If you’re in business, the giving and receiving of cards is an essential part of growing your network but they’re only beneficial if you use them properly.
How often have you heard this:
“I’ve got a mountain of business cards on my desk – I’ve no idea who they’re from!”
“Can I take another one of your cards? I’m sure I’ve already got it somewhere in my office…”
You can’t control what happens to your cards once you’ve given them out but you can control your half of the exchange. To get the absolute most from your business cards, follow these simple steps to success…
Business card best practice:
- Wear clothes with pockets. Place your own cards in one pocket and put cards you receive into the other. This avoids the “oh dear I’ve just given you someone else’s card” embarrassment.
- Take a pen and write down key points about any potential business, personal info or helpful reminders, on the back of each person’s card. This makes it easy to quickly remember who that person was and what you spoke about, when you’re following up later.
- Always follow up – straight away. If it’s a morning meeting, follow up that afternoon. If it’s an evening doo, follow up the next morning. The longer you leave it, the foggier their memory of you will be. (Perhaps more so, if it was an ‘evening doo’!)
- Try to get a business card in return for each one you give out. It’s great if someone asks for your card – that means they’re interested in what you do. Even so, despite their best intentions, your card may well end up buried under a mountain of papers on their desk. Get their card in exchange and follow up proactively. It may be the nudge they need to consider working with you.
- Lastly, keep your cards in good condition and make sure they feature all the essential info a person would need. Include an email address, phone number, name and website URL (I know it sounds obvious but you’d be surprised!).