Because Jason’s article last week was about business cards, I thought I would also write about the topic from a slightly different angle.  I want to share how a business card can be a logistical tool for you.

You’re at a networking event, perhaps a chamber lunch and you have met someone new. This person is not an accomplished networker because she is going on and on and on about her favorite topic: what she sells! And it is nothing that you would ever think of purchasing. Additionally, you don’t think you can help this person with a connection. How in the world can you get away from this classic, obnoxious networker?

Well, here is what I have found that works. I ask for the person’s business card. Doing so signals the end of the conversation (or monologue). It indicates that I need to move on. In some instances it means that I would like to get back to this person in the future or at least keep their contact info. In this instance, it just means that I want to move on!

Now Jason already suggested that we make notes on the cards we receive. Or snap a picture with our smart phone to enter the info into our CRM system. So that you don’t connect with this person by mistake in the future, be sure to have a symbol that you use when making the note to indicate “no contact.” Now, you could write “Loser” on the card, but that is a little harsh especially if this person sees this note. You could also toss the card in the trash, but again, she might see this happen. Or you could suggest that you have asked for her card so that you can invite her to the next CN Mini to help her perfect her networking skills!

Business cards are strategic networking tools for so many reasons. Now you can add this to your strategic line-up.

Original Photo by George Hodan