Business Cards 2.0

If your car is approximately 3 years old it’s redundant. If you don’t believe me, take the new Mercedes B180 for a whirl. Between the stop start technology that turns the engine off at the traffic lights and then turns it instantly back on again when you release the brake (so swiftly that there is absolutely no lag) to the pre-tensioning seat belts, flight control brain and the fact the vehicle can travel for five million kilometers on half a tank of petrol, it does leave you feeling like things in the car game have stepped up a notch. All this leads nicely into the subject of business cars … I mean cards.

Never has a piece of paper been more redundant, more utterly inefficient and a bigger inhibiter to the modern sale than the humble business card. Business cards were first used in the 50’s as ‘calling cards’ because a sales person would leave one in the door of a customer they called on them and they happened to miss them. In more recent years, business cards are pressed into palms of customers at every opportunity. While this was quite understandable  during the 1990’s, (if you have 500 cards, how else do you get rid of the darn things) the function of the humble business card in the sales process today is more questionable.

A few years ago, swapping business cards was an efficient way for people to swiftly pass on contact details and save the other party the effort of having to write down your name and number etc. Today, in a world with Linked-in, CRM and email, making your customer type in your details is a barrier to business.

If you are in sales and a customer needs your business card, you have not been doing your job properly.  A quick follow up email after you meet is all that is required for a potential customer to have your contact details to hand AND in digital format. Thanks to rich text email, you can also include video links, a link to your blog, Linked-in profile and some product or services information too. The customer gets a follow up and a swag of easy to digest content that leads them towards the online search they would have made anyway. But this way, they get to see your most persuasive online resources FIRST.

If you are still not convinced, consider the following two options :

Senario A
You give a retail customer your card and invite them to call you. They rarely do.

Senario B
You ask the customer for their email address (and phone number) with the offer of sending them some amazing information digitally.  You then follow up and get to continue building a relationship and eventually win the business.

If you are selling to an older industry or directly to members of the public, that little rectangle of paper is hard to give up but give it a try.  Drop the printed business card approach, update your Linked-in profile and it will force you to become a more active sales person.

In my experience, you will do more business and all the trees you save from the pulp-mill will thank you for your choice too!

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If you want to grow new customers through the power of digital media –  call Paddy and the Webhead team today! 1800 264 429