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Smart Ways Of Using Business Cards In Networking

February 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 151

You can spend hours designing and printing the perfect business card. Getting that stage right is important, but it all is for nothing unless you get those business cards out there to the right people in the right way. Business cards sitting back home or in the office in their box aren't working for you and yet you don't want to just spread them randomly all over your neighbourhood like confetti. So come up with a few strategies to give them out to useful contacts.

Always keep business cards on you. Keep some in your wallet and even have a special card-case - this looks professional and keeps them clean in your pocket. Keep a spare box of cards in your car glove box, in case you give out more than you expect one day. The idea is to be able to give out as many as will be useful without ever running out.

Remember that the idea is to exchange business cards, rather than just give out your own. You are building a network which is a two way thing. So when you meet someone who you feel will be a good contact, ask for their card first and give your own in return. Treat their card with respect - read through it briefly and put it away carefully in your wallet or card case. It may give you further topics of conversation to pursue If you think you know others who will be interested in that person's business ask for extra cards sp that you can refer them. They may well ask for more of yours too. Give them as many as they would like This is the start of a good networking relationship.

One tip to give your card a better chance of being kept - hand-write an extra piece of information on the back of the card as you give it to them - perhaps your personal cellphone number, or an additional website address or email address, something that is relevant to your previous conversation. That will act as a memory jogger and make your card more memorable.

Seek out potential networking partners for your business. Ideally you want a business that is complementary to your own with a similar group of clients but not direct competition. So if you were a sports nutritionist, for example, good potential partners might be a health food store, a gym, a physiotherapist and so on. Ask them if they will keep some of your business cards in return for you giving out theirs to potential contacts. Give them a stack of cards and perhaps a cardholder so that the cards can easily be kept available in their reception area.

Check with your networking partners at regular intervals to see if they need more of your cards and to get a new supply of theirs. And of course any time you get new cards printed, go round replacing your old cards with the new ones and update your partners verbally on any changes and additions to your business.

Use your business cards when making social connections too, for example at your children's school. You can write your home number or cell-phone number on the back of the card to make it more personal, but you never know when there could be a useful business contact among your kids' friends' parents. This doesn't mean you have to talk shop instead of cheering on the match - just promise to call each other in business hours to talk further and follow up on it.

Send out a business card with every piece of mail that goes out from your business. This means that existing contacts will have new cards to pass on to others, and you never know who you may reach this way.

The secret is to be generous in giving out business cards - give more than one to interested people so that they can pass them on. Never begrudge a few extra cards - the expense of printing them is minimal compared to the potential new business that they bring you. And you can always have more printed once you've given out your first batch - just remember to re-order in good time so that you never run out.

Deep Design is a top brand design agency, digital and print studio based in Cape Town. Contact them for business cards in Cape Town and for any other print and design needs.

Source: EzineArticles
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