Teaching My Daughter About Business Cards

One of my daughters recently invested in her first set of business cards and as I was coaching her on the key points of efficient business card use, I was thinking about all of the people that carry around business cards on a daily basis who simply do not realize what an absolutely crucial and valuable tool this one little card is!

Your business card is one of the most important networking tools you have in your quest for increased referrals.  Can you envision a reality where 20—30 people in your word-of-mouth marketing circle carry your cards and have them ready to hand to prospects they’re actually qualifying for you?  That’s what can happen if you use your business card efficiently!

In order to make the most of your business card:

* Make Your Cards Accessible in Every Situation

In short, don’t leave home without them! Keep a small box of your cards in your glove box, put cards in your pocket, your briefcase, wallet and computer bag.

* Seek Situations to Exchange Business Cards

One-on-one meetings, mixers and social events, conventions and trade shows, visits to non-competing businesses, and international meetings and events all present excellent opportunities to exchange your card.

* Contacts at a Distance

Whenever you communicate with someone in writing, send a card if it’s appropriate for the occasion.  Also, after any telephone call in which business was discussed, follow up with a letter outlining the main points of your discussion and include one or more of your cards.

* Special Tricks of the Trade

When giving out your card, hand-write something on one copy, such as your cell-phone number, a secondary e-mail address, etc.  This will give that particular card a greater chance of being held onto. Be sure you give a couple of “cleanâ€? cards to that person as well.   The main thing when handing out your card is to keep in mind what an effective tool it can be.  Take maximum advantage of its full potential. And never, ever, be caught without it.

4 thoughts on “Teaching My Daughter About Business Cards

  1. Thanks for this post. I agree about writing on the back of your business card makes all the difference. One problem is that many owners of small businesses (especially new owners who have previously been employees) tend to be unwilling invest in themselves.

    We can buy inexpensive and elegant business cards these days. But the stock they are printed on makes writing on the back of them difficult. You don’t want to scribble something on the back of your card only to have it smudge, or worse, stain that nice new networking shirt you bought to impress.

    I have experimented with business cards. Now do you think $6,000 for business cards is too much? It all depends on what that business card can do for you. Let me tell you a brief story.

    A few years ago I created a video-business card product. It looked like a see-through credit card and was designed to put in the CD-ROM drive of your computer. I produced a 30 second video of me presenting my offer. It had music, stock footage and a strong conclusion. When I pulled this card out and gave it to people they were always impressed. They took it back to their office. They wanted one. But the price was too high. I got a call from a very large company (who shall remain nameless) they wanted it for all their sales people. Although I was offering this service to produce these things, I later learned that the first question was, “Who can we get to make these for us?” I was not on the approved vendor list so they took the idea and ran with it.

    But handing out this business card was not how it was most effective. I mailed these to 100 prospects along with a well-thought out letter, and then followed up with a call. “Hey, you’re the guy on the video!” That was a common reaction to my cold(ish) follow-up call. I got a thirty percent response rate. They felt they knew me. And that is an advantage.

    This was all before the advent of web video which rendered this product less revolutionary. I’ve seen the error of my ways trying to sell the bleeding edge of technology. I’m sticking to commercial writing.

    The point about this hi-tech approach is that you couldn’t write on the card. You can’t write on the back of cheap cards. I’m convinced it’s worthwhile to pry open the wallet and spend money on buying business cards printed on good stock.

    Not only does writing on the back of the business card personalize it, it also gives the recipient a chance to write something about you.

    When I meet people I judge to have a sense of humor, I send them over to my slowdownnow.org website for a laugh. It’s all part of my personal brand. Humor is not for everyone in business but it brings in business. But I do believe people like to do business with people they like. My slow web address is what they usually write down. They could of course be writing, never contact this fellow, he’s and idiot.

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