Once in lifetime, each one of us would have met people in seminars or business meetings who fish around in their wallet, handbag or pocket when they are asked for their business card. They may have hundreds of them back in office, but have forgotten to bring them. This is a shame. Remember, this action reflects your level of professionalism, preparedness and seriousness towards your business and goes a long way to make a lasting impression. Here are a few guidelines for using business cards:
- It’s important you make sure you have a good supply of cards on hand all the time to exchange with prospective clients or networkers. However, never pass out cards like you are “dealing cards”. Present it only when asked for one or you are asked for your contact information.
- Keep your cards in a leather or metal carrying case so that cards remain clean, crisp and provides you instant access at the time of exchanging
- Present your card in a way that the person receiving it can read it without having to turn it around. In Asian culture, a formal presentation is appreciated where both the hands are used to give and receive cards
- When receiving a card, take a moment to review or comment on some aspect of it. Show some interest by communicating. This helps to build a personal connect and makes a favourable impression.
- Never write on a person’s business card in their presence unless it’s a special card designed to include notes.
- Protocol says higher ranking person initiates the exchange of cards.
- Don’t handout your card during a meal. Your business associates may end up reading your card through a pungent smudge of garlic or oil
- Never exchange business cards at a social gathering. You may offend your host or hostess and come across as an opportunist