Social media may be the newest introduction tool to target prospects, but the tried-and-true physical business card is still the best way to leave a lasting impression. Targets can ignore your posts, but it’s harder to ignore someone right in front of you who offers you something. The recipient is a captive audience until someone else joins your group. According to Money, “In-person introductions still rule the networking world, and business cards are still its currency.”
Your calling card is your leave-behind elevator pitch and a branding tool for you and your organization. At conferences, meet-and-greets and yes, even on the elevator, placing your card into the hand of a target or influencer can’t be beat. Step one down. They may even put your card in their wallet – step two. But after the prospect moves out of sight, how does your card rise to the top of the competitor or networking pile?
Consider flushing the boring corporate business card and instead, sell yourself or your company in a new way. An eye-catching, easily digestible, easily readable and unique calling card one-ups the competition.
Humans enjoyed a long history of storytelling before the written word. As a result, we all enjoy a good story – even in print. Tell yours – sell yours. Don’t try to fit the unabridged version in two-point font on the card, only the highlights about what makes you different in a way that appeals to the recipient.
You may include your mug shot or a client testimonial, but make sure you cover the basics. Decide what you want to say and say it succinctly in digestible bites. Match your message to your calling card.
Clean and minimal design with bold colors on a quality card stock are the first hurdles. Shapes other than rectangles are an option – ovals, circles, rounded edges – something that stands out from the card crowd. Although some experts tell salespeople to hand out bigger than standard 2-by-3.5-inch cards, a larger calling card is too big for men and women to neatly tuck into wallets and may end up in the recycle bin or worse, the trash.
List every contact method – phone, cell, email, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Skype, and website. So, why the printed cards? Remember that not everyone is a Millennial or in Gen-X or –Y. Old fashioned contact methods may appeal to older prospects and younger ones who are swearing off social media in favor of more personal contact.
If your company enjoys name recognition, use the notoriety and place the company name or logo on the front and other information on the back. Add a tagline that conveys your intended message. But don’t see the trees over the forest. Include both basic information and details. Clarity works better than a kitchen-sink approach.
If you’re convinced that digital calling cards are best, put your QR or SKU on a physical card. These cards can be used as incentives, drawings for electronics and other perks.
For example, you can give a number of cards with coupon codes to every prospect you meet. When all codes are entered, the distributor is rewarded. Discounts, swag, vacations, the newest device or free apps are fair game. Two birds, one stone. Your cards are distributed and tracked to gauge success. As an added bonus, your prospect comes back to you for a reward or perk.
|Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.|