So, you’ve just begun your business, or you’re hoping to expand your reach, or you’re looking for fresh faces to hire.
No matter the reason, you have a stack of business cards to distribute and are unsure how to do so without seeming pushy to desperate. Customers and potential employees can actually tell a lot about someone by the way they're distributing business cards.
The Ideal Business Card Behavior
Many business owners’ first impressions come when handing out a business card. However, some may fail to impress, appearing rude or unprofessional by how they went about doing so. These are a few tips about when, where, and how to properly hand out a business card to avoid making any professional faux pas.
Always Be Prepared
Before you consider the mechanics of how best to hand out business cards, be sure you have them with you. A simple trip to the grocery store could lead you to someone interested in your services. If you don’t have a card on hand, exchanging information could be tricky.
Store your cards somewhere accessible, whether in your pocket, wallet, purse, or your glove compartment. Also, keep your cards in good condition. A crumpled card implies disorganization.
Ask for the Other Person’s Card
A good way to initiate a proper business card handoff is to ask for the other person’s card first, rather than offer your own. Even if you have no use for their services, this shows the person that you aren’t trying to push your business onto them, and they’ll feel more willing to ask for your card in return.
"Store your cards somewhere accessible, whether in your pocket, wallet, purse, or your glove compartment. Also, keep your cards in good condition. A crumpled card implies disorganization."
Show Interest in Their Business As Well
Again, don’t make the conversation all about your work. Inquire about the other person’s business, and you could potentially strike a partnership. By the end of your conversation, you may have another business owner willing to display your business cards, if you’re willing to do the same in return.
Find the Correct Time
When discussing your business, don’t pull out a card right away. First, gauge your audience’s reaction. If they’re not committed to the conversation, your card may end up in the trashcan. If they’re interested but unsure, take time to explain what your business has to offer.
Only after you’ve completely informed them, give them a card “in case you change your mind.”
Be Sure the Setting is Right
While you might meet an interested customer at the grocery store once, you shouldn’t distribute cards to everyone in the checkout line. Aim to market your business mostly during social gatherings. Formal settings, like networking events and conventions, are perfect for discovering companies to display your cards.
Casual get-togethers, such as backyard barbeques and school functions, commonly involve discussions about work and provide great opportunities to mention your business. When advertising your business, placing a card into every open hand isn’t as effective as it may seem.
By assessing the situation and networking based on your audience, people will become more receptive to your work. Your card may say it all, but you say it first.