You’ve successfully exchanged business cards at your networking event – what’s next?
Business Card Tips and Etiquette
1. Look at the card before you put it away.
When someone passes you their business card, thank them and acknowledge that you’ve been handed a gift of sorts. You may feel nervous and want to slip the card into your pocket right away so that you can rush right into the conversation. However, the person with whom you’re about to speak will be much more impressed if you take a moment to observe and comment on their business card.
Looking at their card is a kind of acknowledgement of them and your new connection. This will also give you a chance to remember their name during your conversation. Sometimes people get nervous when they’re at a networking event so they tend to rush through things. Take a breath and take your time. Go with the flow of the conversation and interaction. You’ll do much better and make a better impression. By the way – just as I suggest you visualize how you want to behave to prep for an upcoming interview – you can do the same with a netowrking event. Picture how you want to act, how you want to feel, what you want to say and the ideal outcome. It’ll be more likely to happen that way if you do!
2. Tell them you’ll be in touch.
Sometimes there can be a little confusion over who will be doing the contacting. Did Joe say he’d call you… or were you going to email him instead? To avoid this problem, always take the initiative. Once you’re handed the business card, tell them, “I’ll give you a call before the week is over.” Or, if you have no real reason to speak to the person immediately, say that you’ll be following up with an email at some point and then do that.
Always make sure you do what you say you will, enough said. If you want this connection to be a positive and beneficial one, you need to demonstrate that you’re a reliable person. I also like to initiate the follow-up because it shows initiative; that you’re a pro-active person who’s willing to get out there and do what you need to do to land your next position.
Knock their socks off at your next networking event! Hallie college grad career coaching