Here’s my card. Uhhh, no thanks!
Posted by Molly Wendell // in NetworkingPeople I Meet
I was in a taxi the other day and the driver was sharing some incredible insight that he read in a networking book. It said: Give your business card to every person you meet and tell them if there’s any way you can help them, have them give you a call.
I find so much wrong with this concept I almost don’t know where to begin!
First, if I just meet you and you hand me your card, I’ve got news for you pal. You haven’t earned the right to take up real estate in my purse. And as every woman knows, that’s some of the most valuable real estate around! Don’t ever hand me your card until you’ve earned the right (and by earning the right, I mean I specifically asked for your card).
Second, it’s not my job to figure out how you can help me. That’s your job. If you can’t figure out how to help me, then how much value are you to me? That’s like going to the doctor and saying “my back hurts” and the doctor giving you a card and telling you to call and schedule another appointment once you’ve figured out exactly how the doctor can make it stop hurting. Who would go back to that doctor?
And some of you may be saying “Why would I want to figure out how to help you?” Well, right back at you! Every person I meet, I’m trying to figure out how to help them (and in case you don’t know it yet, it’s that – and not the number of people you know – that’s makes you a great networker!!). Some I figure out a way, others not so much. But it’s okay, because my intent is that I can help virtually everyone I meet. If I only hit 50% of that goal…that’s not half bad (or is it half good?).
So quit thinking that the more cards you hand out, the better you are at networking. Better yet, forget about giving your card out at all and focus more on earning the right to take the relationship to another level by figuring out how to help someone, and then act on it. And if you have a great way to help someone, that’s perfect. The smart ones will most certainly ask for your card.