Never give your business card to anyone!

My recent ‘Communicate Confidently!’ eLetter article on ‘Business Card Finesse’ generated some reader reaction. Here’s a summary of several responses, based on a lot of on-going research and sharing of Best Practices with other networking pros. Contrary to what most people do, I encourage networkers NOT to give their cards to anyone!

  1. Wait for someone to ask for your card, as in permission marketing. Otherwise, it’s like SPAM or junk mail.
  2. Asking other people first usually prompts them to ask for your card. If they don’t reciprocate, ask if you can give them your card.
  3. Frankly, when I encounter people at networking events who shove their cards in my face, I sometimes allow my Sicilian temper to rear its ugly head and say ‘no thanks’ or ‘why are you giving me your card?’ Call that rude if you like. I prefer assertive. And it does feel good for the moment before the guilt sets in – like eating a chocolate donut.
  4. Did you ever notice the trash can near the food table? How many of your unrequested cards do you see in there?

So, keep your cards in your pocket and out of the trash can … and never give them to anyone!