Why Are We Exchanging Business Cards?

March 9, 2012 — Leave a comment

More Sales Wisdom

Why are sales people constantly exchanging business cards?  We do this even if we already have the other person’s card, and often when we already have them in our database. Here is something you can do to make this simple act take on new meaning…

Every business card handed to me represents someone who can help build my business, but my first thought must be, “How can I help this person?”  If I can provide something to them of value, a relationship begins.  At first it is not always obvious what that “helpful” thing will be, but it is up to me to find it.  It is also not yet clear as to whether this person is a prospect or just knows one; both are beneficial and one of the two is almost always true.  In all cases, my goal is to position myself as someone with a desire and willingness to help.  In the best possible scenario, it becomes clear in that first interaction that there is something I can provide.  Perhaps it is information, such as the title of a book or an article I will pass on through email.  If it is something I can send them, this creates and “action item” which gives me permission to reconnect on a future date.   If I give them something right there on the spot, such as a book title, I now have permission to follow up with them to see how the book might have helped.  In both cases I have earned the right to continue the relationship.  Once I know what they need, I write this on the back of the card as a reminder to follow up.  I find this is far more helpful than simply exchanging cards as a courtesy, and it helps make the connection when that person sees me make the note.

© David Stelzl

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