In this era of electronic gadgets and address books have the days of the business card ended?
There are some people who think so. However I and many others hold a very different view.
Why do I think that business cards a vital tool in business?
Origin of the Business Card
Before I answer that question I would like to make the point that although business cards are very common in business throughout the world I believe that many people fail to use them properly even after all the years that they have been in use. They can be traced back to the 15th century in China when they were used as visiting cards by wealthy people when they called on others. In Europe they appeared in the 17th century during the reign of Louis X1V when again they were used as visiting cards to announce one’s arrival.
Why Business Cards Work
Business cards are easy to carry and store as they are kept small and easy to read. They carry enough information so that a person can remember you and be able to contact you. Another important point to remember is that business cards are also easy to pass on to someone else. Good businesses thrive on recommendations and when your satisfied customers recommend you to others that is great. This is where business cards really help.
Imagine a person, one of your satisfied customers is telling another person about the great job you did for them. Now that listener will go away and will probably forget your name and possibly the whole conversation. Now imagine what happens if they are not only told about your wonderful services but have been given your card? They will see that card in their pocket or wallet and will not only recall the conversation they had but have a record of your name and telephone number. You will more likely find that you have a new customer on the way! I have built good businesses on the referral system by making sure that all my customers are given a regular supply of business cards.
It is always good that every time you contact a client to let them have 2 or 3 more cards so that they will have a supply to pass onto those that they recommend. I keep a mailing list and when I send out regular newsletters I always enclose 3 cards with a note saying that it is appreciated when these are passed on to others. In my experience I find that 3 cards is a good number, 1 or 2 are mean and 4 or more may appear too forward.
If you employ staff you will find very advantageous to issue them with business cards at whatever level they are in your company as they will make the staff member feel more or value and they will hand out there card to others providing you with a very low cost marketing campaign.
Another advantage of business cards is that people will keep them for a long time in their wallets or desk drawers. I have had calls from people who have had my card for years before calling me!
Have the days of the business card ended?
Never! They are a vital and often underused tool that will help keep your customers because they are a reminder of you and will gain new customers as they are handed out.
Therefore hand out your business card whenever you can and watch the results as more business comes your way!