How to hand out your business card in an appropriate manner
Although the digital world has pretty much taken over everything paper, one thing that retains its importance is a carefully placed business card. Yes, people still use business cards, but the etiquette that goes with it seems to be lost.
Yes, it may just be a card but it’s part of your branding. How you hand it out will speak a lot about you as a professional. It is one of the powerful ways to promote your new website or the business.
Here’s a quick refresher on how to hand out your business card appropriately.
1. Keep it Nice and Crisp
Make sure that when you’re handing out a business card, it’s nice, clean, and crisp. No one wants to take a dirty, crumpled business card. That’s just plain disrespectful and leaves a wrong impression.
Remember, your card is a representation of your profession and business, so make it count. Consider getting a holder where you can store your business cards nicely. Not in your wallet – that’s quite nasty, actually but in a separate business card holder away from all dirty bills, receipts, and condoms.
Place your holder somewhere easily accessible; that way when someone asks for it, you don’t go rummaging through your back pocket to look for it.
2. Be Discriminating
Not in the wrong way of course! By discriminating, we mean be selective about who you choose to give your business card to. Don’t just hand it out to everyone all willy-nilly. That’s a waste of paper, opportunity, and it’s incredibly inauthentic.
People find it cheap when they see someone handing out a business card like it was a flyer to a free concert. Think strategically. Maybe this person is just someone you want to be friend of which an exchange of numbers or emails will suffice.
However, if you think there’s a professional benefit to connecting with them, then yes, definitely give them your business card.
3. Give Your card Only When Asked, at the End of a Conversation
Doing it in the beginning or the middle of a conversation might make you seem desperate to collect contacts. The person you’re talking to will also think you’re insincere since it looks like you’re only there to benefit from them.
Instead, focus on the conversation and be present. As soon as the conversation is about to end and the person is hinting that they want to stay in contact with you, that’s the time you hand out your business card. It’s just more polite and makes for a nice transition.
4. Write a Quick Note on the Back
Often times, the person who receives the card will do this, although they might do it later in private just to be polite. Why not do them the favor of doing it yourself? Ask them if it’s okay to do so before writing on it.
It takes away the awkwardness of the situation and keeps the memory fresh since it’s already written down in ink. That’s also a great business card design pro tip – leave room for this at the design phase of your business card templates.
5. Ask for Their Card, Too
This is definitely a must if you’re giving out your business card. Think about it, do you want to leave it to chance that they will contact you? Of course not! So go ahead and ask for their business card; that way, you can initiate contact yourself.
When they do hand out their card, don’t just take it and put it away. Say something about it, treat it like an extension of the conversation.
Maybe you need to clarify some details on the card. They probably put in as much effort as you did with their business card. A compliment makes them feel good, and it’s a sure way they’ll remember you.
Is there anything that we missed? What’s your number one non-negotiable when it comes to business card etiquette? Share your thoughts in the comments.