Wednesday, April 2, 2008


It makes me laugh.

Lot's of people still think that networking is all about handing out cards.

Recently, I was at a networking event where the participants were encouraged to network with each other at the end of the meeting. I had just finished chatting with one gentleman when a lady came up and breathlessly said, "I am not doing very well with getting my cards handed out, so I'm just going to pass them out at each setting."

I am always amazed when networkers (unschooled ones at that) have a goal of getting rid of as many of their business cards as possible. They obviously think that is the reason for attending an event. Little do they know that they could just save time and dump the contents of their business card holder into the trash bin.

A business card is a static object that doesn't tell me anything about the person behind the card. I am not going to blindly do business with a mystery man or woman. Most business people want to make a connection first and do business second.

If your goal is passing out as many business cards as possible, my challenge to you is to have one meaningful conversation at the next event you attend and only give a business card to the people who request it. What is a meaningful conversation? It could be several questions that you ask so you know more about the business of the person you are talking to. It could be finding out who their best customer might be. It could be asking them if there is someone they want to be introduced to. It could be just finding out what you have in common with each other.


What suggestions do you have about this topic?

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