Business Card Etiquette
Have you noticed that every person that presents his/her business card has their own way of doing so? And once you have the card, do you put it in the wallet immediately, do you fidget a bit with it and then slip it into the pocket? Has it ever happened you left it behind, on the meeting table? Well, let me guide you through the proper way:
When is it appropriate to present your card? If you are attending a meeting, don’t start throwing out your card right at the beginning, between trying to find a seat and getting a glass of water. Wait until everybody is seated and the introductions have been made but don’t wait too long into the meeting either. Once the presentation/meeting started, it will switch the focus from the product or issue to be addressed to you… in a negative way. If you have a portfolio, or any presentation documents for attendees, it is a good idea to stick your card on the first page.
If you are attending a networking event or any other social gathering, walking with the stack of cards in hand and giving them away to everybody is not quite the best idea. Usually, wait a few minutes, create a rapport, a connection of any kind with the other person before reaching for a card. You want to create that “special” effect on your interlocutor, so as he/she will remember you and associate you with good feelings. Remember, before being business men or business women we all are human beings acting on feelings and senses.
Then, when you present the card, no matter how you hold it (with 2 hands, by one corner, etc..) make sure you hand it with the printed face up and ready to be read by the other person. If you are at the receiving end, take a few seconds to read the name and title on the card. Making sure you remember the name with the proper spelling is a very important detail in any networking or business deal attempt.
After taking the time to look over it, you are free to put it in the pocket, in the binder or wallet without offending anybody. I usually keep them in front of me during the meetings to make sure I have the names right. It helps breaking the ice, it helps connecting and as we are all vain human beings, if you remember my name, I will be more open to whatever service you present.
Needless to say that before taking that little piece of paper out of your pocket to hand it out, make sure that all the details are correct: names, titles, phone numbers and address including the postal code. The devil is in the details! A quality business card will give the feeling of power and money while a bold design will make a lasting impression.
When you work in Sales, most of your time is spent off site, visiting clients or prospects. Take advantage of these visits and use the power of your business card again. Instead of just stating your name to the receptionist or secretary, charm them with a nice compliment and present them with your business card. First, you have all heard the saying ” Before reaching God, you need to charm all the angels!” You never know who is sitting in that chair and how much decision power could potentially have on your deal or service being considered. Secondly, it is a very nice way of making sure that your name and the company you represent will be announced correctly. It is a great start of a meeting, accommodating everybody and making sure you are associated with positive feelings within the targeted company.