Here is a story for you.
Using business cards for the first time can be really exciting. Especially when you see your name printed in glossy letters, embossed into a piece of paper that pretty much represents you as a brand.
That is until your efforts to improve your prospects with a client or customer fall short simply because you are unaware of the necessities of business card etiquette.
But, what exactly is business card etiquette?
All you know about business cards is that they help other business individuals contact you if and when the need arises.
And yes, that is definitely the most important thing to know.
However, if you flub up that important first 30 second impression, simply because of the way you handed over your business card, they’re probably going to throw away your business card like how you immediately throw away the flyers you get on the street.
But is it also the truth? Yes.
So, before you go on to continue handling your business cards in the wrong way, here are 4 very important things you should consider when it comes to business card etiquette:
1) Give Out Your Business Card With Both Hands
This is a piece of etiquette so many are unaware of, only growing aware of it when it is pointed out to them by a co-worker or client – both scenarios becoming very uncomfortable situations to be in.
Hand over the business card, holding it with both thumbs on the edges as the contact information faces the right side up for the receiver. It is both polite and respectful, two qualities that can really carry you forward in the business world.
The last thing you want to do is hurriedly give it out with one hand – as is the case with newbies these days.
2) Know When to give Out Your Business Card
You might want to just throw out your business cards at just about anyone who is seemingly a prospect. However, that is what advertising is for – not your business card.
Can you imagine someone handing you a business card after barely speaking a sentence to you, and on top of it – you never even asked for it? Even if they did successfully get it in your hand, you are probably just going to dump it in the garbage solely because of how rude and disrespectful that person was.
Always have a conversation with someone you might want to hand a business card out to, and only at the end of the conversation (however short it is), when you politely inquire about the possibilities of contact in the future, do you exchange business cards.
And remember – with both hands.
3) Follow Up As Soon As Possible (ASAP).
So, yay! You’ve secured the business card of someone who is going to help you in some way – be it money, investment, knowledge, etc.
However, if you get lazy – preferring to take your own sweet time with this, they’re probably not going to remember anything about how you got their contact information nor about that amazing conversation they had with you at XYZ event, especially when it might have been another networking event that resulted in hundreds of conversations with others like you.
Go in when it’s hot, and that means following up with a phone call, email, or even better, an invitation to meet up and expand on that conversation you shared.
But if you don’t follow up, that bit of networking you just did has gone to waste simply because you didn’t feel like it.
4) Get Properly Made Business Cards
Handing out poorly made business cards doesn’t just leave a bad impression on the recipient, but also creates a somewhat embarrassing situation for you.
While you might want to create your business card using something like MS Word because it seems simple, if you want to get a little more professional, we recommend the many many templates and sites available online that will help you create a proper, classy business card.
And we don’t recommend skimping down to the cheapest price because a cheap looking business card made on poor quality paper doesn’t benefit anyone. In fact, to help you out, the amazing site – Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51 for a limited time.
Still, you might think – is it really necessary to do all this?
Well, if you’re invited to a wedding, wouldn’t the basic etiquette be to bring a gift with you? And while the bride and groom probably won’t mention anything, they’re still always going to remember you as that miserly wedding guest who didn’t bring anything for their wedding.
The same goes for business cards. You always want to be one step ahead in the game and if something as simple as knowing how to handle a business card is going to help you do that, go for it.