If I see that “Make sure to bring lots of business cards” written on an event invitation, I tend to RSVP cautiously for a couple of reasons. First, the fact that it is an event that attracts people who have “lots of business cards” to give out is concerning and second, there aren’t many future clients that attend events at which suited vultures circle the lone prospect in the room, ruining what would otherwise be a perfectly enjoyable cocktail hour.
While most people would tell you that they believe business cards in their current physical form are on their way out, no one has really cracked the code on what will replace them. There have been attempts at virtual business cards and smartphone-tapping shenanigans, but they haven’t really ever taken off. So, while we wait for the day when we can shake hands with someone and immediately be connected on LinkedIn, I’ll share my own business card innovation.
I only carry one business card at a time.
Now, for someone who works pretty hard to be in the right place at the right time, you might be curious as to why I would leave myself vulnerable for that moment when I bump into a potentially huge future client without a trusty business card in my suit pocket. The answer is this: it doesn’t matter if they have my contact information, I need theirs. The moment I give them my business card is the moment they feel like they’ve done the polite thing in accepting my advance, but now, they don’t have to respond in kind and we all know for a fact that they’re not going to call me the next day to say, “Great to meet you, I’d like you to come sell me something this afternoon.”
Here is how I approach the situation a little bit differently.
When I walk into an event, I give my lone business card to the first person I meet. I’ve given it to valets, coat checkers, receptionists, and bartenders before. Then, when I come across someone who I actually would like to see again, I say, “You know what, I just gave out my last card.” I then pull out my phone and without looking up say, “What’s your cell, I’ll give you a shout tomorrow.” I then wait for them to give me their contact information, which 9 times out of 10 they do. I then tell them that I will reach out at a specific time in the next couple days and, when walking away, make a note on my calendar to do so.
Whenever you meet someone that you would like to build a relationship with, you always want to make sure that you keep the ball in your court and be the one moving that conversation along. There is nothing worse than hearing someone say, “I gave them my business card but they never called. Oh well.”
For more tips on the art and science of hustle, please join me next Thursday (8/23) at 12pm EST for “Cold Calls to Cocktails” a live podcast where I’ll be sharing more strategies and insights from the trenches of sales and business development. Additionally, follow me on Twitter and let me know if this one business card strategy works for you: @andyellwood
Article source : Business Original Page