10 Best Business Card Practices
1) Always…..No, really, ALWAYS have business cards with you.
2) Stash business cards with your spouse, in your car, in your brief case or purse. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to rescue myself from rule #1 by going to my stash of business cards I keep in the unused ashtray in my car.
3) When presented with a business card take a moment and read it. This shows respect in any culture.
4) When you are handed a business card, and of course you take a moment to read it, don’t put it away, keep it in your hand while you talk with the person you just met. By keeping it in your hand, should the name of the person in front of you drift from your mind it is easy to sneak a quick peak at the card. Additionally if you look at the card from time to time during your discussion as well as use their name several times you stand a much better chance of remembering their name in the future.
5) Ensure your business card is easy to read and to the point. Consumers are inundated with contact information, phone numbers and other information. Keep yours simple, your name, business name, business address, business phone, cell phone, e-mail and web address.
6) Keep your real estate designations to a minimum. I know you are proud of the alphabet soup after your name but the public could care less. You are better off to show your professionalism by how you show yourself, how prepared you are and your actions.
7) If you work for a large company don’t deviate from their color and layout scheme. There are plenty of other places to show your individuality like personal brochures and flyers. Large companies spend millions to build a brand identity and I’m sure you are paying good money to be part of that company. Ride their marketing coat tails to the benefit of your own business.
8) When you begin working with a buyer or seller give them a stack of your cards and ask them to give them to people they know. Having a pocketful of your cards is especially beneficial to buyers who visit open houses. When approached by the hosting agent they can simply present your card thus holding off advances from the other agent.
9) Use your cards in everyday life. If a waitress gives you good service leave a nice tip and offer to return the favor of good service if ever they are interested in real estate. The same would apply to any other services offered, barber, masseuse, personal trainer, shoe salesman, auto mechanic. Everyone appreciates a compliment; perhaps write a quick note on the back of your card.
10) Collect other professional’s cards and hand them out. Nothing will get business coming your way quicker than referring business to others. Ask for a stack of business cards from your home insurance agent. Write your name on the back and next time you are asked who a good insurance agent is hand them one of these cards as well as your own. This will get back to the insurance agent and what better person to network with. Again, this applies to everyone you work with that offers good service. By becoming a cheerleader for others they will become a cheerleader for you.
11) Bonus business card practice…….refer to rule #1