Do You Have A Business Card Drawer? by Orly Amor

{4 minutes to read}  Do you have a business card drawer? How is that working for you?  

A lot of people go to networking events with hundreds of business cards. They hand them out like peanuts and collect other people’s cards like peanuts. And what happens at the end of the event? They wrap a rubber band around all the cards they collected and mark them according to the event they went to. Then they put them in a drawer, and rarely if ever, follow up.

First, what does your business card tell people about you?  Most have a laundry list of things that the cardholder does; titles, business name, contact information, etc. Is it useful information? Not if it is buried in a drawer.

You and the person you are speaking with can write notes on them; what event you attended, what you spoke about. etc so that you don’t forget the relationship. But again, if they end up in a drawer . . .

I understand the exchange of business cards. But in today’s world, what I do when I get a business card for a new relationship is go right away to their Facebook page and become a friend. Then I also become a friend on Linkedin and immediately put their information in my phone. I may put a reminder to myself on their business card — “stay in touch” — but I am already connected to them through my social media, so I can follow them and they can follow me. We have established a relationship and are already in each other’s lives.

I went to a very nice networking event of about 300+ people with a friend, Dennis. Dennis showed me a stack of his business cards that he brought to give away. He said, “Let’s see how many business cards I collect tonight. How many business cards do you have with you?” I said, “I have three, and I bet you I’m going to leave with the same three cards in my pocket. But I’m going to have other people’s business cards.” He asked, “Why?” And I replied, “Because I don’t give them out unless they ask for it.

After the event, we both took the elevator down. Dennis said, “So?” I said, “So, show me how may business cards you have.” He showed me a big stack of about 50 people. I said, “Wow, that’s great.” Then I asked him, “How many of your own business cards do you have left?” Dennis said, “I ran out of business cards a while ago. How many business cards did you collect?” I showed him my stack of about twenty cards and then he asked, “So, how many of your 3 cards are left?” I said, “Well, here are my three.” He asked, “How did that happen?” So I said, “Do you believe that none of these people asked me for my card?

Most people who go to networking events have the mindset of “what’s in it for me?”  And that’s a big no-no in networking. Networking is about building relationships and I say that constantly when speaking about networking.  “You only need to meet three people; you don’t need to meet everybody in the room, because you need time to build relationships and make a connection.”


Orly Amor

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