There is no shortage of advice on business cards on the internet, but I thought you might enjoy a refresher.
1. Don’t pass out cards during a meal. Leave your cards at home during social (as opposed to business networking) functions.
2. Always have business cards that are clean, neat and accurate. If you have more than one business, have more than one card and have them filed separately so you can easily find the one you need. Old, dog-eared business cards with information crossed out or corrected by hand do not portray a professional impression.
3. Always handle cards you receive with the respect. That’s their career your holding. Most people, when they are handed a business card simply slip it into their pocket or folder without looking at it. When handed a business card, take the time to read it. Say the name of the person out loud to check that you have the correct pronunciation. If you are uncertain of the pronunciation ask them to pronounce it for you.
4. Study foreign usage, conventions, and customs. For example in Japan business cards are exchanged with great ceremony. In India always use the right hand to give and receive business cards.
5. Consider printing a two-sided card. On one side, print your contact information in English, and on the other, print it in the primary language of the other country. A photo is also a good idea since gender-specific first names are often not recognized in other countries. If you do not need a second language think of adding lines to write on or a calendar.
6. Be creative when handing out your card. Offering your card with both hands, for example, creates an enormous psychological impact. Introduce yourself with your card. Use the back of your card to write notes. Sign your name (or a brief message) on the front of the card. Present your business card face up and turned so that the person you are giving it to can read it.
7. Be selective in distributing business cards, don’t hand them out as if you were dealing out a pack of cards. Give them to people who express an interest in yours or who offer you theirs. If someone offers you their card don’t turn it down. If you don’t want it you can always dispose of it later. If you ask for someone’s card and they don’t want to provide one to you, if you sincerely have a reason for wanting one explain your purpose or let the matter drop.
I design and print a lot of business cards and think that your business card is one of the most important marketing tools you have available to you. Handing out a business card that makes you feel proud is the first step to a prosperous relationship.
It took me a long time to settle on the design of my card as I was concerned everyone would judge my creativity by my own card.
Here is the front and back of my business card. I don;t think I have ever handed it out with someone commenting on whether the glass is half full or half empty. By the way I don’t work with the latter.:
If you are interested in designing and/or printing business cards give Mike Blaney a call at 800-568-8338. My specialty is silk finish business cards printed in Korea that make people love the feel of. They are waterproof and rip resistant and always make people stop and comment on the feel. Best of all they probably cost less than what you are paying now.
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