Face the World Boldly
by: Guest Blogger, Jennifer Kumar
In that first meeting, we want to be remembered as well as memorable. In addition to just being ourselves and striking up natural and interesting conversation when we meet new people, we want to assure that we can contact each other after that initial meeting. To that end, an exchange of business cards is crucial. Here are a few tips to make that business card exchange a moment that will bear fruit of an ongoing mutual friendship:
Make sure your card is up to date
When preparing to meet someone new assure the cards in your possession have all your correct contact information. If it is not possible to get new cards made before the meeting, personalize the card before or during the initial meeting. (Often placing our handwriting on a card can make it feel more personal to the receiver.)
Add a Photo to the Business Card
There is debate as to whether this is a good idea or not. I have had a photo on my card for the past year. Each time I have given the card out, I have received a comment about that. People took notice as seeing a photo on a business card is rare. It is also easier for people to associate your face to your name among all the business cards and new people they meet when a picture is included. Assure the photo chosen looks like you on most average days, as this increases the ability to attach the name to your face on the card and in person.
Exchange Cards at the Same Time
I have noticed that when both people exchange cards at the same time, both pay more attention to each other’s cards, looking at it and clarifying any doubts that may arise while looking at it the first time. If your card hasn’t been personalized, this is the time to do it.
Give Two Cards, Not One
I learned this tip at a networking event, and it makes a lot of sense. When we meet someone really interesting, they may mention knowing someone they’d like us to meet or we just instinctually feel that the people this person comes into contact on a daily basis may be someone we’d like to know. In that case, I like to give two cards. At the time of exchanging, I like to say, “I’m handing you two cards not one. You have really inspired me and in case you come across anyone else who may like to meet me, please take the extra card and pass it on to them.” I think this trick has helped me get a few contacts that I otherwise would have missed.
Take Notes on The Card You Received
While meeting someone for the first time, we learn interesting things about them. Rather than try to remember it in our head or write it in a place we will forget about, if possible, write a small note on the card itself. Like having a photo, it will increase the chances of remembering something interesting about someone else.
If these tips do not come naturally, call up some friends and do a role play with them. Practice your approach. As Yolanda mentions in her book, we all need a pick up line; and the use and exchange of cards is another skill to add to your ‘pick up line’ approach.
Good luck meeting, greeting and helping others build their ‘network’.