The Right Way to Market with Your Business Card

Article by Donna FeldmanAt a recent networking event, we noticed someone working the room by passing out business cards faster than a poker dealer in Vegas. Later, someone told us, “I don’t know who that person was but they gave me their card and I’m going to throw it away.” A perfectly good networking opportunity wasted.

If you’ve ever attended a networking event and arrived home with a
stack of unwanted cards from people you can’t even remember, you
know what we’re talking about. It’s fine to pass out your card, but if people don’t remember you, they probably won’t be calling you to follow up, request your services, or make a referral.

Your business card can be a great marketing tool when used properly. When it’s used incorrectly, it’s more likely to be tossed out. The secret to using your card to market your business is to build a relationship first and hand out your card last.

Don’t just walk up to people and hand out cards! Take time to make conversation. If you don’t, and the person doesn’t have a real interest in you or your service, your card is wasted.

Ask for the other person’s card. Instead of focusing on giving out your card, focus on getting to know people. When you’re genuinely interested in following up, ask for their card.

Give a card when it is asked for. When you take the time to make conversation, create a connection, and ask for a card, chances are good that the other person will not only ask for your card but also keep it, refer to it, and follow up with you.

Successful networking is not measured by the number of business cards you give out or take home. True success is measured by the quality of the connections you create, not the card collection you will never use. You probably won’t remember anything about the people in that pile of cards, and they won’t remember you.

This article was co-authored by Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold. Donna and Cindy are The Networking Gurus.

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