Friday, October 06, 2006

Business Card Bingo

Reading my friend David McQueen's excellent Blog, I came across this interesting 'rant' about the way people use business cards.

David is obviously frustrated at the way people hand out business cards like confetti at networking events and other business meetings and then do not follow up their apparent interest. I particularly like the way that David has titled this entry 'Empty Promises' as he has really struck a chord with me. The exchange of business cards is perhaps one of the most misused business networking techniques.

For me the exchange of a business card is a means of either sealing a positive interaction or a tool to remind me to follow up on my promises. I do not order business cards simply to keep my printer in business. I don't understand the approach where people offer you their card the second they meet you. At that stage, you don't know if you want the other person to be able to contact you again!

When I ask for your business card, I am making a commitment. That may be to a specific action or simply an indication that I intend to pursue a relationship; either way I am committing to connect with you.

When I leave an event and look back on the cards I have collected I want to be able to remember whose cards I have (only possible if you have made an impression on me); what I have promised you and not have too many cards that I can't cope with the follow up.

Networking is about connecting with people and pursuing long-term relationships. It is not a game where the winner is the person who collects the most cards.

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