There are so many unwritten rules in the business world that you need to know in order to not only thrive but survive. And when it comes to business card etiquette, those rules very much exist and need to be followed in order to grow your brand or business.
Knowing what to do, and what not to do, with your business card can go a long way in helping you get the results you're looking for. On the contrary, not following the proper business card etiquette can damage your reputation beyond repair.
So what is is the proper business card protocol to follow? And what are some tips and tricks you can use to get the most out of your business cards?
If you're asking yourself these kinds of questions, wonder no longer, because we're here to help! In this article, we'll tell you the dos and don'ts of business cards, so you can confidently and correctly use business cards in the future.
Now then, let's get started!
It may sound silly, but we have to mention that it's important to keep some business cards with you at all times. Whether in a purse, a wallet, or some other carrying case, be sure to never leave the house without some business cards on you.
Also, notice how we said cards... as in plural? Nothing is worse than being somewhere and being asked for a card from multiple people, but only having one card with you.
Prevent that from happening by carrying multiple cards with you at all times.
It may be tempting to just hand out cards to every single person that you see out in public. This is definitely the worst thing you can do. Not only are you wasting money by giving away cards to people who don't actually want one, but you're also giving off a bad first impression to potential new customers.
Only give out your business card when prompted, or when it's natural to do so in conversation. Because once you turn someone off, it's next to impossible to gain back their interest in you, your brand, or your business.
Again, besides being prompted, you don't want to hand out business cards just to hand out business cards. Even if you are eager to give your card to a potential customer, don't rush to that part of the conversation.
Let it occur naturally; that way, it doesn't come off as you only wanting something from them. Being friendly and personable is just as important, or even more so, then actually giving them a piece of paper with your information on it.
It may seem like a small thing, but don't give away more than one card to an individual, unless they ask for more. Again, the idea here is to make a good first impression on someone and then provide them with contact information on how to reach you or your business.
You can leave a bad impression by giving away multiple cards, as it comes across like you're expecting them to hand them out for you. It's not their job to promote your business, and you don't want to accidentally give them the impression that you think it is.
We may be starting to sound redundant, but we can't understate how important making a good first impression is. So it goes without saying that having a presentable and professional-looking business card is an absolute must.
Knowing what to include on a business card, and what not to include, is extremely important. Also, you want to make sure you store your cards in a safe way, so they don't get damaged before you hand them out to clients or customers.
Finally, consider spending some extra money on unique business cards. Things like metal business cards can help you stand out from the rest and keep you and your brand or business in someone's mind after your interaction.
Obviously, this only works for a mutual business relationship, but make sure you follow the card-for-card rule. What's the card-for-card rule?
If someone asks you for your business card, don't be afraid to ask them for theirs in return. Even if they don't have a card, showing that you're also interested in speaking with them about business in the future shows good faith on your part.
And if you ask for someone's card, you can feel comfortable exchanging yours in return as well. Again, this only works in a mutual business relationship, and not with a customer-to-business relationship.
But the card-for-card rule is a great way to network with other people in the business world and help you naturally give away your business cards.
Well, there you have it! Those are the business card etiquette standards that you should follow going forward!
Remember, more important than getting your business card in someone's hand is providing them with a good first impression. Rushing your business card into a conversation, or just giving one to a stranger, is not going to leave someone with a good first impression.
Also, you want to make sure that you have multiple cards with you when you go out in public at all times. Take care of them, too, so they're not tattered or frayed on the edges when you give them away.
Looking for more business tips and tricks? Check out our blog!