Part One about business cards. So how DO you get around the potential wastefulness of business cards?
Here’s a few observations from meet-ups, gatherings, events, both big and small plus some suggestions:
• People who know each other tend to stick together. Why do that if you’re at a NETWORKING event? It’s hard for someone on the outside to wiggle in to the conversation.
• I almost always go alone. Yeah, it’s scary. You have no choice but to meet people.
• The folks that tend to enjoy having conversations are more likely to be attending by themselves, just like you.
• Approach the shy folks; they turn to out to be great people.
• Many people are just as terrified as you are about starting a conversation.
• Look for common ground and build a discussion around it. You’re probably saying “yeah right” but it’s easier than you think. Ask them why they are there, ask them if pink is their favorite color since they’re wearing it head-to-toe, or inquire how often they attend events. Something will spark. Those people will remember you from something you’ve said and the business card you’ve left with them has a higher potential of being utilized by them.
• Laugh and offer up a light joke or two, but stories about your dog running around with the underwear you left on the floor isn’t going to cut it.
• Get there earlier when there are fewer people and establish a few connections. Then you can introduce each other to other folks at the event later; it’s like you’re old buddies by the time the full crowd gets there!
So what does all this have to do with your business card? One thought:
It’s a waste of time handing business cards out to everything with two legs. Concentrate on offering your business card just to those you’ve spend some quality time with. These people know a little more about you, are likely to remember you and follow-up with you.
Okay, some of you are saying “but if I don’t give out my business card to lots of people, I’m lowering my chances of getting contacted by them in the future.” No, you’re not. As I pointed out, most folks rarely follow up and/or contact you anyway. Hmmm…I’m seeing a survey happening in the future to substantiate my theory!
If you’ve had past experience where most people DO follow up with you, I’d love to hear about it. Let the debate begin.
Part One on this subject can be found by clicking here.