"The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection."
Robin S. Sharma
Networking and making business connections to promote your brand and build relationships.
Being active in your business community is not really a choice; it’s a necessity.
Whether you’re attending an event or a meeting, you always encounter new people from various industries with common interests. It’s a great opportunity to build relationships and grow your business connections with so many people exchanging contact information in the hopes of reconnecting and doing business together.
But what is the best way to exchange contact information?
You can exchange contact information in different ways: you can provide your email, a phone number, or one of your social media accounts. However, swapping business cards can be the perfect icebreaker, and it’s still the most elegant and professional way to exchange contact information.
Business cards are the best way to exchange contact information
Exchanging business cards helps you connect immediately with the people you meet after introducing yourself and explaining what your company does.
In a blog on Entrepreneur Magazine, Jonathan Long describes why the business card is still important in networking and making business connections. It is the most effective direct marketing tool of any business and is often the first impression of your brand.
Also, if you’re already in a conversation, leaving the conversation by exchanging business cards can be the best farewell you can make because it provides the possibility to reconnect again in the future and create possible collaboration opportunities.
Business cards have been a staple as far back as the 17th century. First used in London, they were then called “trade cards” and quickly became part of business etiquette across the globe. Today, some people think business cards are obsolete because of our addiction to technology. Many people connect on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or others after their first encounter. It’s easy and fast, but it’s not the most personal and effective way of maintaining relationships with business contacts.
Exchanging contact information via social media
Social media is an informal and impersonal platform to establish connections. You may have hundreds, even thousands of contacts on your social media networks without any knowledge of the value that these contacts can bring you. You might even end up forgetting why, when, or how you connected to some of them. Most importantly, social media connections are still informal connections, professional or not, and do not provide good visibility on your business connections.
Social media platforms have made the world more connected in general, but when it comes to establishing professional relationships, exchanging business cards continues to be the most effective way. It creates a beginning to the business relationship. After a relationship has been forged, going on social media is a great opportunity to connect further with your contacts and follow their activities.
Networking is a contact sport. It is crucial to build, maintain and grow your business connections. Make sure you do it right.
How important do you think exchanging business cards while networking and making business connections? Tell us what you think in the comments!