Networking is your opportunity to meet new people, make connections and build relationships. Be sure to have lots of business cards with you.
Make sure that your name, email address and phone numbers are easy to read. No fancy tiny or light colored fonts, they are hard to read.
When attending a networking event, be prepared. You may encounter the “Business Card Shover.” “Here is my business card” as they hand you their card and move on to their next victim and they have not even said hello or asked your name!
Are you going to keep that card? Or are you going to throw it away as soon as you find a garbage can?
As you make the rounds in the event you will be able to start making new connections. Start a conversation, introduce yourself and listen for and repeat the person’s name. People like to hear their name.
Ask them what they do, and give them a chance to tell you and be sure to listen to their answer. This is the time to exchange business cards. Ask for their card and ask if they would like yours. Remember when you receive a card, to take a moment to show interest and look at it.
If it is going to be an event with a diverse group of attendees, be sure to take time before and learn about the customs of other countries. You’ll be surprised on the differences that there might be, i.e., shaking hands, receiving a business card, etc. You definitely don’t want to be disrespectful with a new acquaintance.
As soon as you have a moment, turn the card over and write something to remind you about the person you just met, the location, and the date. This will make a big difference when it comes to following up and also with cleaning out your files.
Separate the received cards from your own cards. There’s nothing more embarrassing than handing out someone else’s card and having to take it back. One easy way is when you have a left and a right pocket, left for received and right for giving.
Be sure to follow up with a note, email, or phone call. Don’t take longer than a couple of weeks. Stay fresh in their minds.
And don’t forget to have your business cards with you at all times. That includes when you go to the grocery store or the doctor. You don’t know when you will meet someone that could become a great connection. And if they don’t have a business card you can always write their information on the back of one of yours!
Your Abundant Talent Connector