While sitting in my home office the other day, I sifted through two hundred business cards stacked in a rickety pile. They slightly tottered as I removed them one at a time and reviewed the information, straining for a memory of a meeting or handshake. I knew if I had a card, that there had been a handshake, undoubtedly. Because I am in the middle of a move, I am deep cleaning and discarding anything that I haven't looked at or used in a year. For some reason, I cannot part with business cards.

Question: Are business cards a thing of the past? With all the social media and different ways to share information, do we no longer need to pass a small piece of card stock with a painstakingly designed image/logo imprinted along with the necessary contact details of the beholder? I love giving out and receiving business cards. To me, it is like having my dance card full. It means I got something out of a conversation, it means there is potential for future conversations and possibly a business deal. It means a LinkedIn connection or an animated follow-up email. It means I connected with someone.

We take the information found on a biz card and scan it or download it or upload it to our mobile device, our outlook, our networks. We used to transfer the info to a manila-indexed card or slip it into a plastic sleeve on a wheel that rested on our literal desktops, not our virtual ones. The Rolodex® was a corporate icon, a necessary networking tool that everyone who was anyone filled without fail. The drive to add cards/contacts was just as strong as the urge to make LinkedIn connections. It was done differently and the value may have been greater because the literal connecting relied on more than acquiring an email address. Again, it was the result a handshake.

These two networking styles reside together. A relationship rarely stands on one handshake. As well, it rarely stands on an email or a request to connect. There must be more than just one. The handshake is followed up by a new media connection or the new media connection is followed up by a voice to voice conversation or face to face encounter. They work hand in hand not against each other; they both want for the same thing.

I am getting ready to order business cards for new members of our team. They are each excited to receive their cards; it is a rite of passage as a new member of the firm or company. It says that trust is there. It says that you are now accepted as a representative of the organization. It means you can do the real networking, the one that requires a handshake. And who doesn't love that?


©by rayannethorn

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Tags: @Ray_anne, Bonus track, Rayanne Thorn, RecruitingBlogs.com, Rolodex, face-to-face, handshake, networking, real-time, recruiting, More…virtual, voice-to-voice

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Well, that's true. But I 'd say that the thing that comes closest to "getting your cards" is getting your email address in your new company :)
By the time I meet people, I know enough about them that I feel I know them already. Passing business cards out seems like formality for formality sake. So to answer your question, yes...business cards are a thing of the past from a usefulness/efficiency standpoint. But just like a handwritten thank you note, it's appreciated and will never go out of style.
I am old school when it comes giving and receiving business cards. They are tangible and I am tactile by nature. I would venture to guess that anyone ten years younger than I (and I will not divulge those details) would feel differently because we are now a society that is virtual. It is somewhat sad when you think about it. The senses are put to good use.......feel, touch, smell, sounds those intuitive ways you can read someone's body language.

I wonder as we evolve what that means. It is said that we adapt and strengthen the things we use more......will we all become something similar to the matrix?
I hope we do not evolve to something like the matrix, unless of course, that means I get to wear one of those cool black coats.. hehe...

I love the biz card exchange, as well. I hope it will be around for as long as I am, and you are right Dawn, it is definitely that tactile thing...

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