Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Business Card Push

Yesterday, I was involved in a discussion about networking at events. The question that was posed was that if you ask someone for their business card, but they don't ask for yours in return, should you give it to them anyway?

Several said, "No."

A couple said, "Yes."

The yes people's argument was, that you go to networking events to meet people, so if they don't get your card, how are they going to remember you?

Here's my take on that.

If the only way you are going to be remembered is because you gave someone your card, you need to work on your people skills. Networking events can be frustrating because so many people are only out to help themselves. True networkers, don't worry about whether they get their card into a person's hands that they have just met. Instead, they focus on getting to know that person and figuring out how to help them, maybe with an introduction.

If you have the person's card, you can get back to him/her later. Believe me, I will remember you a hundred times over if you call me after an event and ask to meet because I made an impression on you. The little square of cardboard, that you might push my way, does not tell me who you are or why I should connect with you. It does nothing but lay there on my desk.

In fact, because it was pushed my way, might make me run away from you.

How do you weigh in on this topic?


Sandy of Sandy's Stuff for Women said...

I so agree with you! But I never realized that until I went through the CN program. If someone does not ask you for your card - they don't want it. They won't use it. They don't want to do business with you.

Of course, if they start asking you lots of questions about where your business is located, or your phone number, etc. - stuff that's on your business card - you'd give them one without their necessarily asking for it.

Think about it - if someone truly wants to know you better or do business with you right away, they will ask for information.

But let me ask you this - if they ask you for your card but you have no interest at all in their business, do you ask them for theirs?

Anonymous said...

Good questions -- from both Deb and Sandy.

I actually had this situation happen to me recently -- with a "reformed alpha male." I had asked for his card. He did not ask for mine. I did not give it to him.

And, later, after we talked throughout the day (at a networking event and later in the car), I realized that we would probably not be a good fit so I had no worries about him not asking for my card.

With respect to Sandy's question, I would say that you should ask for the person's card (who asked for yours first) and write down on the back your first impression of that person. Then look at the card again in 30 days. If the relationship has not developed any further, ask yourself "Why?" Your first impression may be on target and you can throw the card away...Or your needs may change in a month, and you may decide to get to know this person better.