Don’t act like a Vegas card dealer

I see it all the time. I arrive to a business meeting and before even sitting down, someone passes out business cards as if he or she is a high-stakes card dealer in Vegas, fanning out a deck of business cards and sliding one across the table to each “player.” Don’t make this mistake. This approach makes the dealer appear as if he/she has no regard for building relationships and views the meeting as purely “transactional.” It also puts other meeting attendees in the awkward position to follow suit.

Instead, always ask someone for their card directly.  If you want to give your card to someone who hasn’t asked for it, get permissiom first. You might start the conversation by saying, “I enjoyed meeting you and would love to exchange business cards so that we may stay in touch regarding xyz.”

The exchange of business cards is an opportunity to really connect (with a prospective customer, client, boss). So go all-in and make eye contact, give a compliment about the design of the card, or use it to ask a question. Make a real connection and you just may win big.