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Just giving out cards does not work

I have just been reading part of the Small Business Diva blog where she wrote about networking, and her 6th point reminded me of a networking breakfast I attended a month or so ago.

Donna-Marie wrote ” When at networking events, don’t try to talk to everyone there and shove as many business cards as possible into everyone’s hands nor push your products/services on people. ” And I couldn’t agree more. Networking is about building relationships, not getting your name in front of the maximum number of people.

At the breakfast I attended, I happened to sit next to a man who didn’t tell me his name or show much interest in talking to me (his choice, and it doesn’t bother me!) However, as he stood up to leave he handed a business card to everyone within reach, said good-bye and left. He still didn’t say his name or use mine (I had introduced myself).

The end result? I left his card on the table and he gained nothing from handing it to me.

Compare that to others I have met at networking events where we have swapped cards and later exchanged emails and possibly helped each other in some way, even if we never used each others’ services.

So don’t go to networking events with the aim to hand out heaps of cards; reserve your cards for the people you click with or who specifically ask for a card or information about your services.

Walking out of a networking event with two or three, or even one, good contact is a great feeling – and a successful event.

10 Responses to Just giving out cards does not work

  • Great comments Tash. What a rude gentleman! (Can I call him a gentleman?)

    It’s surprising how many people do like to hand out their card without even having a conversation with you.

  • Melissa says:

    I completely agree. I shouldn’t be, but I am still amazed at the number of people who have little clue about how to network effectively.

  • tashword says:

    I agree – it is a pity more people don’t realise networking is about relationships, and it isn’t that hard!

    Donna-Marie you can call him whatever you like, lol, but in my books a gentleman would have at least introduced himself before eating breakfast next to me!

  • Kiera Pedley says:

    Networking is about relationship building. I agree that the “shotgun” approach is ineffective.

    However, the generalisation that giving out cards doesn’t work, is inaccurate. ONLY giving out cards, and not taking the time to relationship build is ineffective.

    What a terribly rude MAN you met. And I agree here with Donna Marie, gentleman is far from apt.

    Networking ettiquette is an essential business strategy.

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  • tashword says:

    Thanks for the comemnts Kiera.

    I agree that handing out cards in appropriate ways is very effective, but handing them out at random and to people who aren’t interested doesn’t help you get business or credibility as a busienss person. Personally, I don’t even give them out to most of the people I network with unless I know a relationship has started or they ask for a card.

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  • Max Wood says:

    sales management can be tricky at times and you need to practice it often;.`

    • tashword says:

      That’s true, Max , practise does help but I think being genuine when you meet people (and give them business cards) is also important – if it sounds rehearsed and fake it won’t help a valuable relationship form.

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