I Should Give You a Name Because You Hand Me Your Card?


Business development is a continuous challenge, especially turning leads into prospects who then become actual buyers. Here’s a textbook case of what not to do.

I was attending a small business conference and ran into the COO of a small start-up. She told me they’re caught in a not-unusual conundrum: they need users in order to attract funding, and they need funding in order to increase the number of users. I said I know a small organization that might like their product. She whipped a card out of her pocket, shoved it into my hand and said “Have them call me.”

Well, you can guess where that card ended up.

If you are serious about getting leads for your products or services–whether start-up or long-established company–you have to make an effort. In this situation the only appropriate response is to be curious about the organization and why I think they might be interested; to ask if I would be willing to make an email introduction; and to promise to make the first call herself.

If you think handing out cards is business development, you’ll be pretty poor, pretty quick. Development requires ongoing activity from start to…forever. I hate to imagine what she was thinking.

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