Friday, December 11, 2009

Poken Around For Business Leads

How do you approach business networking situations? Is it still the old handshake and business card? There’s a new, more edgy approach. It involves leveraging technology to exchange and organize your day to day business contacts. If you’ve been thinking about bringing social media and viral marketing into your business plan, don’t make a move until you discover Poken.

Poken is both a device and a process that upgrades the traditional business card. In the days when your name, title and phone number were king, the little paper handout was all someone needed for their files. But now that everything is computerized in databases and online, business cards, Rolodex files and address books fall short. There are devices out there that will read your card and create an electronic version. But why not go electronic from the start?

Meet the pokenPulse. It looks like the USB flash drive you carry around now. It is. In fact, it functions as a 2 GB solid state memory dongle. But notice something else? That white hand on the side is more than just a logo. It’s a functioning near-field wireless transponder. When two of these devices touch, the hands glow green to indicate that a data exchange has occurred. That’s you and the person you just met exchanging electronic business cards. Do this all day and then download the results when you get back to your computer.

The contact data you acquire is securely uploaded to your own private pokenHub, an online storage for all your contacts plus a timeline based organizer. If you can remember roughly when you met someone or who you were with at the time, you can find the contact you have in mind even if you long ago forgot their name.

Poken is about more than just names and phone numbers. The electronic record also carries email addresses and website links. Your contact will not only discover what organization you work for, but can instantly get the personal and marketing information you want them to have. You don’t have to go about stuffing brochures in their pocket. They’ll be getting the links to your online presence at the same time you exchange names and numbers.

Who can Poken benefit? Anyone who meets people as part of their job... or wants to. This ranges from empowered teams, corporate trade shows, salespeople on the lookout for new prospects, edgy companies looking to expand awareness of their products and services, technical experts wanting to connect with other techies, and so on. If you use a computer and the Internet in your work, Poken can probably enhance what you are doing.

Speaking of edgy. The pokenPulse is just one model of the Poken device family. It’s popular with technical people and executives. But if you want attention, consider wearing one of the Poken characters, such as the Ninja, Space Alien, Panda, Cave Man or Vampire. People are going to ask what that is around your neck and that gives you an opportunity to converse. Others who are already Poken-enabled will instantly recognize you as someone in the know and worth meeting. Take a second and give them the “high four” with your Poken character. It will likely turn out to be a valuable exchange.

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