A really simple tip for networking that avoids an awkward situation.
For guys – Keep your business cards in your left pants pocket. That way you can shake with your right and give your card with your left. Take other’s cards and put them in either your right pants pocket or your shirt pocket so they don’t get confused.
For ladies – Assuming you are not wearing pants with pockets, keep your business cards in a side pocket of your purse or in a left pocket on your jacket where you can access them readily and without fuss. Put cards you accept in a different location so they don’t get confused.
So often I meet people who I would like to follow up with, ask for their card and watch patiently as they struggle to pull one out from an inside pocket of their purse/wallet or sort through a large stack of cards from their pocket to find which one is theirs. This appears unprofessional and disorganized. Not the type of the person I usually prefer to do business with.
Exchanging business cards should be a smooth and comfortable process that shows confidence and professionalism. The general rule is to shake with the right and take with the left while being able to look the other person in the eyes. At least this is the accepted fashion for western culture. Asian culture is a story for another time.
For more networking tips, subscribe to this blog and consider attending Light The FIRE! on March 11,2017 where I will spend an hour loading your brain with networking advice. Of course, you can always contact me for some personal coaching on how to network more effectively.