Even in a digital world, print still has its place, especially the use of business cards. Many consider business cards to be the staple of a business’ success. There’s something to be said about this tangible object that is handed off during a face to face exchange, and no matter how “old fashioned” some may view this, handing-off a business card still plays an important role. Business cards can help boost brand awareness, gain new clients, as well as attract partners and investors. However, there are rules to remember when you are exchanging business cards. Otherwise, you risk giving off the wrong impression. But, by following these helpful business card etiquette tips, you can play by the rules and make an excellent first impression.
First impressions are essential, especially in business, so make sure you are on your game by reading these useful yet straightforward business card etiquette tips.
• Always be prepared by ensuring that you always have a stack of business cards on hand with you at all times. You never know when you might run into a new connection. It could be at the grocery store or laundromat even. Having them on hand will help you look more professional, so be prepared at all times.
• You are always prepared by having a small stack of business cards on you, excellent, but knowing when to hand them out is vital. You do not want to offer business cards randomly, at the wrong time, and without reason. Plus, it can get expensive printing out new sets of cards, so save them for those interactions that are appropriate for the exchange.
• When you hand out a business card, see if they have one in return. If you expect to keep in contact with this person, make sure you exchange business cards with each other. Upon accepting the card, read it over and show appreciation for receiving it. Taking care when storing their card is also essential. It can look unprofessional and disrespectful if you take someone’s card and then just shove it in your wallet or pocket.
• Remember, presentation matters, and this goes for both your personal presentation and how you present your business cards. How you offer or hand off your card is just as important as how you hold yourself and your overall appearance. Keep your cards in one spot so you know where they are when needed. Having to search to find your cards does not look professional. Also, keep them tucked away securely. Meaning, don’t leave them scattered in your briefcase, or crumpled up in your pocket. Instead, invest in a business card case, or place them in something that can help prevent them from becoming damaged.
• Make sure your business card is up to date and accurately represents your brand or company. If your phone number or some other piece of information has changed, do NOT cross out the information and write down the new information. Handwriting in a new phone number or email address looks unprofessional, so make sure you update your business card and print out a new set that accurately represents your current information.