Don’t hand me your business card first!

At a recent networking meeting, a gentleman walked up to me and introduced himself.  Initially, I really appreciated the fact that someone was showing interest in me and it was impressive.

After introducing himself to me, he then proceeded to tell me what he did and gave me the name of the company he represented.  Then he kindly handed me his business card, turned around and began the same process with his next victim.

I am a great believer that what others think of us is far more relevant to our success than what we think of ourselves!   This doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s hugely important we think well of ourselves.

The point I am making here is that whatever we do (and I do mean… whatever), how it has been perceived will have a far bigger effect than how you think you did.  Think about the times, when you read an email completely differently to how the sender intended you too, or when somebody heard you say something differently to what you thought you had said!

So let’s just focus on that business card of yours, shall we?

The scenario above shows that despite first impressions, the gentleman concerned was only interested in himself and showed no interest in me at all.  Ultimately, if you would like people to have your business cards, then ask for theirs first.  If they are polite, they will ask for your card in return and your goal will have been achieved.  If they don’t ask you for yours at the end of your initial conversation, you could try saying: ”Would a business card of mine be of interest to you?”

It is very unlikely that they would say no and whether they keep it or not, the way you asked will not only keep you in their mind, but will stand you out from the crowd, (positively, I might add).

To end, why not try this when you receive a business card in the manner of the gentleman I met recently: simply say… ”thank you so much… what would you like me to do with this now?”  Watch their face and enjoy!

What do you say when you receive a business card?

By: Phil Berg




  1. ashish bathija says:

    i completely agree with the above article and this is what i observed at the meet which i attended in mumbai alpha chapter. people present there were so animated and they imitated “Goooood morrrrning” – they appeared like robots and the atmosphere resembeled a robot factory. business definitely works and grows on referals, but the way you approach is all that matters.

  2. DEEPAK PATIL says:

    Even though all of us know that what others think of us is far more relevant to our success than what we think of ourselves how many of us make serious efforts to creating that lasting impression of ourselves in real life .
    After hearing Phil Berg on last Saturday 16th June 12 , thanks to BNI India , I have started practicing this new habit . BNI Givers Gain principle is helping me a lot in this paradigm shift

  3. Prabal Arora says:

    I believe everyone who is into networking, must read the above article. People keep handing over their business cards thinking that it would fetch them some business. Alas ! it doesn’t work that way.

    I attended one BNI International conference in Dubai in 2010 where one of the speakers was from the UK. Lots of BNI members were handing over their cards to him and asking for his. Later towards the end of the session, I approached him and asked, “what are you gonna do with all these business cards?” He said to me,”You know what, I am confiding in you. Frankly speaking, I am gonna throw all of them in the bin except 3-4 which I have chosen.”

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