The Basic Etiquette of Business Card Giving

by Brian McKay

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When meeting new people in your field, it is important that you introduce yourself properly. And that is something that you can do through exchanging business cards.

In the world of business, connections are a form of currency. The people you meet will always provide you with value and help that you may have not even expected. This is why you should put importance on every relationship that you have built. So, go out. Attend conferences. Set up your booths at trade shows. Sponsor academic projects and invest in start-ups. These are some of the instances and situations where you will be able to meet people who will help you build your business, further your causes, and achieve milestones. But when you meet people, you must strike a good impression. And that is something that you may be able to do with the help of a business card.

It may be a small card of details, but business cards hold a lot of weight. It gives your prospective business partner an impression of how you carry yourself. This is why you need to make sure that your business cards are beautiful (have them letter pressed, if you may). More than the aesthetics, it is important that you know the basic social protocols when exchanging business cards. No idea? Here are some of the pointers to get you started.

Keep your cards in good condition

It is a must that you have your business cards with you every time you go to events and trade shows. It is expected that at events like these, people will exchange cards and contact details. As mentioned, the impression is everything, so you must make sure that everything about you on that day is good including your business cards. Keep your business cards from getting dirty and creased by keeping them in a box. Giving away a dirty and folded card will give people a bad impression about how you conduct yourself and your business.

Pick the right time

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You should not just give your business card any old time that you want. You need to find the right time. It is obviously rude to hand your business card when someone is talking about something. Similarly, it is rude to just slip the card in the hand of the person when they are busy with another conversation. You may give your business card right after you have introduced each other. Or you may choose to give it once you are about to part ways. Timing is also everything, as it will dictate how the conversation will start or end.

Ask for their cards, too

Showing interest in a person’s business will surely make them feel enthusiastic and inspired. You may ask about their processes and beginnings. But if you want to cement that impression, you may ask for their business cards.

Exchanging business cards is one of the basic meeting aspects that you need to keep in mind if you want to make a good impression on your client or future business partner. But do not exchange cards. You should do it with respect. You should keep in mind that this will help in building your relationship with them.