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Networking 101 – The Importance of Business Cards

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Many people take a lot of trouble with their business cards. The colours have to be just so, they have to be on special paper and when they come back from the printers they are scrutinized with a magnifying glass! Cool – if you have the time or the inclination, I say go for it. I am told my business card needs to be tidied up and “there’s a lot more than you can do with it” and this is usually by someone who is itching to redesign my logo (thereby changing my branding). My standard reply to this kind of situation is, my card has all the information that anyone needs on it. It tells them who I am, what I do, how to contact me – all the important information that I want to give someone. So, in my opinion, that’s all I need.

I have business cards with me where ever I go, whether it is on holiday to an exclusive safari lodge, or down the road to the pub. Always take your business cards with you, you never know when an opportunity is going to present itself and you want to be ready when it does. There’s nothing worse than scrabbling around trying to find a piece of paper and a pen to take someone’s details down – it’s unprofessional and disorganized. As a last resort (never scrabble around looking for a piece of paper and a pen) to take someone’s details down, use your cell phone (you’re much less likely to lose that).

If you have trouble remembering who people are, especially if you have been to a networking event and have come home with a fist full of business cards, make a point of writing something down on the back of the card to remember the person or what it is that they do.

I always put down where I met them as well, this jogs my memory and gives me a visual memory of the person. When I get home and put all of their information on a computer, in the contacts section, I use the spare bit of space under the “IM Address” to jot down things about the person and what it is that they do so that when I am going through my database and I can’t remember who someone is, I have something to jog my memory!