Do Business Cards Work?

5 Oct

Business cards, do they really work and remind customers you exist.

I have asked myself this question many many times. I do two different jobs that both have business cards. Every business usually has a business card. The question is, how useful are they really?

From one of my jobs, I have left hundreds if not thousands of business cards on peoples doors, letting them know I was there to offer them services. I have recieved only a few calls back from them.

Out of one thousand cards that are handed out, what is the ration of call backs per one thousand cards? What do you think the ratio is?

I recently ordered business cards for my other job I do, they come in friday. I have never used business cards with that busines as of yet. I have just left out my catalogs with my info on them. I am trying out the business card avenue to go along with the catalogs. My reason is so they can carry my info in their wallet or purse or somewhere close to help spread my information to others.

I do not know if I will continue to get business cards for the other one, or do magnetic ones or what. I will be feeling it out. The other job I do, I get the business cards for free and I leave them at everyones doors I can.

So I would love to have a conversation with you guys on the topic of business cards. A few questions to start off are..

Are you a business owner and use business cards, and how often? Do you find them useful? Do they bring back existing clients/customrs? Do they bring any new clients/customers.

For those that recieve a business card somehow, do you think it helps you remember about those services being offered? Do you forget about them? Do you have a specific place you keep all your business cards and refer back to when your loking for any type of services? When it comes to business cards, what turns you off from the services? Does the look of a business card turn you away, if so explain why? Do you use the business cards to tell family, friends, and neighbors? Do you not keep any business cards and throw them away or just give them to someone else?

Having this conversation will help everyone. It helps business owners better their marketing tools. It helps customers/clients by getting a better marketing item to remind them of the services available to them.

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8 Responses to “Do Business Cards Work?”

  1. Marisa Wikramanayake October 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Hi Mari,

    The key thing here is NOT to paper the neighbourhood with the business cards. The cards are not the be all and end all of the whole marketing tactic. People won’t respond in the majority IF they don’t know who left the card at their door – they need a face and an actual interaction in reality to go with the card because that then creates an emotional connection and then that emotional connection and what you do with it drives business to your door.

    What you have to do is have a social interaction with someone where you build them up to be interested in what you do and then give them the card or swap cards.

    So, say I go to a networking event. As I sit down and say hi to a few people I know already, I get accosted by someone I don’t know who shakes my hand, asks my name and what I do and a fraction of a second after I end my answer, they tell me their name, their job and give me an elevator pitch even if I can’t do a business with them because well, I am a writer and say they are an engineer or something like that. And then they press a business card into my hand, get mine, wait hopefully for me to say something like “yes, I will work with you” which I cannot because they have a) been rude unintentionally and b) not given me a reason for wanting their services/products and then when they don’t get that, they rush off to the next person.

    Don’t ever do that. It leaves the other person with a unfavourable opinion of you and while yes this is a networking event, it’s not meant to be soulless and no one likes to be thought of as a mere option for income generation.

    So what you do with your business card is more like this:
    1) Attend networking events – any that you can go to. Take cards.
    2) Get there, make yourself comfortable first, take coats off, say hi to friends, grab yourself a drink and relax.
    3) Survey room and go upto someone who looks a bit lost and whom you do not know. Say “Hi, you all right there? Your first time?” and start chatting. Introduce yourself by your first name, shake their hand, and tell them what they need to know about the event if they are new and ask how they heard about it. Make them feel welcome.
    4) Find something in common and have a long, hilarious conversation about it.
    5) Introduce them to other people. At some point, someone will ask “So, sorry, what was it that you do again?” and now there will be less pressure as everyone takes turns to just go around quickly stating what you each do.
    6) At which point, in my experience, someone usually goes “Wait, you’re a writer?” and then suddenly everyone there is shocked or surprised and wants to know a) if you make money and b) how to do what you do which means you are the centre of attention. And then someone asks for your card.

    Give them two. One to keep and one to pass on. Get their card back and ask for it if they don’t offer. Now they have your card and they have a positive memory of you and what you do and how much fun and how nice you are which means that if they need you, they will be more likely to contact you or refer you to other people.

    That tactic takes a lot of time and effort but a) you gain tons of friends, b) a good reputation and c) much more response than just leaving cards at doors with no or little interaction.

    Another thing you can do is try to be helpful to someone and help them solve a problem or offer them some information and when they want you to help them, say you’ll give them your contact info and give them your card.

    And you can also get excited about what they do. People are awesome and it’s well worth being excited about what they do and you can get excited and ask for their card, which means you give them your card in return as well.

    And you can drop your card in any of those fishbowl things they have in shops and restaurants but always smile at the cashier when you do.

    I gave out a ton of cards recently at a conference I attended because I had to man an exhibit and as principal contact I had to give my card out to everyone so they had someone to contact if they had problems. 🙂

    Business cards (and any other marketing tool) alone won’t bring in the numbers – people are social so you have to add the interaction in too.

    I hope this helps. I will have a post with more about this on Friday on my blog http://www.marisa.com.au if you can wait till then.

    Cheers, Marisa

  2. Dena Hamilton October 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Love this topic! I have a giving ministry I do and have wondered how effective business cards would be in spreading it. From the consumer side, I can tell you that I generally don’t take a second look at unsolicited cards. If someone has talked to me about a product or service or I have sought them out…then, yes, if I need that product or service or know someone that does, that card immediately comes to mind. Trick is there has to be an association of some kind…either a conversation, a gift, anything that the consumer can connect to the person or business represented on that card. God Bless and good luck in your business and the challenge.

  3. Nicole Bandes October 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Business cards are an evolution of the old fashioned calling cards from the 1800’s. These calling cards were meant to be left when you would visit someone’s home and they weren’t there. It was letting them know you had been there.

    I’ve attended hundreds of networking functions. Even if you have a great conversation with someone, the vast majority won’t do ANYTHING with your card unless you have something they have an immediate and desperate need for or you have made a significant personal impression upon them to where THEY want to get to know you better.

    While it is important to have cards handy for if they ask for them, don’t expect anything to come of it. Rather, get their card and proceed with a great follow up program to build upon the relationship and grow credibility, likeability and trust.

  4. Pip (@AsYouWishHealer) October 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    I have had absolutely no feedback or clients from business cards.

  5. Melody October 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    I must say I really like what the above two commentators have said. I have been relearning all that I knew about business cards and such. I was in a business that the “trainer” taught us to hand out business cards like they were dollar bills..to everyone we met! WRONG!
    One thing I learned recently was to put a QR code on your business card so if people want to connect easier with you, they can scan your code and WHAM! They have your info. Now they can’t loose your info, they remember who you are, and hopefully you are able to get your info in front of them for a longer period of time so they will buy your stuff or take advantage of your service.
    Hope that makes sense and helps.

    BTW I am also a home school mom.

    God Bless and all the best to you in your new venture!
    Melody

  6. 32mari October 10, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I agree lol. With my ne job, if a person is not home we leave a card to at least let the person know we were there. We hope to at least spark some interest, but so far it has not panned out.

    With Avon, I have only handed out a few cards, to people I have met. I have just started to use business cards with Avon though. For me the catalogs are pretty eye catching already.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Business Tools and Marketing « Our Life's Adventures - October 8, 2011

    […] you have not yet read Do Business Cards Work, you might want to do so. It may give you insight from both ends of using them […]

  2. Business Tools and Marketing - October 10, 2011

    […] you have not yet read Do Business Cards Work, you might want to do so. It may give you insight from both ends of using them […]

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