Save Some Trees: One Thing To Check For Before Handing Out Anything
It is not uncommon in one-on-one meetings for someone to have “materials” on who they are and what they do. If you happen to be one of those people, you run the same risk as the people on the street handing out flyers. If you do not want your pamphlets, folders, and one-sheets to end up in the trash outside of a coffee shop, you need to check for one thing before you hand them over:
What does that mean? Genuine inquiry means the other person should ASK you for more information or ask if you have materials before you give them away. When someone is in a meeting with you, just handing them your folder or one sheet can be incredibly disarming. Just like we don’t want the free admission card to the strip club around the corner from that guy on the street, we don’t ask those we meet with for a massive folder explaining what their business offers unless we really want it.
Many people will be polite and take it from you and either throw it away later or have it sit in their office for the next year until their intern throws it out. Wouldn’t it make more sense to only give your materials to those who show an actual interest in understanding the business more?
The truth is, most people you meet in a business networking scenario probably have a number of other meetings that day and that bulky folder you handed them or that one-sheet they had to stuff in a pocket is now a reminder of the inconvenience of having to carry this stuff and that sense memory is now associated with you. Is that how you want to be remembered?
The next time you are planning on handing someone materials on your business, take a moment to pause and see if there really is genuine inquiry. You could even ask them if they’d like hard copy materials or if they’d prefer you email them something. You’ll be saving their backs and saving your reputation.
And that saves business relationships as well as trees.