While listening to SiriusXM's Business Radio channel, I heard a really interesting program this morning…
We recently retooled our website with all-new content and design, so I thought it was also a good time to reprint business cards. However, before going through design and printing, I stopped for a few minutes to think. Once everyone’s email and contact applications integrated without to0 many gaps, I certainly did not give out as many cards as I used to. So, did we really want to go to the expense of producing cards? Why was this important?
- A business card is a good reminder of the person I met, even just a few minutes later. If you go to any business networking mixers, or just happen to give your card out to a prospect or associate, unless you have an elephant’s memory, a card is a good reminder of who you met and why you want to possibly connect to the person. Of course, I don’t want to follow up with everyone I meet due to various circumstances, but more often than not, I’ll first find the person on LinkedIn and connect online. After that, if it seems that there is more than just a casual connection, I’ll pursue an in-person coffee or meeting.
- A good card will give you important details about the person. Did you know “calling cards” began back in 15th Century China? I didn’t. In formal “house calls,” for example, your visitor presented a card with only the person’s name and nothing else; this “announced” that the person was calling on you. Today, of course, no one would really do that, but the effort to put more than just a name, phone & email on the card will help the recipient remember what you did for a living or what you have to offer. I’ve seen a lot of people actually make notes on a card to remember why they were given a card. It would be more efficient to have that kind of info already on the card because it shows that you took the time to think this out. In our case, we added our social media handles and our tagline (see below). Our logo already had the services we offered.
- It shows you are a professional. How many times have you been to an event where some of the attendees didn’t have cards? You hear things like, “Oh, I forgot my cards” or, “I didn’t think I needed them.” One strategy I use is to keep a stack in my backpack, car and office; therefore, I’m never too far away from carrying cards. If, however, you do forget your cards, suggest right away to the other person that you will email your contact information the very next day … and then do it, of course.
When it was time to reprint our cards, we went with a two-sided card. We printed these digitally, so the cost for a 4-color, two-sided card was only $5 more for 500 cards than it was for a 4-color, one-sided card.
Do you still give out as many cards as you used to? It’s a topic worth thinking about.