I’ve heard every excuse…
- “Just gave out my last card.”
- “I left them in my office.”
- “Never carry cards with me.”
- “Sorry, didn’t bring any.”
Don’t let this be you!
Not having a business card conveys a negative message. Perhaps something like, “you’re just not that important to me,” or “I really do have cards in my pocket, but I’m saving them for a better prospect,” or “I’m just not that serious about doing business with others.” Yuck!
Granted, one of the primary tenets of the Coffee Lunch Coffee approach to networking is that connecting with others is not about collecting a pocketful of other people’s business cards. However, forgiving the occasional lack of cards on hand (it’s happened to me before, too), business cards serve a very important role in the networking process.
Business cards, done right, are a fabulous tool. Not only do they list the particulars of how to contact an individual, but they convey a message between two people that says something akin to “It was a pleasure to (re)meet you. Let’s please stay in touch. I’d like to continue our discussion.” Or, if that is not compelling enough for you, an exchange of business cards may convey a desire to DO BUSINESS with one another!
Please, please, please… whatever your purpose in networking, be sure to have a business card (students, moms, bloggers, job seekers, everyone: I’m talking to you, too). They do not have to be expensive — in fact, go to PsPrint or Vistaprint.com — that where I get mine. There, you can get very affordable, high quality cards printed in the design of your choice that fits your style and persona. (Caution: Do NOT go for the free cards… they have a note on the back that says something like “printed at Vistaprint.com” on them and look as cheap as they are… there is a price to “free….”) Another great place to order cards is Moo.com — a bit pricier, but the cards are gorgeous and true conversation pieces. [Update 1/15/17: Recently learned about yet another site, Canva, which is a simple, drag-and-drop design software that is completely online and free to use. Looks pretty cool — if you try it, be sure to report back about your experience!]
Oh, and don’t forget, business cards have both a front and a back side — some of the coolest, most memorable cards I have seen make good use of the space on the back of the card, too. In fact, one of my favorite uses of the back of a card came from my friend and marketing professional, Bob King, who includes a form for his new contact to jot down a few notes about their conversation!
Of course, this all begs the question: What do you do with all those cards you do collect??? Let’s just say, this is another topic for another day… in the meantime, what do YOU do with all those cards you collect? Please provide your feedback by commenting on this blog so we can share your wisdom with the CLC community.