Whether you’re a member of Business Networking International (BNI), a rotary club, the Chamber, or some other organization, there’s no doubt that owning a small business is all about networking.
1. Engraved pens as business cards. All of your info will be at their fingertips, literally, whenever they use the pen. (Pens also have great “travel power” since people tend to “borrow” and walk away with them.)
2. Business card magnets. These also offer great visibility because most people stick the magnets to their fridge, an object in their house that they interact with several times a day.
3. Stress balls. One word: fun. Once they’re in someone’s hand, the person can’t stop squeezing. They’re fun items for people’s desks, which means your business will always be front and center in people’s minds (even subconsciously, which is fine).
4. Custom USB drives. Load ‘em up with your resume, pitch, presentation, or brochures, and give them to the people you meet at networking events.
5. Wildcard idea: “Code up” other promotional products. Quick Response (QR) codes are a perfect thing to print on promotional items like custom ceramic mugs. After a networking meeting, hand one of your custom mugs to the person you met with and encourage him to use his smart phone to check out the QR code. (Be sure you’ve set up a compelling website landing page for the QR code!)
Remember, for items like engraved pens and magnet business cards, it’s considered a best practice to always give two of each when you network with people: one to the person herself and the other for the person to give to a colleague or friend as a referral.
How do you make sure you “stand out” during networking events and meetings? Share your tips in the comments.