The other day I attended a networking event, Coffee, Tea & Contacts. Before the structured networking portion the hosts asked for input from attendees on networking dos and don’ts. One of the attendees, Amy Davis-Vandereyk of RevLocal talked about how some people walk around and hand out their business cards to everyone. They don’t engage, or even stop to have a conversation. Their goal is to get their card into everyone’s hands. She calls it Drive By Business Carding.
That’s such a great description! We know drive bys are bad. It’s equally true when networking. Your goal should never be to give your card to everyone. Rather, your goal should be to engage in a meaningful conversation with one or two people. Networking is about relationship building.
When someone walks around and hands their business card to everyone they are telegraphing that they are totally self-focused. What people learn about them is they aren’t interested in getting to know anyone. They just want to sell. Well, no one likes a salesperson.
They end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they want. Remember, no one likes being the victim of a drive by. If you want to be successful at networking, don’t be the perpetrator.
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