The Green Sheet Online Edition
May 23, 2011 • Issue 11:05:02
The mobile business card
If the thought of brandishing a dog-eared business card from a wallet or purse elicits a wince, perhaps it's time to switch to an electronic business card. Field Guide Enterprises LLC, long recognized in the industry for its Field Guide Seminars, partnered with Zen Mobile Solutions to deliver an interactive sales tool for connecting merchant level salespeople (MLSs) to merchant prospects much faster via the text business card.
"Business cards are great and people expect to use them, but this is the electronic business card," stated Mark Dunn, President and Founder of Field Guide Enterprises. "It is the fastest way to get the contact information directly into the real estate that they're looking at every day. Sometimes as many as 20 or 30 times a day they're interacting with their cell phone. If they have a smart phone, they may be using it for five hours a day. It's really meant for salespeople."
Field Guide's Txt Biz Card application enables agents to link their business contact information to a designated "keyword" which, when sent as a text message to a short code, sends an automatic response text message back to merchant prospects containing the agent's pertinent information.
BlackBerry users also have the option of selecting the vCard link to upload information directly to the device's contact list. Field Guide plans to expand its vCard feature to include other popular smart phone models soon. Meanwhile, any mobile phone with text capability can receive the contact information, the only difference being that users must manually copy and paste the information into the phone's address book.
Real world link to merchants
Dunn said many agents do real-world networking, whether they attend a chamber of commerce meeting or a family sporting event. In those situations, he said an agent could ask the prospect, "Do you have your cell phone?" If the answer is yes, the follow-up might be, "Okay, text 'Mark' to 511511." Once the agent's keyword has been texted, a beep on the sender's mobile phone signals that the incoming contact information has been received.
According to Dunn, a text business card saves time when dealing with frequent phone or email inquiries. "In fact, this happened yesterday," Dunn said. "A guy called me and said, 'Hey, I got your name and telephone number from a guy who went to the Southeast Acquirers' conference. He's a buddy of mine and he said you might be able to help me.'" When a caller or email sender requests contact information, the keyword and short code are all that's required, he added.
The application permits agents to track which prospects have texted their keyword. "You can go to the website and you can download the cell phone numbers of those who have called in to get your information," Dunn said. "Now, the idea is not to spam those or anything. It just simply gives you the cell phone numbers of anyone that reaches out to you." He added that because text messages are retrievable, users can search previous messages by date to reconnect instantly.
According to Dunn, the service works with any mobile phone carrier that offers text message capabilities. Messages can be formatted based on individual preferences within the application's 140-character limit. MLSs have the option of paying a monthly fee or a reduced annual rate for the service; alternative payment options are available to larger ISOs that require multiple accounts.
Field Guide Enterprises LLC
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