Late November I met a financial advisor at a networking event. I liked him off the bat because he seemed more interested in actually getting to know people than "networking." He's also the only person I've met since high school who is a member of any sort of ski patrol. So, I was pleased when he agreed to meet me for coffee last Friday.
Since it had been a couple months since we'd met, he asked me to give him one of my business cards to refresh his memory. I am always happy to comply with such a request because Stewart Title has given me the "Cadillac" of business cards. Our marketing department does a bang-up job: My cards are on sturdy, bright white cardstock. The company's name and logo are in raised, embossed silver lettering. My color photograph is on the front of the card and on the reverse is a QR code which, if scanned, leads to my personal website at Stewart. It might be a little over the top, like something from a Bret Easton Ellis novel, but I'm very proud of my cards.
My new friend threw me a curveball, though. He pulled out his smartphone and opened up an application called "Cardmunch." He took a picture of my card and handed it back to me. He said that the app would transcribe all of the information- even synch it with my LinkedIn profile- and store it on his phone, so he didn't need to keep my card.
I have to admit, I was a little bummed out! My first impulse was to try to get him to take the card, anyway (I didn't). I couldn't put a finger on it, but I felt offended, as if a gift had been refused... Maybe because- even though not intended as such- giving the card back was a physical act of rejection.
I quickly swallowed my pride, however, asked him to show me the app, and we had a very nice talk before he had to leave to teach children how to tie fly-fishing lures (He's an interesting guy!). I thought about the card incident over the long weekend, and I guess I just have to accept that's the future of business. That is, I have to accept that certain aspects are going to change. My fancy cards aren't going to be that impressive. What didn't change, though, is the exchange of information. He's got my contact information- In fact, it's in a much more accessible format that he's also far less likely to misplace. He's actually more likely to call me now than if he had to find my number by pulling my card from among a pack of others in his wallet or briefcase.
I think this was a good lesson and one that will pave the way for me to be more accepting of other changes going forward. Today when I met a prospect, I scanned in his information on my own phone's Cardmunch app... but, I still kept his card- just in case! :)