So I arrived at a great local networking gig.
I meet a cool guy. He is very personable, but not over the top. He seems self confident, but not an ego-maniac. We talked about the event, the now over recession, and how it truly offered most Americans a great opportunity to re-calibrate ourselves in our businesses and our lives. I was enjoying this very down to earth connection, and he had me genuinely curious about what business he was in….and then it happened.
He gave me two business cards. Two cards from two totally different businesses. “HOLY CATFISH!” I thought. “That did NOT just happen….” But alas, it had.
Business networking/marketing yourself 101…. FAIL.
Then, it got worse. Not only did he give me two cards, the kiss of networking death, but they were not even remotely connected to one another! I won’t say what two businesses they were, in order to protect this poor guy from more tragedy. But two similar businesses would be: 1) I mow Lawns. 2) I also Custom Design Landscaping.
NOT similar businesses might be: 1) I am a Realtor by day and 2) a Tattoo Artist by night.
Why two business cards IS The Kiss of Networking Death
1) I just met you.
Listen- in that moment, I am trying to wrap my brain around all that I am learning about you, and what you do, and why I MIGHT possibly be interested. Your one business is as much as I can hope to metabolize. After all, I am surrounded with way interesting people, (Oh Shiny!) and I only have time to network with so many people before Cinderella’s ride turns all pumpkin- and I need to go. Two businesses??… and there it went. My head just exploded.
2) I don’t have time for your why.
You may have the absolute best reason in the world (or not) for the 2 or more businesses that you do, whether they are related or not. But I don’t have enough time to get your why, or be enrolled into all of that. That said, I personally have more than one stream of income, and more importantly, more than one tool in my tool-belt that I pull out to strategically help various companies and clients. But I only have one card. IF for some reason there is a great reason for two, only give one out at any given event, and pick your primary one, for the target market you are wanting to connect with at that event.
3) Most people will think you just cannot make one business successful.
It’s true, isn’t it? They will assume you have your irons in too many fires, and that you are the master of none. Again- this may not be true, but it’s an easy assumption to make when you don’t know someone.
People have short attention spans. People are quick to judge. (you have between 3-7 seconds before they make a judgement about you) And they need to resonate with your message, so they can identify why they need to align with you. The message needs to be crystal, pin-point clear. Don’t have a split personality business. Have a passion, and a clear intention. THAT is what will interest them to take and keep your ONE card, and hopefully YOU.
PS- If you are not super stoked about your cards when you are handing them out, get new ones. 🙂
CILC | CMC | CEBC
Master Certified Business Coach
World Changer Leadership & Life Mastery Coach
“It’s time to unleash the World Changer in YOU!” ~sheli G
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