Here are 7 Tips for Networking with Business Cards. You have your brand new business cards fresh from the printer—now what? Here are a few tips to make sure your business cards become your best self-marketing tool.
Keep them everywhere.
A business card that’s not within reach won’t help much. Tuck them everywhere you are and in everything you use: glove compartment, brief case, laptop bag, gym bag, your purse (or your wife’s purse), desk drawer, reception desk.
Keep them clean.
Invest in a good quality business card holder to keep your cards clean and pristine. Cards that snuggle up to your credit cards in your wallet, or rattle around loose in your purse or brief case will wind up creased, smudged, and ratty at the edges.
Use them as notepaper.
Nothing makes a customer feel more important than the phrase “This is my direct line” or “Tell this lady I sent you and you’ll get my discount” as you jot it down on the back of your card.
Include them in (almost) all correspondence.
With the rise in email and the fall in paper correspondence – including bills – you may want to include a digital scan of your business card as your email sig line.
Show your professionalism by including a card in a post-interview thank-you letter – even if you didn’t get the job.
Don’t put business cards in personal or emotional notes. Nothing sends the wrong message like a business card that falls out of a birthday greeting or sympathy note.
Consider including a photo on your business card to promote face/name recognition. Just make sure it’s up to date and doesn’t show you committing a fashion crime.
Alternately, you might show a photo of how your product works, or a before/after photo of your service.
Don’t be pushy.
Know when to hold ‘em (out) and when to fold ‘em. Chat a bit and wait for an appropriate moment to offer your card. Better yet, wait for the other person to offer theirs first – particularly if that person outranks you.
Resolve to USE them
Don’t let your cards collect dust. Whether brilliantly designed or elegantly simple, they won’t do you any good stashed in a drawer. Make a pact with yourself to distribute five to ten cards a day – and stick to it.
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