It’s not only about giving and receiving business cards.
At a recent very large networking event, I counted 83 people who – without telling me about their business – shoved their card into my hand without knowing whether I wanted it or was even interested in their business. Those cards when into one pocket. I briefly looked them over when I got back to my office and threw all but 4 away.
In my other pocket were 6 business cards from people I actually had a conversation with and wrote something of our meeting on the back of their card to help me remember them. Those 6 people are the ones I followed up on first.
Only give your business card after you have had a sincere “conversation of interest.”
Keep your business cards in the breast pocket of your coat, a shirt pocket, or in an outside pocket of your purse so they are easy to access and in good condition. Never leave home without them. NEVER listen to anyone who says it’s not important to have business cards at a networking event. It reveals an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance and is arrogant, ignorant and unsophisticated. In other words, it’s stupid.
Better impressions are made when you demonstrate your interest in the other person rather than unloading your routine business story and business card on them. Rapport must be established. You must avoid just giving a business card and hope that they will call.
“Speak to a few people and have genuine conversations rather than rush around the room trying to grab a card from everyone. Show a genuine interest in the other person and engage in conversation rather than trade elevator pitches.” ~ Andy Lapata
A networking event is not a time to see how many business cards you can acquire. Rather, it is a time to develop a few relationships that have potential. PLEASE. . . resist the temptation to thrust your business card on anyone unless they ask for it until rapport has been established and the result is a mutual exhange. Invest a few minutes to get to know each person you meet.
When receiving a card from someone, take a moment to write yourself a note on the back of the card to remind you of the conversation and where you met.
When given a business card, don’t just take it and place it in your pocket. Make the person feel important by looking at their card for a few seconds. Look for what I call, “a conversation starter.” You might see something that could be a topic of discussion. Say their name aloud several times during the converstion and comment on it or something that is on their card. This will help you remember their name and also make them feel good.
Never, never give a business card to people in whom you can barely detect a pulse. 😉
BusinessCard2.com is a virtual online card that sits on a website. You make a “tiny” portfolio online in which you’ll be able to integrate your networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.). Then you would also include a little information about you and how to contact you. This works great if you are active on social networks or e-mail and want to give people you meet online some quick information about you. Also great to place on your websites, blogs, forum signatures, etc. If you want to see an example of what it looks like you can visit my Card.ly here. This is a handy tool to use for a quick follow-up with someone you meet at a Networking event.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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