The Etiquette Of Giving A Business Card

January 25, 2018 · Print This Article

Giving out your business card may seem like a simple enough thing. After all, how hard can it be to give someone a bit of paper? In reality, there are many unspoken etiquette rules involved in handing out cards. From not giving cards out to everyone you see to waiting to be asked before giving your card, keeping your cards up to date, adding a handwritten note and having enough cards on your person at any given time, we’ve put together a simple guide on business card etiquette.

How to Hand Over Your Business Card

Here are a few tips to consider before you hand out that business card.

Make sure that all information on your card is up to date.

Before you do anything else, make sure that your cards are up to date and accurate. Nothing is worse than handing out your card to a few people at a major event, only to realise later that your email address, phone number or role has changed. A general rule of thumb is to print cards in smaller runs if your business is likely to change at any point or you have a job that will involve a promotion at some stage. Whenever there any information on your original card changes, you will need to print new cards as soon as possible.

Keep a decent stack of cards with you at all times.

While it is never a good idea to print thousands of cards that you will likely never run out of any time in the century, you should keep a good selection with you at all times. One way to keep your cards close is to invest in a cardholder. As charmingly old-fashioned as these holders seem, they are extremely useful to keep a stack of cards with you whenever you are on the road, at conferences or at any other networking event. A beautiful card holder can also look impressive, as an added bonus.

Don’t force your card on everyone you see.

Even if you have a pile of cards with you, it does not mean that you should give them out to everyone you meet. Handing out your card to people uninvited is considered very rude in the corporate world. In fact, while you may think that you are proactively marketing your business, you are to all effect spamming people. Your card will almost certainly end up in a waste bin somewhere rather than being seen by the right people at the right time. That brings us to our next point…

Give your card to those who show genuine interest.

If you only give your card out to those who actually ask for it, there will be a far higher chance of that person genuinely wanting to get in touch. This is what real networking is all about. It is not forcing your contact details onto people, but rather about making meaningful connections. You can offer your card under certain circumstances. If you have been chatting a while, and your new connection is displaying interest, asking questions or asking you about pricing and other details, it will not be considered too rude to offer your card. When in doubt, however, it is safest to wait until your card is requested if you are not 100% sure.

Add a personal note to the back of the card. 

Finally, a good way to hand your card over is to write a personal note relating to how you met your new contact. You can write this on the back of your card. Something as simple as, ‘hope you enjoyed XYZ Conference as much as I did!’ or ‘see you at the next trade show’ will help people remember you more easily. This also turns the exchange of cards into a meaningful connection, with the handwritten note adding a personal touch that will be remembered as much as a sleek card case and your respect of waiting to be asked to give your card. In business, it is all too often these thoughtful gestures that have the most impact.

Looking for expertly designed and printed cards? Contact Minuteman Press Pinetown for professionally printed business cards in Durban and surrounds.

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