With so many platforms online to connect with people, business cards may seem outdated in comparison. Almost every aspect of a business is done online – sending emails, conducting meetings, signing contracts, etc. Despite that, these small pieces of paper can offer a lot and should still be considered necessary for doing business and networking. Here are some reasons why you should not do away with the business card altogether.
Networking should be about making a genuine connection with a prospective client. Nowadays, people are bombarded with requests online to connect. While sending an invitation through text or email is convenient, it is also impersonal. Eye contact and a conversation in real life will make you more memorable and increase the chances of a genuine professional relationship starting.
Search engine optimization, email marketing, and paid media are all great tools to scope out prospects and leads. But, nothing beats an in-person meeting sealed with a handshake and exchanged business cards when it comes to cementing a connection. You could also bump into a potential contact at any time like at an industry conference, happy hour, tradeshow, airport lounge, etc., and having business cards at all times will ensure you do not miss out on an opportunity. You should keep some in your pocket, wallet, bag, or money clip just in case you encounter a professional prospect.
First Impressions Matter
People take in a lot when they first meet someone – even if it was just for a few minutes. One way to make a lasting impression on potential connections is by passing along a memorable business card. That is why it is important to not only have a business card but to make sure it is designed well too. Just as a retail store with a cardboard sign and Sharpie-written on it would not make a great impression, a cheap looking business card will not either. A unique business card will help fuel conversation further.
Shows That You Are Prepared
If two people wanted to hand over their contact information to you and one of them was scrambling to find a pen and paper while the other simply handed over a business card, who would you be most impressed by? Probably the person with the business card. It shows that they are prepared at all times, which makes them look professional.
At the end of the day, business cards will continue to be used because our memory is so flawed. There have probably been several times you were introduced to someone only to have already forgotten their name a few seconds later. The same holds true even for a great conversation. That is why it is crucial to have something physical to hand off to people you connect with so that they have something tangible to remember you by.