10 Powerful Networking Tips Using Business Cards
by C. E. Reid
Giving out business cards is crucial to marketing your skills and services. Business cards speak volumes about who you are, what you offer and how serious you are marketing your company. Here are some proven tips using business cards to increase your chances of creating a business opportunity.
1. Never leave home without them. Before leaving home, your checklist should be expanded to include business cards, as part of “do I have my wallet/money, house keys, and drivers license? Any “per chance” meeting is an opportunity to give out a business card. A morning run or a quick trip to the local store could be an opportunity to network. Make it a habit to carry business cards.
2. Insert a business card when mailing bill payments. Bills contain advertisements. Insert a business card with your payment. You may not think a person in South Dakotawho opens your credit card bill payment can help you. Never underestimate the power of networking. A movie, entitled “6 Degrees of Separation” points out we are 6 people away from knowing someone of influence. You could be 6 people away from knowing the President of the United Sates, your favorite movie star or someone who is in a position to hire your home inspection services in your area. Developing this powerful networking attitude will be a fundamental source of continued success.
3. Use proper business card etiquette. Whenever you give a business card, ask for a business card. When given a business card, don’t just take it and place it in your pocket. Make the person feel important by looking at their card for a few seconds. You might see something that could be a topic of discussion. Write comments on the card such as date, location and common points of interest. These comments will prove valuable when following up with that person. This also demonstrates a sincere interest in the other person. Then place it in your wallet. This lets them know they reside in a special place with you.
4. Be generous. Give business cards out to everyone, including family and friends. Don’t let vanity stop you from giving out your last business card or giving 2 at a time to each person. I have met many people who have totally missed the purpose of a business card. I once asked a person for a second business card, so I could refer his services. His response was “I only have a few cards left and I need them” as he looked again at his name on the card. Hoarding your business cards only makes your wallet feel full, not your bank account.
5. Ask for referrals. When giving a business card, people feel more comfortable when you ask “I would appreciate a referral, if you know anyone that could use my services”. Don’t make people feel like they are on the spot. People naturally like to do favors for people. Saying “could you do me a favor by referring my services to someone”. This always places you in a better position with them. They will feel better about helping you. Give them 2 cards.
6. Maximize every “per chance” meeting. You never know when you might meet someone who can help you. Family or friends social events could produce unexpected encounters with people. Don’t discount those events. So you’re going to a birthday party for your friend’s kid. You never know who you might meet. At a family holiday gathering last year, I met someone that has been instrumental in developing our business this year. Who would have thought this could happen by giving him a simple business card.
7. Place yourself at the right place at the right time. Have you been to a real estate association meeting or local business gathering and been disappointed with the networking results? Turn the tables around. Consider volunteering to help out at the meeting or other types of events. This puts you in a better strategic position for presenting your business card. Real estate agents might view you differently, if they know you are willing to go the extra mile in helping them make their presence easier to manage. Volunteering for events has been a very successful resource for expanding our businesses.
8. Did you ever meet a potential client or real estate agent and wonder why they never called you back? “Out of sight, out of mind” is the operative phrase to remember. Give a person a reason to call. Immediately after your meeting, snail mail a hand written note thanking the person for their time. Insert your business card. Now you’re in the driver’s seat in standing out from other people. If you get no response, do it again. Patience and persistence pays off.
9. Use promotions to promote yourself. Newspapers often have stories of Real Estate Agents receiving awards, or being a leader in their field? This is an opportunity for you. Consider purchasing invitation size blank greeting cards. Use the Internet’s search capabilities to find out the address of the company’s offices. Send the blank invitation type card with a hand written note sincerely congratulating a person on their achievement. Insert your business card. For the cost of a 39-cent stamp, you have just made someone’s day and may create an impression that makes a person feel compelled to respond back to you. Make it a habit to do this once a week. Remember “6 Degrees of Separation”. You just never know . . . People open invitation type envelops faster than any others.
10. Brand yourself with a slogan. Print a slogan on your business card that answers the question “Why should I hire you? Or What makes you different from everyone else? A catchy phrase or slogan insures people ALWAYS associate a company name with their product or services. People remember even after the commercial is over. That’s called branding. Companies pay big bucks to advertising agencies to come up with these lasting slogans. Consider doing the exact same thing on your business card. This is your insurance people remember you, after you meet. Don’t just put Horton Home Inspection on your business card. Add something like “Home Inspection for your Protection”. A slogan makes all the difference between getting hired or not, because people will remember you long after a meeting.
Happy trails networking . . .
About the Author:
Starting with less than $400, Carl E. Reid used networking to become founder & CEO of NetTECH Systems, a technology consulting firm to fortune 500 companies. Through his business coaching, networking workshops and free newsletter “Savvy Intrapreneur”, Mr. Reid empowers people to run their career like a business. As a sought after speaker, with 33 years of business experience, Carl has helped many people jump start their careers and develop successful businesses.
For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for ordering translated business cards.
You can also use our express FREE Asian Business Card Translation Quote Request Form to select your options and receive a detailed quote for your exact order.
Japanese, Chinese & Korean Business Card Translation, Typesetting & Printing Experts