You walk into a meeting of five people, and the instinct is to immediately hand them your business card. Don’t do it! Why? Because they didn’t ask for it. Promotional Consultant Today shares these strategies for making people ask for your business card
Let me explain why that’s important. What happens when we give out our business card before someone asks? We announce: This is what I am doing. And maybe even: I want you to buy from me.
By giving out our business card when people don’t ask for it, we put ourselves and our businesses in the spotlight– this might be gratifying for our egos, but it’s not good for our positioning.
“Get in touch with me when you need me” is a weak attempt to get someone interested in our product or service. Although most people will politely accept the card, they will seldom, if ever, call.
But that doesn’t mean that you should leave everything to chance. Think in terms of earning the right to be in people’s contact lists. This way you will be asked for your business card, which is an entirely different situation. As a result of your extra efforts, people will also keep your card, and maybe even refer to it instead of trashing it with the others they receive unsolicited.
First of all, strive to become a person that attracts others. That’s very simple. It begins putting other people in the spotlight instead of ourselves.
Another necessary skill is active listening. Like it or not, people are much more interested in their own lives than in ours. And they love others who are genuinely interested in their plans, desires, headaches and values. If you encourage them to talk, you will be amazed at how quickly they will reciprocate and ask: “And what do you do?”
Isn’t this a nice prompt for handing them your business card?
My favorite is asking for their card first. You simply say “Gee, this really sounds very interesting– let’s make sure we stay in touch. May I have your business card?” Usually this prompts them to say “Sure, and may I have one of yours?” It is that simple. And what if they don’t ask? I do not offer mine.
Now, when I have their business cards, I also have permission to contact them. And that allows me to take the initiative, so most of the time I immediately follow up with a personal note and this time my card will be enclosed in the same envelope. Of course, that doesn’t mean that person is going to call me. It doesn’t mean that she will want to do business with me right away–quite the contrary. Most of the time it will take a lot more follow-up than that one note. But it is a pretty good way to begin a relationship, don’t you agree?
Source: Wanda Loskot is professional speaker and business coach for small business owners and self-employed professionals who love what they do, but hate selling. She offers free business strategies, marketing tips, teleclasses and other valuable resources.
Reprinted with permission from Promotional Consultant Today and PPAI.