Collecting business cards from peers is little more than a professional ritual for most people. However, you’d be surprised at the ways you can put them to use.
More than a physical snippet of someone’s contact information, the humble business card can go a long way towards gathering business intelligence, optimising your operations and increasing profits.
Here are some questions (and answers!) regarding ways to maximise the impact of business cards.
1. What’s the best way to remember and stay in touch with people I meet during a networking event?
It’s common to exchange dozens of business cards at a networking event, with most people storing them in a drawer afterwards. However, Sansan’s contact database management service allows you to process your business cards quickly so you’ll never lose track of the contacts you’ve made.
Simply take a photo of the card using Sansan’s smartphone app, or use the customised Sansan scanner to upload an image of the business card. The card is then digitised by a team of Sansan operators, who manually transcribe the details of the card with the highest levels of accuracy and then upload them into a cloud-based system. That way you can access your contact database anytime, anywhere.
After your contacts have been synced, you can add notes to help you remember specific details and gain significant insights about how to approach them. Managing director of Helix Media, Edward Ion, finds this feature extremely valuable.
“Knowing whom we may have spoken to in the past helps us contextualise the client and provides valuable background information for the meeting,” he said. “This in turn makes us look good in front of the client.”
2. How can I increase transparency and collaboration between my employees when building a client database?
Sansan’s business card management service allows anyone within your organisation to access the database of contacts that have been collected and synced into the company network. This function is particularly beneficial if your company has several offices located across different markets. Every employee can upload, share and visualise their connections, thereby improving their prospects in a range of tasks: preparing a pitch, conducting market research, liaising with the right person and more.
Junichi Naganawa, managing director of accounting firm Aoyama Sogo, shared with us how he benefits from this feature.
“Earlier, if clients called me when I was travelling, I would need to call my office for more information about them,” he said. “Now I don’t need to do this. Sansan allows me to access company information from everywhere and in time.”
3. How can my business cards improve the efficiency of using business technological platforms such as Salesforce and Marketo?
One unique feature that Sansan’s contact management service boasts is the ability to integrate a number of external platforms, such as Salesforce, Marketo and Zapier. This allows you to automatically update and add customer information to other services, making it more efficient for you to keep track of and manage your stakeholder relationships.
Additionally, you can export the data in CSV file format, which is versatile enough for use in multiple applications.
4. What can I do to improve the effectiveness of my email marketing campaigns?
Sansan’s business card management service features a handy bulk email function, allowing you to quickly reach out to everyone on your mailing list. It also allows you to customise your recipient list to fit specific requirements. For example, an ‘insert’ function makes it possible to personalise the contents of your email by addressing the recipients by their name and company in the body of the email. This also helps to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. This is because people are more likely to open an email that addresses them by name rather than a bulk email with an impersonal opening.
MailChimp also revealed that segmented email campaigns, where messages are targeted at relevant user groups, perform significantly better than when they are mass-sent without focusing on any particular group – they had higher opening rates and lower bounce and unsubscribe rates.
Sansan’s bulk email function makes this not only possible, but simple. By categorising and tagging your contacts accordingly, you can tailor your message for each group of stakeholders without having to manually edit your delivery list.
Before today, you may not have realised how to harness the business opportunities from your professional encounters – but with a little help from Sansan’s contact database management service, you can finally reap the rewards of your networking efforts. Get your business cards digitised quickly to create a powerful client database, and improve your sales and marketing intelligence.