Whenever you have an opportunity to hand out your business card, follow a practice of Far Eastern countries: Use both hands in delivering it. This gives the subtle but important impression that your business card is something very valuable.
Along those same lines, when someone gives you their business card, don’t put it away right away. Rather, keep it in your hands for a while and study it carefully. As you do, talk to them about it or use it to segue into a conversation, such as, “How did you come up with that business name?”
If you take an interest in their card, they are more likely to take an interest in yours. And, if they take more interest in your card, they will probably remember you that much more. And, isn’t that the point of your business card in the first place?
Gold miners don’t stuff their sacks with any old rock. No. They’re selective. They choose only those rocks that they perceive to have value.
To effectively “mine” a networking event, you should take a similar approach. It’s not a matter of amassing lots and lots of connections. Rather, focus on finding value. In the long run, a few quality connections will benefit you more than a pocket full of business cards.
Any gathering of people – a party, tradeshow, or business after-hours – can be a networking event. And any of these you can mine. Use these as opportunities to wisely expand the base of your connections with a few great people upon which you can build relationships.
Then, from these valuable rocks, you open yourself to being connected to other great contacts, invaluable information, and opportunities that can make your day, week or year.