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Why I never hand out business cards

When I was starting out in business, I became fixated on collecting business cards. Yep, those little bits of cardboard that would sit in your bag or in a pocket before being thrown away.

Not by me. Business cards were my secret weapon.

It happened when I realised adding value instead of adding clients was the key to making millions.

So when I networked, I figured out how to get, and not give, business cards.

I didn’t want to hand someone my details and wait for them to maybe call me, maybe not.

I wanted to have them on my desk so I had the opportunity to contact people, start a conversation, say let’s do business. So I had the opportunity to build a relationship.

My mission was to value add rather than convert. It’s the old story. Two axemen are in a race to chop down trees. One person takes an axe and starts chopping immediately. The other takes the time to sharpen the axe before starting to chop.

The second person wins the race.

The significant difference is one is an implementation and the other an investment and an asset. One might get you income. The second will get you an asset that produces income.

It’s the secret to wealth creation.

To me, business cards are leads, and every lead is an asset. Every contact is an asset. So whatever the equivalent is now of a business card—LinkedIn connections, social media, someone has DMed you—that’s where your profit is.

The profit is in the list. Get a list to market to.

When I started out I was making $1000 a lead. I got a thousand leads. That’s a million bucks.

Coaching global students in 2020.

To introduce you to what to do with a great list, you need to understand I am working out how to convert, not how to coach.

I want a choice: not am I doing this one-to-one but am I going to convert them into a group program, an online program? I am not aiming for every lead to become a paying client with me individually. I am looking to funnel them into what’s appropriate.

Then I had to work out how to message it in a way other coaches weren’t.

Here’s how I did that. If I went to a function and someone asked what I did, I never said “I’m a coach, I coach people who want to go to the next level, I really want to coach so I can make a difference.”

That’s not what value-based marketing is. Instead, when I was networking it wasn’t to talk about me or get clients.

It was to be memorable.

So at functions I only showed interest in people.

I would aim to meet only two people in a two-hour event. That was it. My goals were to get to know them, what they were about, what they cared about—and to be memorable.