• Rob Robichaud.SHRM-CP,PHR

DO not order another set of business cards.

It’s 6 pm Tuesday evening at your favorite local brewery, and you are standing in for the marketing department who asked you to attend a networking event at the last minute. You usually do not attend these events because the previous times you did, nothing new resulted after handing out dozens of business cards.


History will repeat itself tonight if you do not try a new approach.

Here is how these events usually go; someone starts with an introduction and a quick “what do you do? ”, then there is a bit of a dance that occurs with wordplay and posturing. The result is exchanging business cards with some hope or expectation that one another will connect again about one another's product or service.


This is the norm and will not be memorable for you or your new contact.

Why?


If you want to stand out, show that you are more current and worldly, stop handing out business cards, and do not accept them any longer. There are so many great alternatives; "green" choices to connect with people other than the traditional custom. It is also not always the most hygienic activity since a handshake is often associated with the action.

I do understand and recognize that ego is attached to a person's title, which is validated for that person when they hand you their card. You can still help maintain the other person's ego by offering to connect with them another way and making the new interaction memorable for them.


How?

When meeting someone for the first time, it may sound like this; "Hi, I do not have any business cards with me, would you mind if I text/email you my contact info? Great, what is your number/email, ok, here you go, did you get it, thank you."

This way, you ensure that you have both made it into one another's "contacts" instead of the back of a desk drawer or bottom of a trash bin.

Now that you have their contact info - quickly capture a few notes in the "contact" about the person so you can recall that during your next conversation with them. i.e., vacation spots, kids, hobbies, etc...


Be better in 2020, be intentionally "green", and be different from the status quo.



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