The savvy businessperson will have a business card with them at all times. This includes the job searcher who is not currently employed by a company and the housewife who may be interested in scheduling play dates for her children. Many people have more than one type of card if they have a second business or personal interest.
It’s important to follow protocol when exchanging business cards so you give a smart presentation rather than an annoying one.
1. Do not ask a higher ranking executive for a business card or offer yours unless they ask or make the offer.
2. Do exchange cards with someone who you feel you will conduct business with in the future.
3. When offering your business card, hand it to the person so they may read the type without turning the card.
4. When receiving a business card, take a moment to look at it and perhaps comment on the design or the location of the company.
5. Offer only one card at a time unless a request is made for more. Do not request the recipient to distribute your cards for you.
6. Find an appropriate time to offer your card. The dinner table or in a large group is not one of them. Do not discuss business at the time of exchange at a social event. (See the July 18, 2007 post, “Asking Professional Advise at a Social Event.), You may suggest a convenient time during the business day to make contact.
I feel men have an advantage to having a card with them at all times because their clothing is tailored with pockets. Ladies need to be creative. If you don’t have pockets, make sure your cards are conveniently located in your handbag so you don’t have to dig. I also make sure my husband has a few of my cards in the event I don’t have pockets or a handbag.