to go check out that specifically talk about prioritizing and following up. Right now, we're going to focus on organizing. Because if you don't organize these contacts, these business cards, it's worthless. It's a waste of time.
How did you do it with DJ Connection? When you were going to all these Chamber events, and you were gathering business cards faster than you can throw them out. How did you keep track of those and organize them?
Clay: A couple of things. One is, in school, you're taught if you went to a public school or something, in every school, they're usually like, "Everyone's the same value, we're all equal. Everyone is a good person." There's that rainbow, unicorn, Narnia world.
In business, what I'm saying is, if you meet, let's just say you met Clay. Let's say you met Caleb. That's you, and that's me. Then we got, let's say you meet ... I'd say, let's go with a Dr. Zellner.
Then, let's say, that should be [really 00:04:28] ... You meet these three people at a Chamber event. This guy owns ten businesses or is involved in ten business. This guy has basically, he's ...
Caleb: A lot of potential.
Clay: You have a business right here, because he's working on some stuff, right?
Clay: Then this guy has got 9 businesses he's involved in. Whilst you're talking, you start to realize, this guy here, for whatever, you meet this guy. You say, "This guy here, man! He is mega awesome. He's got a ton of businesses. A high net worth. Wow."
"This guy, great guy, super nice guy. A ton of potential. He's right out of college. Good dude." "This guy, super nice guy. Owns businesses." Whatever, but you only have so many hours in the day.
Then you meet over here, and I'm just saying people that we don't know. We meet Stan. Stan does he smells like he's been sleeping in his car. He's a good guy.
Caleb: Is that the pine smell?
Clay: No, it's more of like a ... It's like he's been sleeping behind the dumpster and then he crawls inside his car for shelter.