Have you ever asked a sales person for a business card and had them say they were out? Or, have you had to wait while they rummaged through their wallet or purse and pulled out one that looked like he had been sitting on it for years? What does this say about the professionalism of that sales person or the lack there of? It is bad enough you had to ask for the card to begin with.
Whether you are a businessman, sales person, job seeker, you’re self-employed or work for a major corporation your business card is one of the best marketing tools you can have. It tells who you are and what you have to offer a potential client. It gives them all your contact information including your company name, your name, address, telephone number, fax number, mobile/cell phone number, email address and your websites. It advertises YOU.
Here are a few tips for maximizing the use of your business cards.
1. Don’t skimp on quality. A cheap, homemade card looks like a cheap, homemade card. Remember you are trying to present a professional image and you have to take every opportunity to convey that image. Even when you select the best premium card from a professional printer, this will be the least expensive advertising you can buy and it will give you the best return for your dollar spent.
2. Don’t put too much information on the card, otherwise it becomes cluttered. People will not read a cluttered card. Usually people will only give a quick glance at the card and determine if they will keep it or toss it.
3. Don’t print on both sides of the card. Leave the back blank. By doing this you have created a place for the potential client to make notes about you or a particular service you are offering. This can be a great tool for the client.
4. Always carry your business cards. You never know when the opportunity will arise for you to give someone a card. No card equals a lost opportunity.
5. Don’t be stingy, give them out liberally. Take every opportunity that you get to give cards to people. Hand them out any time it is appropriate. Leave them at places of business and restaurants. Send them with all of your mailings. I even heard of a person who got a real estate referral from a card he sent with a payment he mailed out. There are all kinds of opportunities to promote you.
6. If the circumstances are right give out more than one card to each person and ask for referrals.
a. When given a card – give a card.
b. When given a card – look at it and don’t just put it in your pocket.
c. Know when self-promotion is not appropriate.
d. Don’t be obnoxious or too pushy.
e. Look at the card you are giving out to ensure it is your card, it is clean and it has no writing on the back.
8. On all follow-up contacts and mailings send another card
You are promoting yourself and your business. Your card can speak volumes about who you are and what you have to offer. It serves as a reminder of your contact and meeting.
As a real estate professional I recently received a telephone call from a person that said, “I was looking through my desk today and saw your card. I have this property I am thinking about selling and wondered if you would be interested in discussing it with me?” Out of the blue an old card I had mailed out last year brought an opportunity.
It is not always practical to carry your resume or brochures with you everywhere you go or all the time. A business card can be the next best thing.
It is time to put your advertising dollars to work and light up your billboard. Let’s hand out some cards.
Have you had any special success stories as a result of business cards? Let me know how the using business cards have helped your business.