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Business Card Etiquette

By: Christine Robinett | Jul 15, 2019

I was recently at an event and this person was passing out business cards like it was an Hors d'oeuvre.

Here is the thing; you should know that if that person didn’t request your card, they are throwing it away.  Just like junk email, deleted. Don’t fool yourself into thinking, you passed out 10 cards and you are going to get 10 calls with a lead.

Consider this thought: You’re in the middle of making a connection with a new contact and someone walks up and puts a card in your hand.  Not only did they just interrupt your opportunity to connect, it was rude to think that they were more important.

It’s important to note that when you are meeting a new person, this is NOT your opportunity to sell to them (no one likes to be sold to).  Also, don’t do your presentation at a networking event.  It’s not the place and there is no time for this.  This is your opportunity listen to them and to share your elevator pitch (30 seconds).  If there is interest in talking further, follow up with an appointment. 

My tip: Find a way to help them on their journey.  Example: I met a new member and I said, let’s talk about what your ROI looks like next week and I’ll try to help you.  Imagine if everyone tried to help each person they met, what a wonderful world this would be.  Be selfless!

I recommend that you give your business card to them when you have been asked or if it appears to be an opportunity to follow up.  I would then ask if it would be okay to follow up with them and then ask for their card.

Most importantly, follow up with them via email or LinkedIn and do it within 48 hours.  Keep in touch and only give them current relevant information.

Oh, by the way, make sure the card is clean and not all folded or dirty.  Your name’s on it!



Christine Robinett


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