At networking events, people have only about 30 seconds to make an excellent first impression regardless of what industry they're in. This is precisely why they couldn’t possibly afford to make the wrong impression. Whether they’re fishing for new clients, trying to boost brand awareness or working hard to attract new partners and investors, individuals who attend these events usually plan everything in advance, including their outfits, speech and follow-up plan.
Unfortunately, very few people acknowledge that the way in which they exchange business cards with their interlocutors is just as important as the suit they choose to wear or the information that they offer. So how much do you know about business card etiquette? If you feel the need to discover the basics of this prominent topic, here are 4 rules that you should never break while exchanging business cards in any given set of circumstances.
1. Do Not Offer Your Business Card Randomly.
For starters, keep in mind that you should never try to hand out cards to all attendees as if you are offering candy to trick-or-treaters. Slipping a business card in the hand of someone who is having a conversation with another person is a very rude gesture that you should never resort to. Basically, it’s annoying and distracting, and it constitutes the equivalent of getting junk mail at home. If your goal is to keep your marketing message in the spotlight and enable it to reach as many individuals as possible, opt for other types of print marketing materials—such as brochures, catalogs or billboards—or simply invest in an ad that you could distribute on multiple channels.
2. Give Your Card to Those Who Ask for It. Ask for Their Card in Return.
By exchanging cards with someone, you gain access to his or her contact information. This means that you have the chance to follow up with an email or a phone call. You could also follow them on social media, or land on their website. The sky is the limit when it comes to listing all the valuable post-networking opportunities that a well-designed business card may help you unlock.
After handing out your business card to those who specifically ask for it, you could also ask them for a way to reach them as long as you are truly interested in what they have to say or offer. Otherwise, don’t just go around collecting hundreds of cards from random people, thinking that you may need them at some point.
3. Leave a Note on Your Card.
When one of your new contacts ask you for your card, take the time to write a short note on its back before offering it to refresh the recipient’s memory and highlight the most important aspects of your conversation. However, keep in mind that this practice may be poor business card etiquette if you do a lot of international business with people of other cultures.
4. Protect and Add Value to Your Business Card Collection.
Don’t keep cards in your pocket or purse. By doing so, you could misplace or damage one of your most valuable advertising tools. Instead, try to keep your business card collection organized by buying and using a nice business card holder. Don’t doodle on your cards, either. Unless you need to add key information to help the recipient remember you and your chat, refrain from writing on the cards that you hand out.
Also, every once in a while, you should consider updating your business card design with 4colorprint.com, especially if you have to modify your contact information, change your call to action or tagline or explore new methods to create a positive impression via well-chosen graphical elements that could add visual appeal to your print materials.