What Not to Do With Your Business Cards

Everybody has a business card. We all carry them, they have all of our contact information, photos, logos, printed on the front and the back. We spend a lot of money having our cards designed, or little money at all on them. The business card, seems to be the tool no business can do without. So, what exactly is the task that we expect our business cards to perform?

What Not To Do With Your Business Cards

The original task of the “calling card” was to let the lady of the house know that we were there, it was our calling card, we left it behind to let her know we had been there or to let the staff make her aware that we were there.

What Not To Do With Your Business Cards

So what do we use our cards for now? What do we want them to do? How do we use them and abuse them? Lets take a look;

What Not To Do With Your Business Cards

1. We expect our cards to tell people what we do. We go to networking events and hand our cards out to everyone, people we barely have any conversation with, as if the card will tell them everything about us. In fact there are many cards out there that have so much information on them you can barely find the address.

What Not To Do With Your Business Cards

2. We expect our business card to bring clients to our doors. How many times have you walked into a laundry mat, bank, grocery store or any other place to find a board that has hundreds of business cards tacked up on it? Have you ever pulled a card off the board and called the person up to do business with them? People hang their cards up on the board believing that it will get people to call them up and do business with them. Recently, I was at a bank and I saw several business cards of financial investment professionals. Now I don’t know about you, but I do not think I am going to invest my money with someone who has their card on a bulletin board. On the other hand, I did hire a guy with a truck to come and haul junk away for me. So, I can’t say it does not work, but for most people it does not.

3. We believe that everyone wants our cards. How many times have you been to a networking event and had people press their cards into your hands, in fact, take two and pass one on! It is like a contest to see how many cards they can get rid of before they leave. Recently, I went to a very large networking event, and there was a large table down the middle of the room. On that table were hundreds of stacks of business cards up and down the table. People were going up and down the table gathering up all of those cards. Now, I ask you, what were they going to do with all of the cards of people they had not even met? My guess would be that they are going to cold call them, or send the email newsletters.

What I find very interesting about the cards on the table, most of these people will not be happy when they end up on a newsletter list and will complain about the cold calls, but really, what did they expect.

Business cards should be treated as business tool to be used to remind others how to contact us after we have had a conversation. Our cards should be given to people who have ask us for our cards. Not handed randomly to everyone, not laid on tables and not stuck on bulletin boards. When I want a persons card, I ask for it, and I ask for it, because I am interested in the person and want to be able to contact them again.

The next time you are out, take a look at what people are doing with their business cards, look at what you are doing. It is just a business card, its purpose is not to be a sales tool, it is meant to be used as a way to let others be connected to you. To have a way of remembering you after they have met you. Save your cards, use them appropriately, given to those who ask for them. Or, drop them in a fish bowl for a free lunch, gym membership, facial, or a free financial review!

Hazel M Walker, owns three award winning franchise’s. She is a 10 year owner of two BNI Franchises where she teaches members how to leverage their time and network to build each others businesses. She is a master trainer for the Referral Institute and teaches Business Owners how to harness the Science of Referrals to leverage their networks and work smarter not harder.