How to use a business card, v.card, contact exchange.

99% of the time, it is easy to tell the difference between a true professional and a wanna-be.  It’s totally in how the INFORMATION is exchanged.  My card for your card, my data for your data is the norm, but the true professional goes the extra mile.  Little things like asking the new contact for alternative email addresses or verifying phone extensions, even bumping phones via Bluetooth (there is a reason for this tool).  Getting more that just a phone or extension by asking to connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.  The true professionals are usually engaging to get the access that is NOT already on the card or easily accessed.

The “Key” here is to have the total ability to control the direction of the communication.  If you give your card out in jest, who controls who calls whom?  Not you.  If you just get the standard information on the card, who do you get when you use that data?  The same gate-keeper system that is set up to keep everyone out but those that are wanted…ie. Not you.  Simple, get the information and get the information that is not readily available and you have access.  Not only that, but you have access that is not being competed for.  Success knows success by the means of the request for the “gate-keeper” by pass request.  Like a nasty little secret.

Now for those in sales that are giving business cards to prospects, simple suggestion: Only give a card to those that provide their contact data to you.  Simply because you, as the sales person, must be the person in control of the communication.  In case you haven’t noticed, you will give out a huge amount of cards to get one piece of business and it’s most likely NOT due to them having the card.  Simple rule, don,t give a card unless you are use two cards…one to give and one to write the prospects data on.  Again, if you don’t have their data, who is calling whom?  When?

Do you control the ability to communicate with those whom you have met?  If not, that’s a problem.


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  1. #1 by Pat Bickham on January 29, 2012 - 11:58 pm

    Whats your thought on including your twitter E.g. @patrickbickham on business cards?

    • #2 by Matt Brewster on January 30, 2012 - 12:27 am

      I’m personally not a fan due to it being “blind” and has the potential to generate negative perception to other clients or lack of response time etc. Of course it is up to you. As a business owner, not a good idea…it would be something I would use to be sure that those I want to engage with have a way to me, but not everyone. As a salesperson, sounds good until you start having to manage comments or past customers that want to communicate publicly, even if they are not negative. Also, by having this data, who is in control of the communication?

      On the other hand, do not ignore the opportunity it could provide…be sure you are ready for it and if you do, be sure to have a systematic process to check, update, filter, and manage this along with your email, phone messages, prospecting time, etc. etc. See my previous post on “Do you manage your business or does your business manage you?”

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