How to Use Your Business Card
Most business owners have business cards, but don’t know how to really use them.
Even in this digital age, business cards are often still the first level of contact with a supplier or a prospect, they can be very valuable to the start of a potential business relationship. So when it comes to getting the most from your business cards, I have a few recommendations.
To start with, here is one thing NOT to do when it comes to using your business cards. Many people go along to networking events or seminars with the mindset that they need to get their business card out to as many people as possible and proceed to shove their card in front of anyone who comes within an arm’s length without attempting to properly engage with the other person.
This strategy will never work, because people don’t buy because of a business card, they buy because of the relationships that people form with them. It is important to remember that main purpose of a business card is to serve as a tangible reminder of an interaction with another person.
So before rushing off to the printers to get the pimped out, designer business cards, have a think about your engagement strategy around how you are going to use the card when the situation arises.
One strategy that I often use is not actually having business cards on hand when at networking events. This might seem strange considering the topic of this article, however there is an important reason behind this choice. As soon as you hand over your business card to someone else, you are also handing over control of the relationship and quite often that’s when you will hear the line ‘I’ll call you.” By not having a business card to hand over, that then opens up the opportunity to ask the other person for their card, and switch the control back.
In saying this, business cards are still very important for business owners as it is still important for certain levels of meetings to have some professionalism with a business card. It shows professionalism, preparedness and establishes your business in a level of consideration with other business owners.
At networking events, your business card provides a tangible reminder that others can take with them to keep you from getting lost in their memory. Providing something physical helps people to remember your name, your brand and the relationship you have with them.
When it comes to the card itself, elaborate or fold out business cards although memorable in themselves, will not create the relationship with the person as well as you can. If you are wanting to get business cards made for your business, my suggestion would be to keep it simple but memorable. For example, my business card is a custom made coin branded with my company logo and although it is unique and memorable, it is simple and uncomplicated.
The actual design of business cards is very much dependent on the person and business they are representing. The more important distinction to take out of this is that your business card is more than just a card, it is a representation of a relationship with another person and it should be used in a way that creates a lasting memory that supports that relationship.