How many of you have business cards and use them regularly in your business promotions and networking? I’m sure most of you will answer yes to this question.
As consultants, small business owners, and freelancers business cards play a big role in our self promotion and are a handy little tool. If used properly that is…
What am I getting at here you ask? Well since moving back to North America from living and doing business in Japan for many I’ve noticed something – our business card etiquette sucks!
I’m not one to complain without doing something about it so today I thought I’d share 3 simple yet effective tips I picked up while living in Japan on giving and receiving business cards.
1. Wait a Few Moments
This first tip applies more to when you are out networking and meeting potential business contacts. I’ve noticed before I even speak to many people I meet while networking their card is being pushed into my face. This is no way to do business!
Before you hand out your business card have a small conversation with the person. When the time is right then give out your card. Not only will you come across more relaxed and professional but waiting a few moments will also give you a chance to decide not to give out a card if you meet someone that you’re sure you don’t want to follow up with and have further contact with.
2. Show Interest
Most people I give my card to here in Vancouver barely even look at my card after they get it. They just quickly stuff it in their pocket without a glance – this is straight up rude people!
Instead of doing the above when you get a business card from someone take a second to look at the card, flip it over and take a look at the back, maybe give a compliment on it if you like the design or logo, or even just ask a question about the business while looking at the card. This will show you’re interested and respect the person that you’re speaking with and that is a good thing in business.
3. Place the Card on the Table
When you meet clients or new business contacts at a coffee shop, boardroom, or office, you usually meet at a table right? Well next time you have a meeting instead of stuffing the business card you receive into your pocket just place the card you receive on the table and keep it there throughout the meeting.
It’s super easy to do this and it’s just another sign of respect to whoever you’re meeting. You can also look at the card from time to time during your meeting which shows additional interest and also help avoid uncomfortable eye contact which can happen from time to time during one on one business meetings.
So there you have it folks, 3 simple yet very effective communication techniques for giving out and receiving business cards.
Do you have any techniques that you use or have worked for you?