Son #2 asked me the other day about networking. He is interested in business and it seems he has been told that networking involves spraying the room with your business card (I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea!). I’m glad to say he is not only uncomfortable with this suggestion but knows instinctively that it won’t work. I shared with him how it really works, in that I was at an event, introduced myself to the woman beside me and we chatted a bit about her company and what she does. She asked me where I worked and I told her about my company and what I do. She was very interested to find out that I work in employee communications and – BING! – that was the point where we exchanged business cards.
There’s no point in forcing your card on someone who will only pocket it now to throw it out later. Better to make a connection first, so there’s a reason you may want to keep the card. As I told my son, networking is all about establishing relationships, not striking immediate deals.
Now excuse me but the sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day in southern Ontario, and I’m going outside to take advantage of it!