Imagine you’re at a networking event. You are mixing and mingling and start passing out your business cards like candy. Suddenly, someone hands it back you and says, “No thank you, I do not need your business card.” This actually happened to a BNI Member. He wrote to me, astonished, and asked what I would do in his situation. Well, here’s my answer.
- A business card is a tacit invitation to make a future connection. How you handle that connection afterward will determine how responsive your new contact will be. So be respectful of what you do after someone gives you their card.
- You should always have plenty of business cards with you. It still amazes me that people go to networking events and knowingly don’t bring cards with them. I recently read a blog where many people said they didn’t bring cards so that they wouldn’t get spammed by people they meet. Really? Have they never heard of a spam filter? I use it regularly with unwanted spam. Besides, that argument is like saying I don’t want to advertise because someone might read the ad and cold call me? What kind of logic is that? Buck-up, dandelion, bring cards. It is a “networking” event!
- The ideal scenario is to have a meaningful (even if brief) conversation with someone where they ask for your business card (how to do that is an entirely different blog). However, that doesn’t always happen. When it doesn’t, it is still ok to offer your business card to someone. There is nothing wrong with that.
Refusing to take someone’s offered card is just plain bad manners. What do you do if this happens to you? Realize that some people just have little or no people skills and move on to someone who does.