Why Business Cards Can Hurt Your Sales


Every single sales person wishes there was a way to get people to call us and beg us for our business. We’d buy any magic bean that would keep us from ever having to make another outbound call.

Business cards are a pseudo magic bean. Every fiber of our being hopes that when we hand out business cards, our new acquaintance will call us and request our products and services. But we all know that the odds of them calling us are as low as our desire to make phone calls.

We try things like changing the shape of the card, we try adding a mini catalog or sample of our product. We put our picture on the card, QR codes, or a cleaver quote. None of those things have ever made a huge difference in turning leads into customers. They build a little credibility by having a nice logo and by it being a well-made card. But it doesn’t actually create business.

Find a reason to request their contact information

The key is to get the contact information of the new contact, and your relationship evolving into a business one. If you are very good at requesting personal information of a new acquaintance and following up, you don’t need to spend another minute reading this article. But if it’s a struggle, keep on reading, I have a few ideas for you. There are many ways to ask for their contact information and have a reason to follow up.

Focus on what’s in it for them. What value can you add to their lives, and how can you assist them?

Don’t carry business cards so you have an excuse to get their contact information ~ “I’d love to get together and get to know you better, but I don’t have a business card on me. Could I get your information from you?” Hand them your phone to put in their information. Text them while you are still standing there. State that you do that so that when you call them, they’ll remember who you are. But it’s also a great way to double check that the number was put in correctly.

Verbally invite them to an event and ask for their contact information to send them an invitation ~ This is a great time to get all their information and in addition find out if they are social media users. If they are active Facebook users and your event is on Facebook, this is a great way to connect. Be sure to also get their cell phone number as well. At that point you can also invite them to like your Facebook page and easily invite them to other events.

Share a sample or preview product ~ Explain to them that you might have something they’d be interested in and you’d love for them to have the opportunity to see it, taste it, or smell it. Many products are ones that must be experienced for the buyer to appreciate the quality or what makes it unique.

Offer to help them grow their business or non-profit ~ Almost everyone needs networking opportunities for both our businesses and the non-profits we support. Since you are in sales, you probably have a few people you can introduce them to, or networking groups they’d benefit from. When you show you care about them and their priorities, you’ll quickly gain their trust in other areas. The opportunity to share your business and services will be a more natural transition.

Whether you carry business cards or not, find a technique that will merit a reason to gather their personal information. You’ll be surprised how quickly your customer base can grow as you connect with new friends. Remember, they too have their own circle of influence. Meeting one person is kind of like meeting 250 new people. If you take good care of that one, you’ll have the opportunity to touch many, many more.

They seldom call you, don’t take it personal

Remember, if you only give them your contact information, seldom will they contact you, but it isn’t because they weren’t interested in what you had to offer. They may lose your card. They are busy and simply forgot you ever met. They find someone else who provides the same service, and that person did follow up with your potential client. Or it could simply be they are very busy and don’t take the time to make it a high priority even though they were sincerely interested.

One other reason to follow up is because it doesn’t feel very good wondering if the reason they didn’t contact you was because of something you did, or didn’t do correctly. A second reason is that when we reach out to them, it makes their life easier because we aren’t asking them to make time to reach out to us. Do as much as you can to make connecting easy for them.

Remember to carry business cards only if you are brave enough to request their information in exchange. Keep the focus on your new friend and what they need and do everything you can to make it easy for them to learn more about your product and service.


Alyson Wallace

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