The reason that I attend many events these days is simply because of the networking opportunity. People buy from people, not from websites, not from brochures, etc. They buy from people they know. This means it is critical to actually go out, show your face and connect with people one on one. Nothing drives opportunity faster than meeting with people in my experience.
So why, if meeting people is so beneficial do so many overlook the most basic thing you can do when you meet people at networking events?
It never ceases to amaze me how many people you meet who have some excuse for not having a business card they can give you. For me, part of the discipline of getting ready for a networking event is to ensure I have a wad of business cards in my top pocket every time. Typically, as soon as I meet someone at an event, they get a business card from my top pocket, automatically.
Your business cards do you no good sitting in a holder on your desk or locked away somewhere! The challenge you should set yourself at any networking event is to aim to give away ALL your business cards. That is the only acceptable excuse for not having cards in my books. Then bring more next time and give those all away.
If I don’t get a business card from a new contact, especially if they say they don’t have any on them, the chances of my doing business with them drops dramatically. Firstly, how do I contact or even remember them? Secondly, it tells me that aren’t organised, not really serious about making contact and you know what? Don’t really care about making it easy for me to work with them.
So, whatever system you need to develop, make sure that before you enter ANY networking event you have a wad of business cards you can give to everyone you meet. Doing so will increase your business I guarantee! Success is a system not a random sequence of events.