Posted on March 3, 2018
Business cards are a condensed version of your resume or portfolio, and often the first impression a person has of your business. This means you need to understand how to appropriately hand business cards out to increase your chances at making a powerful and lasting impression. In this post we will cover the Top 10 Business Card Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid.
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Business cards come in an array of different sizes, textures, and colors. Digital business cards are even becoming popular, because of the ease of sharing and assurance that your business information will be easily accessed via smartphone.
The way you deliver and design your business card can potentially impress or confuse your contacts and that’s why we made a list of the Top 10 Business Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid:
Let’s face it–not all business cards are created equal. Studies show that over 70% of people judge a company by their business card. There are many business card designs to choose from, so decide on a design that is easy to read, not busy, and says just enough (but not too much). Be sure to include an social media platforms you’re on, and, of course, your website address. Consider using a heavier weight cardstock or even printed plastic. Never print business cards from home.
Business cards are subject to wear and tear, which is why it is super important to store them in a business card case or holder. Always make sure your business cards are easily accessible. Ladies should not keep their business cards at the bottom of their purse. Men should not store their business cards in their briefcase. Both of the aforementioned scenarios create a situation where oftentimes it takes too long to retrieve business cards which in turns cause disinterest and is unprofessional. Never hand out crumpled or torn business cards.
Not only is this bad habit easily avoidable and so therefor unprofessional, but it also carries the potential of a lost business contact. There’s nothing worse than asking for a business card and then not having one to give out!
Don’t be the person that gives out their business card to anyone and everyone at a networking or happy hour event. Not only does this appear overly aggressive, but it also carries the weight of looking desperate. It is also expensive. Just because you handed out 50 business cards doesn’t mean 50 people will call you back.
Giving out your business card at the wrong place or the wrong time can leave you with a poor reputation. The very beginning of a business meeting is the best time to give out your card–which is another reason why arriving early to meetings is advantageous.
It is common courtesy in many countries to use the right hand to give and receive business cards. Just as it is tasteless to shake left-handed, it is also bad etiquette to use the left hand when giving and receiving business cards. Get in the habit now of using your right hand–you never know when you will have to travel.
Always use cards with the most current business contact information printed on them. It is poor taste and very unprofessional to hand out business cards with scratched out, outdated contact information. You’ll lose credibility almost immediately!
Don’t be the person in the room that hands out 10 business cards to each person. It appears desperate, not successful. As a rule of thumb, wait to hand out your business card until you’ve been asked. Never force your business card on someone who is not interested.
Networking events and business meetings are not the hour to be writing notes on business cards. The only exception to this rule is if the note is relevant and tasteful. Don’t make sales and leads notes until you are out of view of others.
The first 24 hours are crucial to following up with potential leads after receiving a business card. After transferring the contact information in your favorite CRM or database, give the potential lead a phone call or send them a professional email. Don’t stash business cards in the bottom of a drawer or the back of a binder where they will get lost.
We hope you find our list of the Top 10 Business Card Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid both useful and effective. Feel free to share this article with your team and business associates.