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Why I don’t have a business card
As a professional business networker I tend to get some pretty shocked responses when I say “I don’t have a business card”. So let me share with you why…
By Brenda Thomson
As a professional business networking trainer and speaker I tend to get some pretty shocked responses when I say “I don’t have a business card”.
So let me share with you why I made the decision to stop handing out business cards and how it has dramatically IMPROVED the results of my networking.
We all know that in business it is important to stand out from the crowd. One way to make your business card stand out from the crowd is to have a creative, unique and interesting design. If you are a business card designer then that would definitely be VERY important. But I am not in the business of business card design. I am in the business of making a difference through connecting people and I want to stand out for doing that. So every time someone asks me for my business card or the time is right for an exchange of cards I say..
“Is it OK if I send you my contact details by email? You see every time I DON”T give someone my business card I use the cost of that card to provide a nourishing meal to someone in need. Would you be OK with that? ”
Of course they always say yes so now I have their business card but they don’t have mine.
Here are TWO FANTASTIC BENEFITS to this strategy.
1. We really do make a difference.
Since we started this strategy we have provided thousands of children in need with a nourishing meal. You can find out how we have done that here..
2. It helps me make better quality connections.
If you have done even a little bit of networking you will know how many people never follow up. Try keeping a tally of the number of business cards you hand out at networking events where the person you gave the card to never got back to you. How many times have you left a networking event with a pocket full of business cards and not got around to following up? You get busy and put the cards to one side for a quiet moment and suddenly its been weeks since the networking event and you no longer even remember who they were or which event you met them at.
So you don’t follow up and 9 times out of 10 you won’t hear from them either – how effective was that exchange of business cards?
Now it’s different – I have their card but they don’t have mine and I promised to send them my details. It keeps me accountable to keep my promise and follow up quickly.
So now I send them an email as promised, typically they reply and I have opened up a meaningful two way conversation. And after all networking is about building meaningful relationships NOT exchanging advertising material.
Of course there are always those situations when the other person doesn’t have a business card either..but then one can always resort to a scribbled name and email address on a notepad, the back of a serviette or even on your hand. So NEVER go anywhere without a pen that will write on ANYTHING!
Remember Network SMARTer Not Harder and I look forward to networking with you soon.
Articles in the Synergy48 Group Networking Resource Pack
How to create a networking plan
Where should I network?
Who do you want to meet at a networking event?
What are strategic partnerships and why should I care?
Seven steps to effective networking follow up
How to evaluate the effectiveness of your networking efforts
CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group
Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business.
Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.
Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference. She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.