I went to a Networking dinner the other night and was totally amazed that around 80% of the people that I met did not have a business card with them!
I mean, this was a Networking event, not a visit to the neighbour’s house for an informal braai – although quite frankly you should have a business card to two with you when you go there too.
Going to a Networking event without a business card is just plain stupid! Even if your business cards are still at the printer, or you forget to pick them up – make sure that you have something with your Business name and contact details. This was a huge event (with over 1000 people present) and I had the opportunity to actively network with a minimum of 30 people. I walked away with 27 business cards, of which 23 have the names and contact details of the various individuals written on the back of my ‘old’ business cards.
Not having business cards at a networking event actually tells its own story – it tells me that you are not serious about doing business with anyone. Well that or you have no idea about what networking is about!
Going to a networking event is an opportunity to give your cards out freely and always ask for one in return. Contact the people whose cards you have taken and follow up. Phone them, book an appointment to see them and exchange referrals.
Always, always, always have a sufficient supply of cards with you!