By Jan Wallen
CardScan is the business card scanner that I use, and highly recommend. It is a business card scanner that attaches to your laptop or to a desktop computer. The business card scanner is especially valuable at expos, networking meetings and speaking engagements, where you collect a number of business cards at one time.
It’s a small box that scans the business cards. You put the card in the slot, and then you see the card and the contact information like an index card on your computer screen to preview. You look the information over and verify its accuracy. You can then save all of the names in the database in a format that will go into ACT! or other database. Once the information is in your ACT! or your contact manager, you’re ready to send E-Mails or make calls right away.
CardScan works amazingly well, considering that there are so many different types and designs of business cards, with graphics, colors and photos. The names really do end up in the name field, and the title goes in the title field. Phone, fax and E-Mail addresses go in the right fields, too. The only time I’ve had to correct a card so far is when the card had a description of the business at the bottom of the card. It said “Innovative Human Resource Solutions” on a separate line. The software put it in one of the fields, and it was easy to spot and correct at a glance.
When the names are in ACT!, be sure to put it the source of the lead with the expo, organization or meeting name. There are User Fields already set up to do that. Then you can schedule a series of follow-up calls and letters all at once. For example, schedule a call or E-Mail immediately, follow-up a week later, send a letter two months after the expo, and call back four months and six months after the expo. Your message and name is in front of them for months after the expo or meeting, not only for a week or two. Not only that, no one else does this, so you’ll be remarkable ( in a positive way) to them.
This can be even more important than responding quickly to a hot prospect. Research shows that people who express interest in a product or service and expect to purchase within 3-6 months are very likely to make that purchase. Getting your message to these people throughout the year is likely to pay off. Most business owners and salespeople give up their follow-up and sales efforts before the customer is ready to buy.
AddressGrabber is another tremendous time-saver. With AddressGrabber, you can highlight contact information from E-Mails, Web sites and documents, and then transfer it directly into ACT! or a number of other databases. Simple as that. I couldn’t live without it!
More information on ACT! and AddressGrabber is on my Web site on the Recommended Resources page:
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© 2000-2005 Jan B. Wallen. All rights reserved.
Jan Wallen is author of “Selling Your Expertise — Turn What You Know into Cash Flow Now™”. How are some people turning their knowledge into wealth? Click here now =>