Calculating What a Rolodex is Worth
According to a recent Gartner study, every person in your address book is potentially worth $1,000 in future business value. If you have 3,000 contacts, that means your rolodex (or whatever digital equivalent you use) could be worth $3,000,000.
Don’t believe me? Let’s do the math: Let’s say you are a Real Estate Agent. The average homeowner moves once every 7 years. As of March 2018, the average sell side commission was $7,648, or just over $1,000 a year ($7,648 commission divided by 1 home sale every 7 years = $1,093).
If every person in your rolodex either moved or referred you to one other person who moved ever 7 years, your Rolodex would be worth $3,000,000 A YEAR in commissions. Let’s say only 10% of your contacts decided to work with you or refer you to a new customer: That’s $300,000 a year, or 3 million in income over 10 years. Not bad, right?
And that’s just one vertical, Real Estate. The general concept is sound for other business verticals, too. If you have a personal network of 3,000 people, with hard work and diligence you can turn that network into millions of dollars in future revenue.
So, just how hard is it to build a 3,000-person rolodex, anyway? Let’s be conservative: If you started your business career at 20 and handed out 100 paper business cards a year (8 a month) and diligently collected the name and email address of every one of those people, you’d have 3,000 contacts in your rolodex 30 years later, by the time you were 50.
Why Traditional Business Cards Don’t Work For You
But, data on business card usage estimates that businesses grow by only 0.125% for every 100 paper business cards handed out. Over 30 years, that translates into a 3.75% growth rate. A high-performing Real Estate agent who works full-time would increase their average $87,000 annual income by only $3,262.50 over that 30-year period.
Why so little? Data also suggests that 88% of all business cards are thrown away, lost or destroyed within a week. When you hand a business card to people you meet, the majority don’t usually provide you their contact info in return. You may end up sitting by the phone and hoping they call you. Unsurprisingly, they tend not to, not always because they don’t want to talk with you, but sometimes because your phone number disappeared when your card accidentally took a guided tour of their washing machine.
Go Digital. Or Go Home.
There is an easier way to build that $3M Rolodex. Instead of handing out a card and getting nothing back, share a digital business card, one that automatically captures the recipient’s name, email address and / or mobile phone number so that you always have their info on hand, and so you can proactively follow up with them. 80% of successful sales happen after you follow up with a lead at least 5 times, so you want to be sure you capture their info during that initial meeting. Added bonus: a digital business card is far more resilient to loss, theft and destruction on their end, too.
If you’re like me, you’ve likely handed out AT LEAST 3,000 business cards in your career. In fact, I know some super networkers who hand out 3,000 business cards a year! How much more business do you think you’d have if you’d taken the time to capture all those contacts, and if they all still had your information? It’s a pretty mind-boggling realization, isn’t it?
Though there are number of digital solutions out there, I use SavvyCard. SavvyCard is a lead development platform that includes a slick, easy-to-create-and-manage, free, digital business card solution. I helped design and build SavvyCard to solve my own networking and lead follow-up time-sinks, so I can tell you first hand that I’m not just the CEO, but an active and avid user of the product to help grow my own business.
You can easily use the Share functionality built into every digital SavvyCard to actively capture lead data and store it in the cloud – forever. Any business person can easily generate a 3,000-person database by simply making a small change to their networking process. Instead of handing out a paper business card, share a SavvyCard by text or email to everyone you meet. SavvyCard automatically stores the person’s contact info in your very own contact database, all for free. If you want to add these contacts to an existing list you already have, you can either add them one at a time when you do the share or download the entire saved list from the dashboard at your leisure – your choice.
And best of all, individual SavvyCard digital business cards are free to create and use. There are reasonably priced design packages available if you want to purchase professional designs to customize your digital business card’s look and feel, or you can create and upload the designs on your own. Again – your choice.
SavvyCard was designed to aid savvy business people and great networkers in their quest to quantify and leverage the most valuable type of marketing they do – word-of-mouth – to help build their businesses and optimize the ROI on their lead generation activities. I invite you to create a free account at www.SavvyCard.com and let us know what you think. The more seasoned business people we have using the platform and providing feedback, the better it becomes.
Check Out SavvyCard
You can also learn more about SavvyCard by visiting our corporate site. If you’re a real estate agent, you can check out this great 3 minute video that talks about the many other ways to use our special, real-estate specific SavvyCard product (called SavvyCard for Real Estate) to generate leads. SavvyCard for Real Estate is available through partner MLS organizations. If you don’t see your MLS and are interested in learning when it’s coming, contact your MLS for details.