Do you remember the feeling you had the first time you got your own business cards?
Can you remember the feeling of how proud you were?
I can and it’s a little career defining moment I will never forget! Seeing my name in print for the first time, with a job title, email and mobile phone number! I can actually remember the first time I handed one over to at the first client meeting I had as a young sales person!
Most entrepreneurs feel that same little flush of pride when they get their new set of business cards delivered to them. That small piece of card has much more behind it than just some ink on paper. That business name can often represent years of planning, effort and hard work!
It’s a simple moment, but the thrill of seeing “your name in print” on a quality business card is a great feeling!
Unfortunately, in many cases, other people couldn’t really care less. Your business card, the one you’re so proud of, is just another advertisement… another piece of paper to file. It’s no more or less important than any of the many business cards that cross a prospect’s desk at any given point in time.
The psychology of business cards
So if your prospective client has so many business cards, how do you make sure that your business card is one of the few that attracts attention, gets kept, filed, and actually used when your prospect needs your product or service?
You need to really think about the reasons people keep cards to begin with. Often, it may not be for the reason you expect. Understanding this critical concept can dramatically affect the design and ultimate effectiveness of your card.
Let’s put a little scenario in place……
Let’s say that you install and maintain swimming pools. You meet your new prospect, Mr Smith and have a great conversation about landscaping around his swimming pool. You’re eager to conclude the conversation by handing over your business card because it seems Mr Smith is potentially interested in your service.
You’re starting to think you have a really “hot prospect” for sure…
Mr Smith could just as easily be asking because their neighbour has a pool, or because a friend has had a bad experience when they installed their pool, or because they have always liked to swim and loves gardening too, or because she collects business cards and doesn’t have one with a pool on it, or because she’s new in town and you’re the only friendly person she met today! (OK, tenuous I know but I’m just giving an example!)
In fact there are many reasons that someone may decide to keep your business card and here are some reasons why:-
1) As a link to a potential customer or client.
If you are in an industry related to one a person or a friend of that person is in and you could be a potentially useful contact.
2) As a link to a resource or a supplier.
If your products or services are relevant to another similar industry and the two could be linked together
3) As a link to a colleague.
Many business people keep quality business cards of colleagues and competitors. Perhaps you refer business to each other during busy periods, or work together as members of an industry association.
4) For social, non-business reasons.
Someone just likes the look of you or feels they get on with you!
5) For referring business – it may be passed on to someone else.
If someone knows of people who would find your products and services are in demand within their network of contacts, often they want to pass your card and contact information on, if they are confident you can provide a great service.
6) To update information they already have.
Maybe they have an old business card of yours with your old phone number on it, or without your website address.
7) Just in case.
Some people have a hard time parting with anything because they might need it someday.
8) Something likable, unusual or useful about the person or their card.
It maybe a memorable name of a person or a business. It may be a fantatic business card design or possibly you have used a promotional business card to promote a great offer or service.
Keep these reasons in mind when designing your business card. Make it instantly clear what you do and who you do it for. Your card may be passed on to someone else, or the recipient may be trying to remember you later after a long day of meeting people at an exhibition or a seminar.
Here are some more marketing strategies:
•Add useful information to the back of your premium business cards.
•Get in the habit of jotting notes on the back of business cards you collect (e.g. “Likes sport. Send brochure.”) Encourage card recipients to do the same.
•Ask people who receive your cards to pass them on and reward them for referring business, maybe with an offer of some kind.
•Develop and memorize a catchy tagline to say as you hand out your card, especially if your card isn’t particularly unusual or useful. Try not to be too cheasy but a simple and quick elevator pitch telling people what you are and your business does is always a great habit to learn.
Make sure you use tips like these that are relevant to your businesss and use your professional business cards to grow your network of contacts.