What Did I Say, Blow This, Get Real!

Don't Cheat Me, Listen.

The other day at a NetWorking event I found a great way to see who is listening to me, and who is not paying attention.  I announced I was giving away a prize.  To be able to win, participants had to put their business card into a container and I would pull the winning card.  Just one thing...  The cards to be eligible must have my name and what I do written on the back.  Out of 40 cards, 11 did not have anything on the back.

Now not only do I know who was not listening, I have their card, and a chance to get together with them, and see that they become more aware of me.

This brings up the importance of getting attention at NetWorking Events.  It can be hard to grab the attention of a large room.  But the more creative you are when you open your mouth and do your introduction, the better your success will be.  Think about using some creative props.  It sounds silly but I have had great results starting my Intro by blowing Bubbles, than saying something clever like, can't find a good magazine to read, Blow That, Read BizNet..... Get clever with words.  Or offer a prize.

Getting back to the Business Cards.  I still find it hard to believe that folks out there are using Laser Printed Cards.  Yes they can look very nice.  But I can tell one from a mile away.  The first thing most people are going to think about your business is that you can't afford $20.00 for some real cards.  Or "gee laser cards, must be their first day in business, so their real cards are not ready yet".   In any event, the negative effects of a "laser" card out weigh their good looks at a low price.  Can we say "It Looks Cheap!".

If you do offer a prize, make it a real one.  Anything from a one-dollar Lottery Ticket to a free night out will work.  But please don't piss people off and hurt your image by giving a non-gift.  A non-gift????  Yes, a non-gift is anything you give someone that they have to spend money on to use.  Believe me, no one likes winning a prize like a "Gift Certificate" that gives them $500.00 off on the purchase of $2,000.00 or more.   I hope you get the idea.  It sort of makes the winner feel cheated.  The last thing you need to do is make someone feel cheated by you, even before you do business.

Now while all of the above is great information, it points out that a lot of people are failing to do a very important thing at NetWorking events.  Listening! By not listening you run the risk of missing something you need to hear.  Like someone telling you they have a lead for you.

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Last modified: November 08, 2002