There is an etiquette to the way one gives and receives a business card. Not being aware of this, could have you offend the very person you wish to connect with.

 

Taking cards

The number one rule: Only take cards from people who you intend to connect with. Please do not take cards from everyone you come into contact with. There is no competition for the person who collects the most business cards! Taking someone’s card and not calling/contacting them does nothing to build your credibility.

Receive a card with 2 hands. It is a gift given to you. A person’s name is very important to them. They are giving you that AND their contact details. When receiving the gift, take a moment to look at the card, notice it before you put it away…and say “thank you”.

Make notes on the card to remind you of why you took the card (what do you need to action for this person?), or relevant information to help you remember your connection with them (eg details of the event and/or the person’s characteristics) Remember that some cultures frown upon writing on a business card, so be sure to ask permission or do it in private!

When you have a card- act on it. Make contact with the person and thank them for the connect or do what ever follow up you promised them. THEN, store the card safely for future reference…. you can use online APPs like CAMcard to save the information online.

 

Giving cards

The number one rule here is: NEVER handout cards willy nilly. This is like spamming people. It does nothing to strengthen a relationship. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that you should collect more cards than you give! Why would I say that?
When you take someone’s card, you show an interest in them (as opposed to thrusting your business at them).
When you have their details, you are in control of making contact with them (as opposed to waiting for them to make contact with you).

NetWORKing is about visibility and credibility… be visible, but build your credibility constantly. Taking cards and merely filing them in file 13, will make the netWORK event a waste of your time!

 

Denise Pitot
CEO, Mauritius Business Network