Monday, February 15, 2016

Business Card Etiquette - Are You Making These Mistakes in Business Card Etiquette?

Business card etiquette says a great deal about your business etiquette and professionalism in general.

Can you picture this person at a business networking event? He joins a group of people, pulls out a fistful of business cards and hands them out to everyone. Then he turns to a new contact, pulls a dog-eared card out of his pants pocket and says: Here’s my card. Can I have your card?

The contact looks taken aback, but gives him a business card. The guy takes it and stuffs it into his back pocket. He then turns to another contact and asks for her business card. When she hands it to him, the guy takes out a pen and writes on the front of the card: Friend of Jane Smith.

How many business card etiquette faux pas did you spot?

Business card etiquette mistakes and how to fix them

1. Don’t hand out your business card to everyone you know. See if people need or want your cards. Handing out your cards like chewing gum makes you seem like a cheap sales person - not the persona you want.

2. Don’t hand out a business card that is dirty or curled at the edges. It leaves a poor impression. Use a business card case to keep your cards clean and fresh.

3. When you receive a card, don’t jam it into your pocket. Take a moment to look at it. Make a positive comment about some aspect of the card - the logo, location, or company name. This shows respect for the other person, and demonstrates your interest in them. It also helps you remember their name and job title.

4. Don’t put a business card into your back pocket. It shows lack of respect. After you’ve looked at the card, place it carefully in a card case or in a front pocket.

5. Be careful about writing on business cards. Some people spend time and money designing a professional card, and may not appreciate your writing on it. And in many cultures a business card is an important part of their persona, and should be treated with respect. If you absolutely need to write on a card, ask permission first, and then write on the back - never on the front of the card.

6. Don’t pick your teeth with a business card, fold it in half, or treat it as an unimportant piece of paper. Remember that it represents a person’s business identity. Treat it with care.

7. Don’t automatically give a business card to a senior executive. Wait until  they ask for it.

You are invited to use these tips for handing out your business cards with etiquette at your next networking event.

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