• Treat business card giving with more respect.
  • Your card is your ambassador; a cheap and nasty one says the same about you. A poorly designed and badly printed card will help to make you appear cheap and nasty too. Invest in decent cards.
  • If you don’t already, start to carry business cards everywhere you go.
  • Carry spare business cards in your bag, briefcase, and even in the glove compartment of your car.
  • Keep your cards in a particular pocket or the same place in your bag so that you can retrieve one without difficulty. Put all ‘incoming cards’ into a different pocket or a different place in your bag.
  • Consider putting your photo on your card – it helps people remember you when they flick through their card collection. Rather than a boring head and shoulders shot, use something that shows you being active or doing your job.
  • How about including on the back of your card, a brief summary of what results you or your company provides its customers? In other words, sell the benefit and emphasise the pain that you provide the solution to.
  • Add “We met at…” This allows you or the recipient of the card to add details of your meeting. This can help your contacts remember you more clearly.
  • If you perform a number of different job functions – have different cards. If you are self-employed, rather than including what you do – just use your name. Your card will have wider usage.
  • Perhaps include on the back too. “Please keep this card for reference or pass on to a colleague”.
  • If someone is particularly interesting when you meet them ask for two cards. 
  • Discard any out of date business cards and have new ones designed and printed.

Source: my thanks to Roy Shepard www.royspeaks.com and his excellent book “Meet, Greet & Prosper”

Find more information about cross cultural differences in the exchange of business cards by clicking on the following links:

Top Ten Tips on passing business cards with cultural fluency

Japan: everything you need to know about business card ‘meishi’ etiquette

U.S.,  Britain, Australia: Business Card Etiquette

The art of business card giving: an East West perspective

xcflag1In the global commercial world you can’t survive without a business card. A business card is the thing that consolidates ‘who you are’, gives you a ‘proper’ identity and tells the world that you are ‘open for business’. However, people around the world project different meanings on the exchange of cards doing it, therefore, in different ways.

In some cultures, the exchange symbolises the beginning of a relationship. The most ritualistic and sensitive to the practice of business card exchange are the Asian countries (Japan and Korea in particular). Perhaps the least are the British/US/Australians where NO significance whatsoever is attached to the exchange – it’s merely a function of giving someone your details – a reminder.

If you want to ensure that you don’t offend, read the Top Ten Tips below and the special section on Japan and the other on US/Britain. Instructive and comical videos included: