I met a man at a business-networking event this week who wouldn’t give me one of his business cards.
We exchanged introductions and described what each of us did for a living, and I found out he was a salesperson for a specialty promotional products company. You know; they put your company name on golf shirts, Frisbees and beer can koozies. That’s right, koozies! I’ve acquired approximately 257,497 promotional koozies at events throughout my business career. I presently only have four because I perform a koozie consolidation at least once a month. If I didn’t, I’d end up having to rent off-site koozie storage.
Okay, back to the networking event. I thought, based on what the man did for a living, I might be able to help him make a few connections in the business community. So I asked him for his business card. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a stack of cards. I stood there with my card in hand; ready to hand it to him, as he counted his remaining cards.
Suddenly, he said, “Uh, I’m getting kinda low on cards.” He then looked away quickly and put his remaining cards back in his jacket pocket, shook my hand and walked away.
Scooter was making a big mistake! (If I had his card, I’d know his real name!) His mistake wasn’t that he wouldn’t give me his card, because that’s a symptom of a bigger problem. Scooter was simply walking through the crowd looking for people who he felt could help him. It appears I fell into the category of those he felt could not. This may work for Scooter for a while, but if he’s not also helping the people he meets, they won’t help him for long.