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Helping you connect: Business Cards

Your business card is a reflection of you and the brand you represent.  Regardless of the title on the card every business card should be treated with respect.

There is etiquette for presenting and receiving business cards.  Professional etiquette covers every aspect of the business environment.  There are many nuances that should be followed in business etiquette.  Being unaware of these guidelines may prove to be damaging to a budding career.

Business cards do not create relationships.  They are simply tools to assist in connecting with others.

Indiscriminate passing of your business cards is counter-productive.  Everyone is not interested in your services.  Using discretion while networking and passing your business cards will result in more positive results.  Passing your business cards only gives the other person an opportunity to connect.   Make your goal to only acquire cards that you intend to connect with.  The power to connect will be in your hands.

One of most challenging networking tasks is the follow up.  Acquiring business cards and not making contact is more common than people will admit.  Get into the habit of making those initial connections.  Devote a half hour to email or telephone those connections you would like to develop into relationships.

Here are some tips to help business card exchange:

  1. Your card should always be accessible. Searching through briefcases or purses for a business card is not professional.  Time is of the essence when you are conducting your professional life.  Minutes fumbling give the impression that you are ill-prepared.
  1. Make sure your card is clean and unbent with current contact information. Keeping your business cards in a case will keep them presentable.  Business cards should never have scratched out information, labels or any other attempt to make them current.
  1. Do not pass your card randomly. Never pass your cards in an indiscriminate manner.  Business cards do not make relationships.
  1. Always present your business card with both hands. You may also use your right hand.  In many cultures, the left hand is considered unclean and should never be used to give or accept a business card.
  2. Gentlemen, never give a business card from your wallet. Also, never place someone’s business card in your wallet in their presence.
  3. When accepting a business card, accept it in the same manner it was presented. Always make a comment about the card.  People spend a great deal of energy in developing that tool which represents them.  Notice it.
  4. When you have accepted a card, never drop it in your purse, toss it in your briefcase, or shove it into your pant pocket. Keep the card in your hand until you have left their presence.
  5. Make sure you keep your business cards and the ones you collect separate. It is a major business etiquette fail to give someone a card other than your own.  It signals a lack of attention, to simple detail.

Networking can be fun.  Passing out business cards does not equal successful networking.  Business cards are not trading cards.  It is the relationships that you develop, from the cards that you receive, that will indicate success. A successful networking event concludes with follow-up.  Connecting by email or telephone is the first step in making the business card fulfills its purpose.








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Laws control the lesser man, right conduct controls the greater. - Mark Twain