In this day and age, one bad business move could put your professional image at risk. The rule of thumb is that you have a total of thirty seconds to make your best, first impression. And according to proven psychological analysis, people are going to judge you not only by appearances, but by how they feel at the first meeting. And it’s not just about the way you dress, or how attractive you are, many people who decide to do business with you are judging you based on your networking techniques. And they make the decision fairly quickly. You do not have a lot of time to waste, and you certainly do not want to hand over a pixelated, terribly printed business card that you designed yourself in order to save a few bucks. Here are a few tips for business card etiquette that you can use in order to stand out from the competition and land the deal:
Do Not Hand Over Poorly Made Marketing Materials
There are print companies out there who use cheap pricing tactics to reel in unsuspecting customers; they will make incredible offers like “500 business cards for $9.99” and just as the saying goes, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” - in this case, it is. These companies expect you, the non-artist, the person who knows nothing about graphic design, to design your own business cards. Upon first glance, it may seem easy, but something as simple as not understanding how color works on a computer screen versus on printed material, can ruin your card. Also things like not knowing how to set the dimensions of logos and fonts, can have your card looking like it was printed from your own computer. Immediately your business associates or potential customers will judge you as not taking pride in your work, and will pass you over for someone more professional. In this case, it’s better to spend a little more up front, and get free, custom graphic design that guarantees your cards will be the best in the bunch!
Never Interrupt a Conversation to Hand Over Your Business Card
For one, people who are engaged in a conversation will be distracted by you handing over a card and walking away. More than likely, the card will be ignored because you did not engage with the recipient in a meaningful way. It’s better to wait for their conversation to be finished, so that you may properly introduce yourself and your business. This is a great opportunity to stand out from others who are merely handing out cards and moving on…especially if your card is better than the others.
Use Smart Business Cards That Will Stand Out From the Rest
Most people go for standard business cards, and while there is nothing wrong with wanting to keep it simple, opting for a magnetic business card that will last a long time might be a better option. Even considering a business card sticker, will prove to have more longevity than a plain card. You can still have a simplistic design, but a card with a magnet or sticker is unlikely to be ignored. But if you really wan’t to stand out from all of the boring cards that are being handed out, you could consider a dynamic, die cut business card, or a card that is printed with bold foil accents. Whatever you choose, if you select options that make your card nicer than the others, yours is less likely to end up in the trash.
Utilize a Unique Logo and Design
Your business cards and marketing materials such as brochures and postcards should be treated as the gems of your business…after all, these are your advertising tools and represent your image and words long after you have verbally given your pitch. When you purchase a logo from a basic print company that offers discount cards, you are not getting something custom made for business, you are just getting a standard, copyright-free logo that may have been used by other companies. Business associates and customers can tell the difference between a brand who takes pride in their image versus one who does not. You are essentially doing your business an injustice by not hiring a professional graphic designer to design a unique logo and marketing materials. Successful companies have a recognizable logo that represents their brand and what they stand for. Your business is just as good as theirs and deserves nothing but the best.