The 3-Second Business Card Trick

Written by Maureen Paulsen on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

A crowded meeting I just attended got me thinking about business cards.  As the dozen or so participants settled into their seats, they started slinging and sliding business cards across the conference table.  The furious pace of card exchange would have put the best blackjack dealers in Vegas to shame.  But this is just the way it’s done, right?

While trading business cards is routine and necessary, it shouldn’t be a mindless exercise in speed swapping contact info.  Consider slowing your business card roll…just a bit…and see if it pays off.  Here’s a 3-second business card trick to try:

When you receive a business card, take a moment to look at it.  Then look at the person who gave it to you.  Then put the card away somewhere, carefully.

That’s it.  Looking at the card and then looking at the person who gave it to you is a subtle yet powerful gesture of respect.  After all, a business card is an extension of someone’s image and it’s what they do all day.  Taking a moment to acknowledge that has meaning.  Plus, it will help you remember the person’s name (especially useful at a crowded meeting or networking event).

The extra double bonus of being a bit slower on the card uptake?  You’ll be way ahead on the etiquette front when doing business in countries like Japan, China and India, where the practice of exchanging cards is generally regarded with more care and formality.

What are some of your quick tips and tricks to get the most out of mundane business processes?  Share them and we’ll get the word out.

About Maureen Paulsen

Maureen PaulsenMaureen brings more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience to her role, where she develops brand strategies and communications programs for a diverse group of clients. She specializes in creating innovative marketing and advertising campaign concepts. In 2011, she received a Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. Prior to joining MPD Ventures, Maureen worked as the marketing communications manager for one of the largest law firms in Texas, where she led a major rebranding initiative. Her past experience includes freelance writing and project management for a Boston-based energy services provider.

Maureen is a longtime volunteer for Dallas nonprofit agency Attitudes & Attire and a past president of the organization’s board of directors. She earned her undergraduate degree in English and art history at Wellesley College. Outside of work Maureen cherishes being with her two young children and her husband, Ben.