- When travelling abroad on a business trip and conducting deals in other countries, have a batch of business cards printed with one side translated into the appropriate language. This will ensure that there are no barriers in communication whilst negotiating deals and networking within important individuals.
- Don't add people to a mailing list simply because you have exchanged your business cards. The exchange of a business card is a demonstration of trust; don't assume that everyone who proffers their card wants to be a member of every mailing or newsletter list possible. Connect with that person first; email them, give them a call or contact them through a social network and drop in a question about adding them to the list first. Always ask their permission; don't just assume that it's granted with their business card.
- Get a business card case and keep it in a breast or trouser pocket. Rummaging through bags and folders to find a business card demonstrates a lack of organisation and respect for your own business card; ensure that if you are carrying a stack of cards, they are within easy reach at all times, whether it is a networking event or just a day at the office. You never know who you will encounter and need to whip out some contact details.
- Create a rating system for your business card contacts; rank them between 1 and 3 based on the likelihood that you will cultivate a business relationship with them. Those who fall into the 1 category can be first priority when conducting follow-ups, whereas those who are ranked as 3s do not need to be followed up quite so quickly.
- In the days after receiving a business card from someone, find a moment to write down something memorable about them, whether it is where they are from, how many kids they have or when their business was founded. Then, when conducting a follow-up, you have a small fact about them that will help to make the call more personal and friendly.
The conventional business card tips are etched in the memories of those who distribute their cards as part of their job. ‘Exchange, don't give', ‘Don't give out a soiled business card' and ‘Keep the design simple' are basic guidelines that every professional should adopt as their mantras. But there are a number of other useful tips which can be utilised which many businessmen and women may have overlooked. Neil Forrest, of business printing service CardsMadeEasy, says, "There are so many ways in which to use and distribute a business card, it is little surprise that there is so much advice out there. Whilst bearing in mind the conventional tips that everyone is aware of, try to remember these extra tips to really make your business card go the extra mile."