A little over a week ago I attended the Create Denver Expo in beautiful downtown Denver, Colorado. One floor of the building was devoted to promotional tables–businesses catering to creative businesses.
After a couple of workshops upstairs, I found my way down to this floor. I made a point to visit almost every table and talk to people. This is out of my comfort zone, but critical for networking.
I asked questions about their businesses and was amazed that very few of them asked me about me. A simple question or two would have helped them decide if I was a good prospect. And any good salesperson knows that the sale is all about the buyer–not about you or the product. (Selling art is a little more complicated than that, but you'll still get further with a sale when you show the potential buyer you care about him or her.)
I found someone at one of the promotional tables who could help me get a deck of cards printed. Something like the size of a standard deck of cards, but with inspirations or actions on them instead of playing card suits. I've been looking for just such a resource for years. This salesperson and I talked quite a bit about what could be done and she even quoted some pricing. She could tell I was happy to have found her.
I asked for her business card and got it.
And now she may never see me again. She can't follow up with me because she didn't ask for MY card. Having my card in her hands would have allowed her to follow up with me. I would have given it to her, too.
I'm okay with the way things are (me in control), but can't help but think of the opportunities that people missed that day.
For more on this, read my article The Business Card Dance for the Handmade in PA blog.