One can do business cards wrong – very wrong. Here are 5 not so uncommon Don’ts:
1 – Left at home
What a Bummer: When packing for a business trip or trade fair visit, you thought of everything else but the box with the business cards. There are two simple ways to combat this forgetfulness: Use checklists such as KofferPacken for Android or Pack the bag for iPhone and put the business cards on every list. Or simply distribute a few stacks of business cards as an emergency reserve in items you already have with you when you travel: In the car, in your suitcase, in the notebook bag, in your coat, in the most used jackets etc.
If you still forget your cards and are on the road for several days – or the cards run out faster than expected – a good business card provider can help: With express shipping, prinux, for example, can deliver supplies throughout Europe within one or two days. In an extreme emergency, a local copy shop can also be a lifesaver. However, getting there takes a lot of time and the quality is not always satisfactory.
And another tip: You should always have business cards with you, not only on business trips. Business-related contacts can also arise unexpectedly, always and everywhere. So don’t think about whether you should carry business cards with you when you leave, but rather if you really want to leave them at home.
2 – Mixing with someone else’s cards
If you alternately hand out your own business cards and receive cards from others, it’s obvious: You simply put the received cards into your business card case – there they are well protected and can be quickly accessed later. In principle, this is also a good idea, but you should keep the case in order – e.g. put all the cards from other people at the very back of the box. It doesn’t look very professional if you have to flip through some other people’s business cards in front of the other person’s eyes or even hand over a foreign card in the rush.
However, should you receive many business cards, a more elegant solution is a given: Reserve a special place for them, like a special jacket pocket or a separate case.
3 – Transport with poor protection
It shall still happen that people magically get their business cards right out of their trouser pockets or dig them out of the wallet: It’s easy to imagine what the cards look like then. The mobile phone compartment of jackets is better suited for transport. Here, business cards are at hand and still won’t get wrinkled. The smartphone itself can safely be put somewhere else – after all, it is much more robust than a piece of cardboard.
4 – Scribbled with corrections
Notes on business cards that you have received are not a bad thing – on the contrary: You can, for example, write down a few keywords about the conversation you have just had or an agreed appointment. It’s completely different with your own cards before handing them over: they should always be flawless. Manual corrections – for example, because the company address has changed – give the impression of misplaced frugality and poor organisation: what to think of a business partner who doesn’t even manage to provide correct business cards in time?
Only very rarely are manual additions in order – but even then, you should first pull out a fresh business card and only write on it under the eyes of the other person. One such case is when you write your private telephone number or e-mail address on the card as an expression of great trust.
5 – Distributed too aggressively
No matter how proud you are of your great business cards – always consider whether offering them is really appropriate. First of all, it is important to follow the correct order (more about this in this post).
If you have already had extensive e-mail contact before the first personal meeting, it is no longer absolutely necessary to hand over a business card – especially not if it is a four-eye appointment where both sides already know exactly who they are dealing with.
You should also use your business card sparingly on private occasions in order not to appear obtrusive. This does not mean, however, that you should not take any cards with you (see above): if you really want to talk business, the card can be practical. When in doubt, simply ask if your conversation partner wants a business card – that works better than presenting it unasked.