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Old 22nd December 2006, 07:17 AM   #1
BIG Mike
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Default Does Your Business Card Whisper Or Shout?

Business cards are the most underutilized and misunderstood marketing tool in business. Many people spend the bucks for cards and don't make an effort to get them into the hands of those who can hire them or buy from them.

Everyday people throw away stacks of undelivered business cards. Money down the dumper.

Your goal is to design and use a memorable card and get so many delivered you have to re-order. Forget about those clever articles about what to do with stacks of leftover cards.

The only time you should have cards still in the box is when something on the card becomes outdated or obsolete.

If you designed your cards as a marketing tool and planned your distribution, tossing unused cards in the trash should become the exception rather than the rule. If one item on your card changes the cards are obsolete and should be pitched.

Car dealers are famous for finding ways to save money on business card expense. With the revolving door turnover of salespeople, many dealers stopped ordering individual cards for new hires. They print a master card with color dealer logo and phone numbers and leave a big space in the middle for the new salesperson's name to be penciled in. That way, when the would-be fast talking, glad handing flannel mouth doesn't work out, no new cards need be printed. A swell image: handwritten business cards.

It would be interesting to run the numbers on how much money was saved at the printers versus how much business went somewhere where the salespeople appeared more professional. With car dealer margins, one sale would buy a lot of business cards.

Worse is using a business card with a black or blue marker blotting out a line of type and a new name,address or phone number written (or typed) above the black line. Ugh!

Some people painstakingly cut itty bitty strips of computer labels printed with the new information and stick them over the old just to save a few bucks. Calculate what your time is worth and the savings turn into an expense, not to mention what the "corrected" card does to future business.

Dig out that stack of business cards you have been collecting for years and flip through them, you will see at least one with a correction.

If you are in any business and venture outside your cubby-hole for any reason, you should carry business cards at all times. You should be able to "whip one out" without digging out your wallet and rumaging thru pics of the kids, or plunging to the bottom of your purse past the hair spray.

You card says a lot about you. And you say even more about you when you offer your card.

Say it in business-like, professional style.

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Old 22nd December 2006, 12:34 PM   #2
mattsweb
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Default

Great observations on cards. If you are handing off something that will represent your business, why use something less than professional to save a few bucks?

I have exhibited at several real estate shows over the years and have collected some doozies. Aside from the sometimes bizarre efforts to have a unique card design,, I've seen some pretty amazing 'cost savers.'
  • Cards printed on copy paper and cut with scissors
  • Old phone numbers scratched out
  • Bent, creased and stained cards
  • Stickers over old information (I've seen that one too)
  • Photos that were old 20 years ago
  • Photos printed in 1 color 'bluescale.'
  • Shared team cards with an individual's name circled in pen
  • Typos, bad grammer, etc. etc. etc.!!!

Cost has got to be an issue to consider when purchasing marketing materials. But if anyone finds themselves doing any of the above, they should take a crowbar to their wallet and get some professional cards!

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