Sunday, November 7, 2010

Business Card Etiquette for Consultants and Freelancers

Sam Zipursky is a Brand Consultant, Internet Marketer, and aspiring Digital Nomad. He spends most of his time focusing on the connection between internet, branding, design and marketing. He is one of the authors from the become a consultant blog Business Consulting Buzz. He is also a Co-Founder with Advicetap – The place where Canadian marketing and creative professionals find gigs and build connections with other professionals.

Although many (including myself) may argue that the Internet is making traditional business cards almost irrelevant, they still play an important role in business communications and promotion. If we can agree with this, then why do so many consultants, freelancers, professionals, and business owners that I meet do not have any business card etiquette?

After doing business in Japan for many years, I came to see the giving and receiving of business cards in a new way. Today I wanted to share some simple but powerful techniques you can use here in North America when you out and about business networking and meeting people - using your biz cards!

Express your interest
Most people I meet with simply take my card and put it directly in their pocket without even giving it any kind of attention. Others just hold on to it, play with it a bit, bend it, you name it...I know you folks have experienced this and it's just plain rude!

So what you should do when you receive a business card is take a look at it, ask a question about it, compliment the design or logo if you like it, anything to show some respect for the person that just gave you a piece of their brand and promotion.

Put it down
If you go to a meeting at a coffee shop, board room, or anywhere that has a table or counter after you examine the card place it nicely on the table during your conversation. This just adds another element of respect to the person your meeting. You can glance at the card from time to time during your conversations which helps avoid uncomfortable eye contact and once again shows you are interested in that person and his/her card.

The main point I'm trying to make here is to treat business cards with respect when you get them. Look at them, compliment them, don't crunch them, don't stuff them in your pocket. Following these simple tips will take you a long way in your business communications and how people see you – guaranteed!

Submitted by Sue Varty


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