Although it is very tempting to give everyone your business card when you are networking, if they don’t show interest or they didn’t ask for one, don’t.
Unsolicited cards tell others that you are passing them out in hopes that people will call you later and hire your services or buy from you. It shows others that the focus is on you rather than on them and how they can benefit from your services. “Hoping” they will call sometime down the road usually doesn’t work. Think about how many cards you have received and how many you have called later for goods or services. Very many? Probably not! Even if they politely accept your card, they will seldom call.
Be engaged in the conversation and offer helpful tips or referrals if you can. In other words, earn the right to be in their contact database so they will “want” to ask for your card. Once they believe you care about them, they are more likely to begin a business relationship with you. This makes it much more likely they will keep your card for future reference instead of tossing it when they leave. Why? Because you made a memorable impression on them as someone who genuinely cared about their business.
But first, ask them what they do and if you may have their card. Read it and either comment or ask a question related to their position. When they reciprocate by asking you about your business, you can then reinforce what you do by handing them your business card. When you show sincere interest in them and ask for their card first, you’re saying, “I want to get to know you better, look out for your interests, and stay in touch.”
If they don’t ask for your card, do not give them one but ask permission to contact them. Take the initiative to follow up with a personal note and include your card. Even if they don’t call you, continue to share information that may be of value to them to keep the lines of communication open. Watch them start referring you to others!
TIPS: *It helps to have a professional picture on your card so when others see your face, they will remember your conversation. *Your card should face the recipient so they can immediately read it. *If you have some input about the design of your card, have a few associates look at it before printing to see if it really tells the reader what you can do for them…and that you are the skilled professional!
For more information on a seminars or personal coaching, contact Rita Rocker, National Speaker, Communications, Image and Presentations Coach, Transformation Academy, 402-968-3250 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.transformationacademy. Follow Rita on FaceBook: Rita Rocker; Twitter: @Rita_Rocker LinkedIn: http://budurl.com/ayjl; YouTube: RitaRockerSpeaks, http://womenforhire.com/career_experts/rita_rocker, http://www.presentationgym.net/training/coach_bio/21