How many business cards do you aim to give? Part 2

by Matt Bird on February 11, 2014 · 0 comments

Matt Bird- Business Cards Image

As we gathered that sunny afternoon on the House of Lords terrace, we were treated to a fabulous cream tea and inspiring speeches. One of the guests must have just completed an ‘accelerated networking’ course or was taking networking steroids…

They were frenetically ‘working the room’ or in this case ‘working the terrace’. They clearly had one mission – to make a sale. Consequently, they were throwing around business cards like confetti at a wedding. This approach is what has given networking a bad name.

When you are at a business networking event, how many business cards do you aim to give out? Broadly speaking there are three approaches:

  • Lots  -  You never know what might come of even the most casual of conversations, so you have lots of conversations and exchange lots of business cards. You are careful about this approach so that you don’t give the impression you are trying too hard and actually pushing for a sale.
  • A Few  -  Whilst you might have lots of conversations, you are really looking for two or possibly three meaningful connections. These are people that you have a sense of chemistry with; it’s hard to explain but you know it when it happens. It is with these people that you want to exchange business cards.
  • It’s Irrelevant  -  Whilst there are merits in giving lots or a few business cards, I have another school of thought… It’s irrelevant how many business cards you give out. The only cards that matter are the ones you collect. The majority of people do nothing with the business cards they are given, which is why it’s irrelevant how many you give out. The only business cards that count are the ones you receive because they are the only ones you can take the initiative in following through with.

So what do you do if you are with someone who has run out of business cards or doesn’t have any? I strongly recommend carrying a small pocket notebook or jotter and inviting people who don’t have a business card to write their email and mobile (I find they always write their name).

ACTION: Consider how many business cards you want to give out? You might also want to think about buying yourself a pocket note book or jotter.

This is the second in a three part series ‘Making the Most of Business Cards’. To find out more visit

Matt Bird
Matt Bird, The Relationologist
Described as Malcolm Galdwell’s connector, Matt helps people and organisations build the relationships they need to achieve greater success. He is the Creator of Relationology about the art and science of relationships and how they drive business success. He is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant and prolific blogger. To find out more visit

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