Business cards are much more important than you may think.
We all understand the importance of making sure our business contacts have the means to reach us, and vice versa but there is a protocol, by which I don’t mean the very admirable Asian methods of presentation.
Firstly, the design:
Your cards should be informative but not cluttered nor overly complex but contain enough information for the recipient to contact you easily and, of course, should look professional.
In my card you will see the following:
- My name
- My mobile (I’m out more than I’m in)
- My email address and web address
All my contact details are accessible online in VCF format (Visiting Card File*) to make it easy for my clients to add to their address book.
For the tech-savvy the QR code simply links to my VCF card on line for download
On the back the card is used for notes and shows my FInstSMM status to inspire confidence.
That’s it, simple, clean and effective. Oh! And the corners? Radiused to be comfortable in the recipient’s pocket.
Do you really need your address? Perhaps you do but at least ask the question. How about a fax number? This is 2014 is it really necessary? Remember, this is a visiting card, not a brochure.
Now to the protocol.
Giving a business card is an invitation to make contact again, therefore, just handing them out willy-nilly will not have the desired response. Most will end-up in the bin.
Make contact, perhaps in at a networking meeting and when you both feel there is reason to stay in contact, exchange cards.
Use them in a business meeting so that the client does not have to struggle to remember your name.
By all means use them as a ‘sorry I missed you’ card, perhaps with a personal note on the back.
If enclosing with sales literature or samples, hand-write a short note on the back, this shows thought on your part and is more likely to be read and possibly retained.
In summary; give serious thought to the content of your card, perhaps use a designer and treat the cards with value and respect when exchanging them. Avoid the scatter-gun approach and NEVER be without some handy.
*VCF is a simple, standard means of exchanging contact details electronically. Programs such as Outlook etc. will automatically read and load VCF files. This means the client has no typing to do and is, also, error-free. Click here to see what I mean.