The Golden Rule of Business Card Etiquette At Networking Events

The Golden Rule of Business Card Etiquette At Networking Events

88% of business cards from networking events get binned. (Survey by Adobe).

So, if 9 out of 10 cards you hand out were discarded, whats the point of giving out the cards you may think.

Well, I am not too surprised given the business card etiquette at networking events generally. Like the video below (funny business networking Mistakes 6), business cards are being given out or collected without following any real reason and without building any relationships.

I can guarantee you, your card will not be discarded if you had built a relationship and added great value to the conversation. If you came across someone who is worth knowing, keeping in touch, referred to, of value to them and potentially their clients, your card will be treasured.

The main purpose of a business card is to exchange contact details, which makes perfect sense. You will be remembered the next day based on the conversation you have had, the impression you made on the person and the value you added to the conversation.

You don’t want to become the person who just gets added to a mailing list who doesn’t abide by the anti spam act.

The Golden Rule is to never give out a business card until you are asked for one. By all means, if the conversation you have had and you would like to stay in touch with the person, request for a business card. Email them and let them know it was great to meet them, remind them briefly about how/when you met and may be even about the conversation you had with them.

A few important points of business cards:

  • Your business card represents and reflects YOU. Does is have the same personality as YOU? #brandcongruency
  • Yes, its great to have a unique card to be remembered, but does it pop up or not fit in standard card holders/pockets or too small to get lost amongst other cards?
  • Australia being multicultural, also give importance to the way you hand a card to someone; ie respectfully with two hands.

Author: Zeeshan Pasha; CEO Nifnex

The Card Collector Video Credits: Paul Duncan, Marcello Sirignano, Prash Nair, Murtuza Sial

Film & Edit: 2PuBs Production Team

Art Of Influencing People & Building Relationships At Networking Events

There are certain people that draw your attention when you walk into a room or a networking event. There’s a presence about them. You feel the need to want to speak to them and connect. Charisma!

There are 3 components which every charismatic person has. An article I read on Huffington Post referenced below, explains the three components well.


Presence – can be displayed by being there with undivided attention. Research also shows that one of the most attractive quality in someone is ‘availability’. You giving them the time to listen to them.

Power – Body language is the key. Only 7% contributes to speech and a whopping 93% is body language. Your stance, your gestures, the way you dress, your handshake makes a big impact.

Warmth – It’s the empathy, the ability to step into someone’s shoes to understand how they feel.

Can you learn to become charismatic? I believe, you can certainly display the above characteristics authentically to create the charisma which makes you more attractive to people to connect and build relationships.

It makes it so much easier to building relationships when you are authentic and display the below characteristics.

  • Ask deeper questions than doing small talk
  • Authentic Smile & Eye Contact
  • Give your undivided attention and listen when the other person is talking
  • Give them an authentic compliment
  • Have your own sense of humour – even if its quirky (that’s you)
  • Be comfortable within yourself & be confident

Happy Networking!


If you find this article of interest, please do like and share.

Author: Zeeshan Pasha; CEO Nifnex

The Friend Collector Video Credits: Zie Cooper, Murtuza Sial, Marcello Sirignano

Film & Edit: 2PuBs Production Team

Source: Huffington Post reference:


4 Ways to be a better listener and be remembered at networking events

4 Ways to be a better listener and be remembered at networking events

It makes me wonder sometimes, what is the compelling factor that people may want to remember the other person. How do we make ourselves unforgettable or atleast be remembered the next day when they get into work? Ideally for the right reasons not because you spilled wine on them.

I believe there are certain aspects to this. Synergy, Impact, Branding, Conversation, Something of value/interest to the other person.

They say, if something really matters to you, you will remember it. In the context of business networking however, we meet so many people at an event and how do you remember their names and what they do? Is it even important or necessary to remember it? On the contrary, is it important to you to be remembered by others? Absolutely!

I am an avid networker and I am very good with faces and not always the name. I can hear you say, “Me Too”.

I believe, we remember experiences. So, when an interesting conversation takes place at the networking event, I happen to remember that and make reference to that conversation when I meet the person somewhere else at another event.

If we strive to be different and do what most don’t do, then we increase the likelihood. Most people talk more, give out business cards randomly and it’s all about me me me.

What if you contributed great information and value to the conversation, what about if you gave them a lead/referral/contact, introduced them to someone else at that event with a great intro about them, what if you actually listened to them and NOT faked attention?


We see this very often – Faking Attention. We are just “hearing” but not “listening.” There may be some eye contact and the person may even be nodding, but the mind is elsewhere. Faking attention is a habit for some people, but it conveys lack of respect and dishonesty.

4 things you can do to change that:

  • Be in the present
  • Make it a habit to listen attentively.
  • Avoid thinking about how to reply when the other person is speaking.
  • Always assume that the other person knows something that you may not know.


All of the above, makes you a good listener and will make you be remembered, which leads to more conversations, referrals, leads, meetings and sales.

If you find this article of interest, please do like and share. Happy Networking.

Author: Zeeshan Pasha; CEO Nifnex

The Goldfish Video Credits: Zie Cooper, Kez Wickham St George, Carolyn McAndrew, Paul Duncan, Anita Bobanac

Film & Edit: 2PuBs Production Team


Dealing with Ramblers at business networking events?

Dealing with Ramblers at business networking events?

It is way too often we come across The Rambler!

Here are reasons why someone would generally ramble on at a networking event:

  • Self Obsessed
  • Nervous
  • The other person is looking really interested in the conversation (we sometimes look very interested to be polite even though we are not)
  • They have lots to say

In any case, if you find yourself stuck with a Rambler, find the best possible pause in conversation to interrupt it with a little distractor or a statement but never another open ended question. Unless you want to be stuck there longer.

A good question can be: Who do you know here that you think I should meet ? (generally opens up a question about what you do; if it hasn’t already been addressed).

If you feel you are a Rambler at times, consciously or unconsciously, here are some tips:

Sometimes we ramble without even knowing it. We could be nervous or just feel the person we are talking to is really interested in the conversation. However, if you find yourself talking longer than the other person/s, pause, take a deep breath and ask them a question. The golden rule is, we have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately.

Remember, networking is a two way street and the whole reason is to meet like minded people to exchange contacts, ideas and build a relationship.

The Rambler Video Credits: Marcello Sirignano, Carolyn McAndrew, Khem Alexis Aw

Film & Edit: 2PuBs Production Team

How to politely include yourself in conversations at business networking events

How often do we come across rude conversation intruders at a networking event? Well, the Golden Rule is to always carry yourself professionally & politely.

When you see a group of people conversing (open and closed loop tips below), it is necessary to go introduce yourself politely. It is often hard (and scary for some) to join a conversation as they feel they would be intruding.

Please be assured, you are definitely entitled to go say hi and introduce yourself. That’s exactly what everyone in the room are there for.

Firstly, networkers must remember to not create a ‘closed loop’. Allow space and welcome others to join you. When someone does join you, please do take the initiative to introduce yourself and others who are conversing in that group.

Secondly, if you feel you would like to join a conversation, be mindful of the tempo of the conversation. You can change the tempo after (if needed) introducing yourself politely to everyone in the group.

Below is the first of the 12 mini funny skits that we enacted at our Nifnex TV shoot, with business networking Do’s & Don’ts.

Credits: Paul Duncan, Lorraine Ogilvy (Princess Awesomer), Murtuza Sial, Marcello Sirignano, Anita Bobanac.

Film & Edit: 2PuBs Production Team

In conversation with: Bridget Holland, NoBull Marketing

In conversation with: Bridget Holland, NoBull Marketing

With over 20 years experience in marketing, business development and general management across three continents, Bridget Holland loves solving problems and using the power of digital to make businesses better. Her ‘no nonsense’ approach to marketing sees her empower small and medium business owners to scale and achieve their growth targets.

Tell us about NoBull Marketing and the audience to which you are catering.
I started NoBull Marketing three years ago, primarily catering to start-ups and fast-growing small-to-medium businesses who sell B2B services, B2C services, or both. We offer everything from assistance with a specific project, mentoring to develop in-house marketing capability or fully outsourced marketing for their business.

Tell us about the meaning behind the name “NoBull Marketing”.
Many marketing consultants talk so much ‘bull’ about the latest trends on social media or digital platforms. What clients really want is usually quite simple: more leads, more conversions, and more revenue per customer. Moreover, the first steps to take for most businesses are simple too. The name of the business describes my approach; cut out the ‘bull’ and focus on those key goals. In addition, it helps to filter out clients I wouldn’t necessarily be happy to work with; the ones who can’t call a spade a spade.

12How has the business name helped you in your journey?
The name has been a great help! It often happens that when I meet new people at a networking event, they say, “I love the name!” This then gives me a chance to start a conversation about my business and truly engage people without being pushy.

What is something you have been able to accomplish that you take the most pride in?
Hard question. On a personal level, it is probably raising two wonderful kids who are independent, capable, happy and most importantly kind. On a career level, it has to be tripling revenue in two years at RSVP (a leading online dating site) and positioning the company for sale to Fairfax for nearly $40 million (wish I’d had equity!). Within my own business, I get the most buzz from clients implementing simple marketing activities that make a real difference. I helped one client start a monthly email newsletter, and three months later, she had generated nearly $50,000 worth of business just from newsletter enquiries (NoBull!).

What is your vision for NoBull Marketing?
I want to grow the mentoring aspect of the business. Many small business owners are very smart and they are their own best sales people. They know their business well and they have the passion. They just need a bit of help with turning that into an ongoing marketing plan and then doing the work regularly. That’s where the mentoring comes in. It is like having a personal trainer for your marketing; someone who works out a plan to suits your goals and then makes sure you follow through.

While juggling between professional and personal commitments, how do you find time for yourself?
This one is HARD, especially with two kids! I am a bit of an introvert, so I need quiet time to recharge. I love my veggie garden for that. Fresh air, exercise, time to think, plus I get something out of it. I also love escaping into a book, and recently my daughter got me doing art again.

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who aspires to become an entrepreneur?
1.    Keep going. It will be tough, and you will have doubts. But keep going. Fake it till you make it.
2.    Find someone who believes in you, for the times when you don’t believe in yourself.
3.    Keep your fixed costs to a minimum. It is better to be small and profitable rather than being big and broke.

What does success mean to you?
Making enough to live the way I want AND having enough time to live the way I want. Running my own business is not about getting rich, it’s about freedom.

Do you have a quote or life mantra that motivates you?
Money wasted can be regained. Time wasted is lost forever.


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