Right-Now Results from Your Business Card (When You Absolutely, Positively Can’t Wait for New Cards)

Okay, so your business card is a dud.

Maybe it’s an “el-cheapo” business card you got at the local quick printer back when you were just starting out.  Maybe it’s one of a zillion other cards just like it, courtesy of an unimaginative employer.

And maybe you really TRIED when you designed your card, but it just isn’t getting the “Wow, let me give you my money!” reaction you’d hoped for.

Not to worry… there’s still hope.  You CAN add pizzazz and appeal to your business card, and you can do it today… maybe even for free.

Let’s look at three things — you, your business card, and what you DO with your business card.

Your immediate goal is to get people to keep your card, not pitch it (the vast majority of business cards ARE thrown away the very day they’re given.)  And according to research, people keep cards for several different reasons, including:

  • as a link to a client, resource, or colleague;
  • to use for referring business (to pass on to someone else); or
  • because of something likable, unusual, or useful about the person or their card.

The bottom line?  Based on this data, making your current business card useful or memorable ought to generate some ‘right-now’ results for you!

Making your business card useful:

Basics first.  If someone looks at your card, do they know what you do and who you do it for?  If not, the first step is to add that information to your card.  How?  One easy way is by printing such information on an address label (the 1” by 2 5/8” size works well) and sticking that to the back of your card.

But assuming your card is reasonably well designed (and if it isn’t, you need to grab a copy of “Business Card Breakthroughs” before you order more), here’s how you can make your business card useful right now:

  • Grab your pen and write a discount offer on the card, initial it, and suggest that the recipient redeem it at your store.
  • Write your private phone number or email address on it, and be sure to tell them you don’t give this number to just anybody.  This really impresses people!
  • Use that address label idea to put useful info related to your business on the back of your card.  A realtor might add an amortization schedule.  Someone who teaches CPR might add emergency phone numbers.  If you can’t think of anything that suits, check out my list of 175 ideas for the back of your business card.  The goal is to add interesting or useful data that people want to keep handy… in other words, to give them a reason to keep your card.
  • Find a few compatible business owners, and put discount offers for each other on the back of all your cards.  You’ll multiply the interest in your card and the number of people passing them out for you.

Make your business card memorable:

Making your card useful almost always makes it memorable, but there are other ways to focus attention on your card, too.

  • Use a hole punch (or a punch in a related shape, available at office supply and teacher supply stores) and punch a hole in your card.  When people ask about it, be sure you have a catchy response.  For example, “It’s to illustrate the hole in your roof that our new shingles will prevent for 25 years, guaranteed.”
  • Add a sticker, or a photo, or a stamp, or a shamrock, or SOMETHING to your card.  Put your thumbprint on it.  Add your signature.  Laminate it on if you have to.  Get creative here!  I have a business card in my collection with a shark’s tooth on it.  (Which is a bit much — you certainly can’t file it easily — but something outrageous may be a perfect fit for YOUR business.)
  • Pull your card out of a classy, unusual business card case.  (You DO have a card case, don’t you?  You’re not handing out some dingy, dog-eared card from the bottom of your purse or the fold of your wallet… right?)   It’s a wonderful conversation-starter, and it also reinforces the idea that your business cards are important enough to be kept in a safe place.

Last but not least, make YOURSELF memorable:

Whether or not you do anything at all to your card, the words you say and the actions you perform during a business card exchange can certainly make or break a potential deal.

  • Hand your business card to someone with BOTH HANDS.   Believe me, people look at it when you do.  It immediately increases the perceived value of the card… and it doesn’t cost you a cent!
  • Want to REALLY be remembered when you hand someone a business card?  Learn a magic trick using business cards!   What an impression you could make.  There’s an easy business card magic trick described on my website.
  • Avoid the common practice of handing someone your card and shaking hands at the same time.  BOTH experiences should be separate and memorable.  Shake hands sincerely, warmly, and with a smile and pleasant greeting.  Offer your business card afterwards, so that you have ANOTHER chance to impress your prospect with your winning personality!
  • When you receive someone else’s card, take a moment or two and LOOK at it.  Turn it over.  Make a comment.  Tuck it away CAREFULLY in a safe place.  The care with which you handle that card makes a powerful subconscious statement to your prospect about the care with which you’ll handle his or her business.

Of course, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg… and they work many times better if your business card is designed from the outset with marketing in mind.  (Think of your card as a miniature billboard.)

In short… find that stack of business cards you never got around to using, and put them to work… and get results right now, today!