Most entrepreneurs think business cards are now outdated and irrelevant because of the emergence of technology and digital media.
Conveying messages, signing contracts, sharing files, and attending to meetings can now be done digitally in a more remote and efficient manner. However, technology won’t be able to fully replace business cards anytime soon.
Why am I saying that when everyone from children to senior citizens have digital devices with or close to them? Here are some of the reasons why traditional business cards are still better than sharing contact information digitally.
Technology has made sharing information so much easier than before. You can text or email someone your contact information with just a few taps of your thumbs. There are even apps out there that let you share contact information with almost no effort at all.
You have to have genuine connections with potential leads and customers. You don’t want anyone to look down at their phones and start typing while in the midst of an important business discussion, right? That’s rude and makes the other person think you are disconnected from the conversation.
In addition, you can’t hope for the other person to have the same information sharing app you have. Of course you can email them your details but then you need to go through an additional step which is asking for their email address.
You need to share your contact information while smiling and maintaining eye contact to make the encounter memorable for both parties. The best way to do this is by handing over your business card.
If you are given a business card and if you have just too many cards in your wallet, you can use an app like Evernote to scan those business cards and save them in the cloud, making storage not a problem anymore.
When you meet a potential lead or customer, you need to make sure they leave with a great first impression. So what better way to do that than by handing over a memorable business card.
Why “memorable”? After having a lengthy business discussion with someone, the last thing you would want is to make them feel that your brand is “cheap” just because of a low-quality business card.
Would you visit a store with a storefront sign made out of a cheap piece of cardboard that has their name written on it with a black marker pen? Probably not. That’s the same mentality other people have on your business card.
You don’t want them to think “oh, it’s just another business card”. That’s why I prefer using metal business cards from mymetalbusinesscard.com. They are such good icebreakers.
Of course they will cost you more than regular paper or plastic cards but it’s worth it. I am sure you can find enough money to cover the cost of creating metal cards by cutting down on some of the unnecessary expenses such as office decorations and etc.
If you don’t like metal cards don’t force yourself into using them. There are lots of other ways to make your business card stand out, mostly by using attractive fonts and colors.
You never know where you may find potential leads and customers. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to carry some business cards in your pockets, wallet, and bag so that you never miss an opportunity to connect with someone important.
Yes, email campaigns, telemarketing, and search engine optimization are all good ways to grab new leads and customers but nothing will be as effective as a face-to-face meeting, concluded with a handshake and exchange of business cards.
Each business card you hand over is a promotional opportunity, so take some with you wherever you go.
Yes, you can just email or text them your contact information and tell them to do the same but that will require the additional step of exchanging phone numbers or email addresses.
It’s true that some android phones allow you to beam information such as contact information and videos to other compatible phones but not all phones have this feature (it’s called “NFC”). How can you be sure that the other person’s phone will support it?
Even if you try to send information through an app, how can you be sure they have that app installed on their phone as well?
Due to these digital inconsistencies, business cards are still a better option.
No way! But it’s true. There are so many people out there who do not own a smartphone or any other digital device for that matter. Some may have button-phones instead. Some may have smartphones but don’t use them regularly.
Whatever the case may be, a business card will still have your back.
They have no downtime at all. They can be accessible anytime regardless of dead spots and internet outages. You can use business cards even in places where your may need to turn off your smartphone and other digital devices such as in hospitals, planes and etc.
You just have to make sure that you don’t run out of business cards.
People tend to work only with the businesses that look and sound trustworthy. They may hesitate to strike a deal if your business is still new or haven’t had much reputation in the industry.
But a good looking business card will let them know that you are running a real business and will make your brand more trustworthy.
In certain parts of the worlds, business cards are taken very seriously. Exchanging business cards before concluding a business discussion is more like a tradition to them than just a medium of sharing contact information.
In Hong Kong, if someone offers you a business card but you fail to give them yours, you are better off closing your business right then and there, according to Rory Boland in Hong Kong Business Card Etiquette.
In China, the quality and condition of a business card is very important as it shows how much you care for your business and how you intend to do business with others.
Most businessmen are still used to the traditional way of exchanging contact information via business cards so they expect the same from you as well.
In some situations, you will be expected to provide a business card. For example, people will expect you to pass around your business card in a group meeting to help them remember your name and role. If you don’t have any, they will think you are unorganized and unprofessional.
Contact information, especially the phone number may be subject to change over time. However, people don’t always update their contact details on their social profiles so you may not be able to fully connect with them again.
Business cards on the other hand contain accurate contact information that you can use to follow up what you discussed earlier and can be easily scanned into your smartphone with the help of apps like Evernote.
Business cards are still the go-to method of sharing contact information in the business industry, even with all the technology we have today. The look and feel of your card will affect how potential leads and customers think about your business so be sure to make your card unique, colorful and creative.