I’ve been at a number of IT events and conferences of late and I thought I’d share with you something I find utterly amazing.
A huge part of the value of any event is the hallway networking. Most people in the SMB space generate business by referrals rather than any direct marketing. The amazing thing I am finding more and more when I attend these events is the following excuse people tot out when it comes time to exchange business cards. I can’t tell you the number of times I hear “I don’t seem to have any on me” when it comes to being provided with a business card.
Say what? You’ve come to an event and you don’t have ANY business cards? In my own case I work diligently to ensure this never happens. In fact, I ensure that I walk into every event with a wad of business cards in my top pocket ready to hand out to anyone. When that runs out I have further stashes in my bag and wallet. In short, I have a system that ensures I always have a business card ready to hand out.
Any time that I spend more than a few moments speaking with someone I have not met before, I’ll hand over a business card. Why? Because, it makes it easy for them to make contact after the event. My business cards that has clear space on the back of the card that allows them to write a note on the back of the card to remember what we spoke about or how I can help them.
If I don’t receive a business card from you, you are telling me that I have to remember who you are. You are also telling me that you aren’t particularly organised or apparently really serious about business networking. In short, you significantly reduce your chances of doing business with me at all by not giving me a business card. if that applies to everyone you meet an event, wow, are you doing yourself out of loads of opportunities.
At the very last conference I attended that ran over 2 days I didn’t receive a SINGLE business card from new contacts I met, NOT ONE! I’m sorry, but there is simply no excuse when attending these events NOT to have your business cards ready to hand out to everyone you meet!
Like I said earlier, I have a system to ensure that I have plenty of business cards before I walk through the door of any event. I also have a system to ensure that I have cards ready in my top pocket before I walk into any event. And I have a system to ensure I hand cards out when I meet a new contact. The common secret? I have a system!
In an environment where I constantly hear of businesses looking to grow, find new clients and opportunities, I’m amazed at how fundamental mistakes like not having a business card ready are common. It is almost as though people are working to not get business!
Thus, a simple tip to stand out from the crowd and win more business is to ensure you have a wad of business cards ready before you walk into any event you attend. If you haven’t got a business card to give me when we speak, then I’m probably not going to be able to help you much until I get one. However, you may only get one chance to connect with someone. So why leave it to chance? Develop a system and you’ll attract far more business than those who don’t!