A frequent question asked by our visitors concerns what they should bring with them to a networking meeting. The standard answer is that all you need is the cost of your breakfast / lunch and a good supply of business cards.
Sometimes we are met with the statement that the visitor doesn’t have any cards either because this is something they haven’t organised yet or perhaps they didn’t think was necessary. If you’re going to be a committed networker, the business card is going to be one of your most important tools. After all, how else can you reasonably expect others to remember and keep at hand all your details? You may be memorable to look at or have a fantastic personality or both but they still need something as an aide memoire. Most networkers of several years standing have a massive collection of business cards and you’ll want yours to be added to that.
So it follows that the business card is the thing which creates the first impression of you and your business the people you meet will form. You need to have them to hand in plentiful supply and make sure everyone present gets one. Likewise you must also ensure that you collect a card from everyone you meet.
Some people take the view that any type of card will do, even the cheap and frankly often nasty looking versions that you can order online, having designed them yourself. These tend to look and feel of poor quality and almost certainly do not reflect how you feel about your business. It’s worth taking a little time to think about the image you want to portray and spending a little money to create it. A logo designed by someone with some graphic design capability is a vast improvement over a library standard type or no logo at all. An eye catching design will make others remember it and you but if that is not your way of doing things, then at least make sure the card has all your details clearly displayed in an easy to read layout and that it is of a good weight so that it feels good in the hand, rather than gets screwed up immediately.
You can then be proud to hand it out and you ‘ll find it really does work for you. Many networkers have a folder in which they carry around cards from their colleagues and may even have a supply of your cards to hand out to potential contacts for you. Don’t cut corners on business cards – it’s just not worth it!