I love to network and I’m a member of around six or so networking groups, so lets imagine you just found out someone’s available to meet you for a networking meeting and you need some quick information. Here are some tips for using your smart phone for business networking to get information, FAST:
Find a place to meet on your phone for business networking.
If you need to suggest a place to meet, open up your favorite app to get local recommendations for a place for coffee, lunch, drinks, etc. Stay away from the bar scene for cocktails. You need a quiet place where you can hear and be heard and remember the purpose of your meeting is to get to know the other person in a professional manner.
Apps to try: Find Places (Android), AroundMe (Apple), Yelp!, Where To? (Apple)
Find directions for where you’re going
You’ve figured out where you’re meeting. Now you need to find directions for getting there. Make sure you pick the most reliable route if you’re in a hurry. For instance, it may be best to take the subway rather than getting caught in traffic in a large city.
Apps to try: Google Maps, HopSpot, Google Places
Research the person you’re meeting.
Google is great, but when you’re on the go it can be difficult to scroll through all those search results. However, there are a few apps that will help you do the essential research quickly. LinkedIn, in particular, is a first source for business information about the person, and you should be able to see a picture of the person you’re meeting.
Apps to try: LinkedIn, 123people
Have your business card ready to share via email
You can just rely on sharing your physical, stock business card. Or you can be prepared with some digital options. For example, QR code on your business card can send people to your contact page. You can also have an email-ready version of your business card, and be prepared to scan the other person’s card right into your contact database.
Apps to try: WorldCard Mobile, ScanBizCards, ScanLife: QR Code Reader
Take notes on what you talked about
Use your smart phone to take quick notes during your meeting on key points your discussed, names of potential referrals, contact information or other reminders. Some apps, like Evernote, will sync this information to all your other digital versions of the app on your computer or other devices.
Apps to try: Evernote, email (send one to yourself), Contacts Journal CRM (Apple)
The last one mentioned, Contacts Journal CRM, is actually a full contact and customer relationship management app.
What’s your favorite app you use when on your phone for business networking?