As a professional, you must represent yourself and your brand with dignity and class. Your card is an extension of you, and you are an extension of a respected brand.
Your business cards must be immaculately clean, and all information needs to be up-to-date. Keep your cards where they are readily accessible.
You do not want to paper a party, business dinner, private social event, or professional meeting with them. Business cards are not garage sale flyers. You will appear unprofessional and possibly desperate for business. This is not how you want to represent yourself or your brand.
It will help you professionally to remember the following points when presenting your business card:
- Never give or ask a senior executive for a business card. This person is in a position to request your card if he or she wishes.
- Do not give your card out early in a conversation; you do not yet know your audience. People will generally ask for your card if they are interested in pursuing a business relationship with you.
- Give your business cards to your clients, guests, associates, vendors, and others in a way that they will remember the giver.
- Present the card so that the receiver can read it without having to turn it over or upside down.
- When you are presented with a business card, look at it carefully; it represents the giver.
- You may want to make a comment about the card—the business location, handsome logo, etc.—before placing it in your own card case, your portfolio, or the breast pocket of your jacket. This is respectful and appropriate conversation.
- Never place a business card in your back pants pocket. In many cultures, this is considered very disrespectful.
- Though making notes is an excellent way to remember your new contact, I know that you will not write on the business card in front of the giver.
- Carry your cards at all times; new business opportunities might surprise you at any time.
- Your cards need to be in a conservative yet handsome leather card case. I recommend that you place an ample supply of business cards in the pockets of each of your suit jackets just in case you run low at a networking event. I carry business cards in my gym bag; you just never know.
- Remember, if the event is a private luncheon or dinner, it would be rude to produce a business card. Be very discreet; you do not want your host to observe you. This is especially true if the event is in a private home. You may wish to offer your card to your new business acquaintance after the private event, as you walk to your transportation.
- I have a final suggestion for professionals who are between jobs. It is so important that you have a business card to present to contacts. Have your name, cell number and e-mail address printed on a plain white card. Anyone you meet, at a seminar, the gym, or even a singles event, may be able to point you to your next job! Make it easy for them to find you!
People notice your behavior. Follow these simple guidelines and you will always appear polished and competent in business and social manners. Good luck!
Excerpts of blog taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Pont, PhD
“Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”
— Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
See the book at: www.HospitalityManners.com
Visit Lyn at: www.MannersForBusiness.com