As easy as it is to obtain new contacts over LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other social media, business cards continue to be relevant. Exchanging cards is more professional than scribbling your contact details on the back of a napkin at an event. They are also handy in situations where electronic devices are not permitted, such as on an airplane. Here are six compelling reasons why the business card is a hero.
- Solid connections are made in person
If you present a business card to potential partners or clients, they will be able to put a name and face to your business. They can also refer to the card during the meeting, thus avoiding the embarrassment of forgetting your name. A card that has your photo on it can be even more effective.
While it might seem that apps should enable you to swap contacts easily, using them still entails fiddling around on a device, whereas business cards are swapped in an instant. With a card you can concentrate on making a good impression and listening rather than breaking eye contact and looking down at a screen while adding the person as a new contact on your mobile device.
- Culture matters
In some countries, business cards are part of the etiquette of introduction and establishing your credentials. Without a business card, you risk offending someone or coming across as overly casual. In some cases, especially in certain parts of Asia, attending a meeting without a business card is considered a sign of disrespect that can damage attempts to make business connections.
- Sales leads in physical form
Business cards are ideal ways to capture promising sales leads. After making contact during a face-to-face meeting, getting a potential client to hand over a business card with all their details is a powerful way to begin the process of capturing key information for converting a hot lead into a sale.
- Convenient aide-mémoires
Jotting a few words on the back of a business card from a potential client or interesting lead enables you to record bits of information before you forget. You can then relax knowing that you won’t lose key intelligence this way. Later, you can enter it into a contact management system where you, or another colleague, can find the information whenever required.
- Starting point for research
Before you follow up with a lead you recently met, their business card will yield clues about them, which you can use to form a better picture of their needs and the way they operate. This is not just from their contact details or job title; the quality and style of the card say a lot too.
- New-age technology can make an old-school method even more valuable
Business cards enable you to quickly and reliably exchange contacts with individuals you meet. Whether the occasion is an exhibition, conference or simply a chance meeting, you won’t lose a valuable connection.
The best solution is to combine the benefits of business cards with those offered by a sophisticated software that helps you to organise your contact information accurately. A contact management solution such as Sansan helps your business capitalise on the advantages of business cards by enabling you to consolidate your business contacts in a central database for easy access by everyone in the company.
When used the right way, the humble business card is a great asset to have as a professional and its value should not be overlooked.