Do you have a drawerful of business cards lurking somewhere in your office? Cards you have collected from networking events? Now be honest – how many of them have you ever looked at again?
There are people who attend business events to throw their business cards around like confetti at a wedding. They sow their cards and hope to magically harvest business as a result. As if!
Signs You’re in Las Vegas, Baby
- You order another 500 business cards every few months
- You actively invite everyone you meet to connect with you via social media and consider that a measure of the strength of your network
- You have a written goal to “Give out 50+ business cards every week”
- You spend more time networking each month than following up leads or prospective clients
- You give out your cards in every situation, including on the train or in the showers at the gym
Networking is about creating a tribe (or network) of people who know each other’s businesses.
It’s about creating relationships, not dishing out cards like invites to the opening of a new club in town.
How to Stack the Cards in Your Favour
- First of all give yourself a new rule: never give your card until someone asks for it
- Second, set your goals in terms of getting to know, like and trust a few select people who become part of your close network
- At each event, aim to find at least one person who you would like to get to know better – either because they are a potential client, or because they serve a similar client base to you
- Then meet and see how you can work together, refer business to each other, market your services in packages and so forth
Make sure that YOUR card is only given to those people who really want it and ONLY take them from people you want to get to know, like and trust.