Business people often underestimate the potential impact of a great business card, and further fail to maximize the first impression and opportunities it can offer. If you get it right, your business card will help open doors to new customers; get it wrong and you’ll waste a very valuable opportunity to make your business prominent in the minds of people for years to come. Let’s look at some of the basics of business cards and how to use them effectively.
First and foremost, make sure your card is up-to-date with your business’s correct address, telephone number, and e-mail information. If you don’t want people calling you on your cell phone, don’t print that number on your card. Various contact options are also highly recommended, as not all people like making initial contact over the phone, and not everyone is comfortable with, or has access to, e-mail and the Internet.
If your company isn’t well known, or if your business’s name doesn’t explain what you do, consider including a statement on your card that sums it up. For example, a company name like “John Johnson Inc.” really doesn’t tell prospective clients anything. Better to add “Professional Roofer” somewhere, or a slogan such as “Providing Quality Roofing Since 1996.” And if you have a logo, be sure to add it to your card.
When designing your card, keep in mind that color is both extremely affordable and the most effective way to make your card stand out. These days more than 80 percent of business cards are still printed in black ink on white card stock.
That said, what you do with your business cards has far more impact on the sales you generate than your card’s design does. Offering your card with both hands, for example, is a simple, no-cost strategy that still creates an enormous psychological impact.
Business cards are the one marketing item you should be very generous with. Give them out freely to everyone who is interested in receiving one. If there is more than one person in a meeting, always give a card to everyone present.
Carry your business cards with you wherever you go. This includes when you go shopping, on vacation, and when you’re out and about running errands. After all, you never know where your next business relationship may come from.