Tips on Business Card Etiquette
Like anything in social situations, giving out business cards has its own set of etiquette. So how can you know what exactly you can and can't do? You've already gotten your foot in the door by finding and beginning to read this article.
Business card etiquette dictates that you should be certain to always carry your business card anywhere that you think there is even a small chance that you will be asked for it. You don't want to be caught without when asked for one. But just because you are at a business event does not mean that you should be passing out business cards like free candy; five good business contacts are so much better than passing out 200 useless business cards to people who will never call you.
When asked for your business card, of course you should give to anyone who requests it, that's good business card etiquette. But better than giving out your card to everyone who you meet and wish to contact again, ask for their card. This ensures that you are able to contact them instead of waiting around for a call that may never come. If you don't plan on contacting them then you shouldn't ask for their card.
Good business card etiquette does not require but prefers that you follow up on a contact within a few days of obtaining their information. This could be in the form of a short email, a mailed note, or phone call to say how nice it was to chat and how you would like to continue to stay in touch with them. The purpose of this is to establish you as a business contact and to learn more about the person and a possible business relationship. Don't just put the business cards in a pile or file them never to be used, business cards are meant to make business easier, so start using them as soon as possible.