Business has gone digital but business cards are not just here to stay, they are thriving. European merchants invented trade cards in the 17th century to act as miniature advertisements. And here’s why you should still keep a handful of business cards on you at all times – they are as relevant in today’s digital world as they were then.
The swapping of business cards is as close to a universal ritual as you can find in the corporate world. In fact, at the rate that communication happens these days, it is more important than ever that your card stands out.
Swapping business cards is an opportunity to judge whether you can trust someone. Machines today are incredibly clever but they still can’t look people in the eye and decide what sort of person they are. Business networking is about transforming acquaintances into relationships and developing trust. It’s a lot easier to do that in person, with a handshake and a business card.
Business cards remain powerful direct marketing tools. Done well, business cards show that you’re the sort of person who is professional and prepared. For recipients, they can provoke strong emotions and act as a physical reminder of the person you met. A business card helps to summon memories of people in ways that an electronic list just can’t.
Business cards are like your store front – they may form a client’s first impression of your brand and business. What could be more important than that? Just like those trade cards in the 1600s, your business card is a mini advertisement so make the most of the opportunity and ensure your card tells the story you want it to. Exchanging cards is still an important way to build sound business relationships.
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