If you've been networking a lot, you probably understand the importance of business cards and distributing them out. But giving out business cards isn't as simple as just approaching a person, saying hello, and giving them a card. Effective card distribution requires a set of understandings between you and the other person. This article will discuss two of those understandings.
# 1: You Must Learn About The Other Person's Business And Purpose
When approaching someone, you must do more than simply greet the person. You must take some time to engage them in a meaningful conversation about their business. This conversation usually takes longer than a few seconds and is intended to establish an ongoing relationship between you and the other person. Some things you two can talk about are 1) the purpose of your respective businesses, 2) the history, 3) and what you hope to get out of the relationship.
Understand that passing on a business card is more than just a way of promoting your business. It is also a way of establishing a long-term relationship with the people who you pass it on to. And like any long-term relationship, you must take time to sit down and get to know the other person if you are to have success.
# 2: You Must Also Establish A Solid Rapport With The Other Person
There's nothing more important in your networking efforts than establishing a solid relationship with the other person. This is true even when distributing out business cards. Discussion is always key, but even more important is a good rapport between you two. This requires 1) good eye contact, 2) good listening skills, and 3) a strong indication that you show genuine interest in the other person. This is not something that can be accomplished in less than a minute.
Spend some time getting to other person on both a professional and personal level. When you do this, your business card will have more impact because the other person is more likely to hold on to it and maybe spread the word about your business. But your business card distribution efforts will be less effective if you are not establishing a solid rapport because others will be less inclined to keep your card. If they are not keeping your card, your card distributing efforts are useless.