Why Make Folocard?
Another business card scanner app? Really? There are some pretty entrenched players already, why go there? What are you going to do differently? Well..
Folocard was born out of a pain, a pain I experienced first hand and repeatedly. After returning from the nth Ad Tech conference, I became frustrated by the stacks of business cards I had accumulated.
First, I couldn’t recall the meeting, the context at least. I had simply not written enough notes in my notebook, nor dribbled enough on the back of the physical business card to remember really whom I met, what we discussed, what opportunities we could explore, the time, the place the other people involved.
The truth is that conferences, trade shows, and other ilk are rough. They are physically demanding, as you are usually in a foreign country following an international flight, red-eye to boot. You have new shoes you are breaking in, which wreak havoc on your health and focus, especially if you stand or walk all day. You are so busy rushing between meetings that you skip meals (remember the mints people).
The truth is that conferences, trade shows and other ilk are rough.
Secondly, when you receive someone’s business card you are being in-explicitly told: contact me. The burden is now on your shoulders to follow-up. To put it in reverse, if I give you my business card, I am expecting you to contact me, that is why I gave it to you in the first place.
Stop my if this sounds familiar, you return from a multi-day conference in a foreign country with a stack of business cards. It is Monday and you have a massive backlog at your desk/inbox. The first thing you do, after you drop some duty-free chocolates in the office kitchen and switching off the out of office autoresponder, is taking that stack of business cards and begin entering the info into excel/CRM/contacts. Hopefully, you have a system in place, you prioritized those business cards by staring them, right?. You have some business card scanning app you use and you export into your CRM. And you begin the process of creating a post-conference template, you mail merge the names into the cold email and attach your latest brochure/pdf. You hope for the best. You spend the next 2 weeks following-up with all those contacts you made at the conference, who are doing the same exact thing you are.
But are we missing the forest for the trees? We want to conduct business, but we leave the conference with some superficial new contacts. To foster a stronger human connection. We have this golden opportunity to communicate with a multi-sensory environment but we actually conduct most of it with emails, phone calls and now HD video calls.
Contrast the above with the immediate follow-up. Say you are on the same conference floor, you just had a good meeting with closing potential. With 5 minutes to get to your next meeting and you need to navigate the maze of swag stands, but it was a really good meeting. You got a good impression from the person on the other side of the proverbial table. Struck rapport and think there is a good match a smooth and quick sale. Why then wait 5 days to send that follow-up? There is still after hour events, there is still another full day at the conference floor tomorrow, there is still that morning brunch before the flight back home. And the best part, it’s the same situation on his end.
Ergo, follow-up immediately. You still have time to give another formal follow-up back at the office next week. The CRM can wait too. Since you are using Folocard it took you seconds to send your contact details and a short message seeking more face to face time. You get a reply, you meet the next day to discuss more details and just like that you are one step further down the funnel. Both sides had time to mentally process the first meeting and make all those mental notes of what was not said, or needed further emphasis. Your second ‘date’ might get you closer to your goal. Accelerate the relationship while you are still on the ground.
Following-up quickly is not just for conferences. That scheduled meeting you just had at the coffee shop down the street is another opportunity not to be missed. Follow-up directly after you part ways. You just signaled your interest in continuing forward. You didn’t follow up coldly days later just for politeness.
Accelerate the relationship while you are still on the ground.
Unfortunately, there is no business card scanning app that really has a substantive follow up feature set. There are some awesome business card apps that are all geared to replace the traditional Rolodex. The problem is that they silo the contacts within the app. Some even have fancy export options, including syncing to 3rd party CRM systems. Some business card apps envision a paperless solution, where you have a virtual business card that updates with time (LinkedIn?!) or that you need the other party to also have the same app to really get the utility they expect. Business card maker apps are nice to have, but do they really solve the issue at hand? Nop.
We at Folocard believe the business card scanning apps out there do not address the heart of the business card concept, nor take full advantage of the mobile world we now live in. Folocard is here to disrupt and shape business card networking into the future. The business card should only be a supplement to networking.