When is it Appropriate to Hand out a Business Card?
Though handing out 300 business cards at a conference or social event may make you feel like the Bruce Wayne of your company, in reality handing out 20 well-placed business cards will often have much better and more profitable results. The key to business cards isn't how many cards you hand out but how many cards you get. Of course, having your own business card is an important part of conducting business as well as a handy way of giving out your contact information but giving information isn't all there is to it. If all you do is give out your information then you will never have the power of contact.
The power of contact comes from getting contact information from the other person. This ensures that you will always have the option of contacting them, not waiting around twiddling your thumbs and expecting them to contact you. This does beg the question on when is it appropriate to hand out your business card and to whom should you hand out your business card?
You should always give your business card to anyone who asks you for: 1. Contact information. 2. Your company information. 3. Your business card. Never refuse to give your business card to anyone who wants it. If you ask for someone's business card or contact information, you should immediately offer your contact information as well. If you really want to make an impression, pencil a quick note on the back of your card before handing it over. Just a little something to jog their memory on who you are and the connection that they had with you; something along the lines of "the tall guy who also likes the Dallas Cowboys" would work.
Finally, if someone does not have a business card, don't be afraid to hand them two of yours with the request that they keep one and write their contact on the back of the other to be returned to you. Treat your business cards as though they were pieces of gold that you are passing out and your potential business contacts will be a lot more impressed and ready to do business with you than if you sprinkle your business cards around like rain on a stormy day. With business cards it is quality and not quantity that really counts.