(This is a guest post by Sean Murphy, who coaches early stage technology firms. You can find Sean on Twitter, LinkedIn or on his blog.)
You are back from a tradeshow and have 400 business cards in a large pile on the table. Booth visitors had dropped them in a fish bowl you set out to request more information and win a chance at a cool device. Now the work begins - finding the good ones in the pile.
Out of the 400 cards there may be 20 or 40 who are really interested in your product. You have to find them in the pile before too much time has passed and they are on to their next problem. The good news is that a few will remember you and follow up (and a few who didn't hear who won the drawing may also call if you picked an especially valuable or hard to find device). Most of your follow up efforts, whether by phone or E-mail or postcard or prayer will go unanswered. This is true even for early adopters who are interested but also very busy. You will need to try a few times in different ways.