Even in a digital age of email and social media, the business card is still a standard. It is inexpensive and it should always be within arm’s reach. In the working world we hand out and receive business cards on a regular basis. But how many times do you simply toss a new business card in the trash when you get back to the office? Now, reverse the roles. Yes, someone is doing it to us too. If we make a better impression, then perhaps they will keep our card, which may lead to fruitful collaborations down the line.
We can always pay people to keep our business card.
“Here, take 100 bucks… and my business card.”
Yeah, I am sure this will never be forgotten. You will probably also get a lot of calls. But they won’t be fun calls, requesting more 100-dollar bills. Bribing people to keep your business card is not the way to go. Sure, money talks, but it gets expensive with every business card. So, you’ll need to put in a bit of effort.
No one is impressed with a sorry-ass business card. You don’t need to make costly, fancy cards with holograms on them (if you do, please do send us one.) But make sure your cards are crisp and clean with correct contact information, and that they meet minimum standards for what looks good and professional. Get creative to make it stand out visually from other cards. Perhaps your flaky (but cheap) cousin who only designs in Microsoft Word isn’t the best option for creating a frontline introduction to your business.
Possibly add an inspirational quote or interesting trivia fact to the card, as a conversation starter. Then double-check details before printing.
Don’t have your cards all crumpled up and dog-eared. Keep them looking new and sharp.
Handing ‘em out
When you do hand over a business card, make sure to engage with the other person. Just dropping one on someone’s desk and running off ain’t going to get you anywhere, in our experience.
A business card is a reminder of you. Make sure that you make an impression. Try to stand out. You could always hand over a business card and punch the guy in the nose – you will never be forgotten. But then your business cards will most probably be handed over to the cops, and you don’t need that kind of heat.
Utilize the white space. Perhaps offer to draw a portrait of your client on the back. Doodle a quick smiley face or stick person and hand it back with, “I’m not great at drawing… but I’m much better at (add your business offering here.)”
Make eye contact. Shake hands. Chat. And then be confident and hand over a business card. Always ask for theirs in return. This is a sign of interest and respect. It takes two to tango, so get as good as you give.
Consider handing them only to people who will be in contact with you, not wastefully to everyone in the meeting, or anyone who walks past in the hallway.
Pro Tip: If a key person you hoped to meet misses a meeting, courier your business card to them. Make them sign for your card, it adds some prestige. And expense. So don’t do this too often.
Business card bonuses
Your business cards are cardboard props. Props are always good for telling a story. Have a look at some of the cool icebreaker ideas like Business Card for Cash or I Knew It. Also, the Hidden Agenda can easily go on the back of a business card – this always makes people smile.
Make people smile and chances are they will keep your business card. If you really want to step it up, try the Mobile Flight Mood – this gets people’s attention in a big way. The perfect moment to hand out a business card.
Also, The Arrangement can make a lasting impression when applied to 2 business cards.
These are all easy-to-do icebreaking suggestions that allow you to get more out of business cards, and load the bases in your favour. People like to be stimulated, so add a light touch and be bold.
Have more fun with your business cards. You have lots of them - try take a few chances when the moment is right. You will stand out from the crowd and your business card will be less likely to land up in the trash.