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Using Your Business Card as Your #1 Selling Instrument!

(CAUTION: In some industries, how one can utilize the following ideas may be legislated by law or policy, use common sense when deploying these ideas; When you can not do a specific tactical below, understand the strategic point and then look for ways to accomplish the bigger picture, which is to make sure your business cards do not collect dust in your supply box!)

Great sales professionals don’t miss a selling opportunity nor do they miss an opportunity to network with others and place their personal business card into others’ hands.

By far the easiest, most inexpensive tool one can use in branding oneself in the face-to- face world of interpersonal relationships, is the business card. It is our silent salesman and your called establishes who you are to others.

Super star sales professionals recognize that the business card is to a sales professional, what the road sign is along the highways of life. It tells people who you are and how to reach you. Successful sales professionals know that you never know when a great selling opportunity may present itself and having a business card to offer to someone can really differentiate a super sales professional from merely another sales person within a pack.

The size, shape, feel, colors, words, titles, contact options, etc. are important. Business cards are also a powerful measurement means to determining if you are investing enough time with Suspects and Prospects in the Sales Pipeline Funnel. As with each contact is an opportunity to offer your card to them. When you are truly in a sales position, then getting your card into the right hand is critical, warehousing business cards in ones’ desk drawer is more of a sign of lack of work than a sign of smart work.

Whether you are a super sales star, a sales trainer, sales manager or business owner, you can track the amount of business cards and frequency that one re-orders, as a means of determining how much you are prospecting and connecting with the marketplace in route to establishing yourself as a brand and making sales!

There are many ways in which a business card can be used to bring greater value to the recipient and yield greater returns for the sales professional. Consider:

  • As most business cards are blank on the reverse side or have ample blank space, this is a great place to make specific notations for the prospect or customer on special Feature/Benefit items that you are offering to them. Research indicates that people are more inclined to keep your business card and more inclined to discard the brochures and handouts that sales professionals tend to load them down with. (Or if you are in a sales profession whereby personalizing like this would be against the law, then having key product or product data on the reverse would be a default action)
  • A powerful way to use the business card as a customized selling brochure is to draw a small circle in the reverse blank side – a bout the size of a small coin. Inside the circle, write their Name and date within the circle representing when you made the following notes and gave them card. Then for any key presentation point, fact/feature item, major offer, price, benefit, etc., that relates to that encircled notation, draw simple, short axis lines outward from the circle and write that simple notation on each line.

    Visually what you will have is a circle with lines shooting outward from the circle, in essence a wheel with spokes appears and key words that mean something to the recipient of the card. You have given to them a special, customized print reference instrument; a MindMap™ in essence.

  • You can use the business card as a means of soliciting someone’s name and title by offering your card to the other person at the beginning of the sales conversation and requesting theirs. Then take their card and leave it out in front of you during your sales conversation/presentation, so that at any time if you forget the other person’s name(s), you can cheat and look down at the card and maintain conversation flow and control.
  • You can offer an extra card to any prospect at the moment they become a happy customer, as a means of involving them as a referral agent or COI for you. Example: “Here’s an extra card for you, should you know of someone that would be appropriate to benefit from this product/service as you have. Thank you.”
  • In any follow-up letters, “Thank You” letters or introduction prospecting letters, such as in the deployment of Rule 1-52-X™, you can always include a few cards, one for the intended reader and extras for them to pass along to others.
  • Place the business card in “Give-Away” drawing bowls/jars on counters in stores with high volume pedestrian traffic of your “profile” prospects and customers, in such a way that your card is held within that bowl or jar as a free billboard for viewers as it faces outward until the drawing date.
  • Look for display areas where your business card can be “thumb tacked” up when and where appropriate, included in other merchant’s direct mail circulars/envelopes/mail packs, etc., magnetized a hung-up, used as a book mark or other multipurpose instrument.
  • You can post the card onto electronic social media walls, paid print promotional or advertising spaces as the exact ad.
  • When and where appropriate, always ask, if you were the intended profile target to receive your card, what information would you want to have access to and ensure that information is on your card; YOU can always submit your prototype card to a sampling of trusted advisors and clients before you finalize them and produce them for feedback.
  • You can produce special print runs of your business cards and on the reverse side of the card leverage that space as valuable real estate and provide customized information for a special meeting you are attending or presentation you are giving or client centric information.
    1. I use this as a powerful take-away tool in my Keynotes and Training Programs for decades. On the reverse of my business card I have printed up special runs, it serves as a mini handout of key take away action points from my talks, attendees and meeting planners have raved about this a value-added touch every time.
    2. If you were attending a Trade Show you could have special exhibit information on the reverse or special deals being offered there or helpful tips for that event of general interest to people; This provides more utility in your card at the venue and time and increase the odds of people wanting, keeping and referring to your card, all the while with your contact data on the front.
    3. I have coached military Recruiters to produce special runs of local community events on the reverse of their cards for small-town-America and suburbia, print high school athletic schedules on the reverse, county/state fair schedules, etc., again a service touch-point of providing valuable information that their market would want and all the while their contact data is on the front of every card carried.

Let the innovative mental juices flow for even more valuable ways to use the traditional calling card to raise your brand in the marketplace and generate more business selling opportunities. Always ask yourself, if you chose to have a professional card, what is the intended use and who are the intended recipients. And always remember the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” so make your card appropriate and not foolish and silly, unless that is what you are selling!

As a sales professional, recognize that there are a lot of powerful ways to utilize your business card as a powerful selling instrument. I order cards in sleeves of 1,000 cards at a time, when I receive them I rubber band them in counts of 250-cards (bricks) each. This way I can monitor how often I am making new connections, by how many bricks I am moving or not. The more cards sent out are like seeds, the more seeds that one plant’s the greater their potential harvests!

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