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Old 05-14-2019, 07:45 AM   #1
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Default Do you still use business cards?

I have always given out business cards to everyone, but now I am questioning that.

A very large portion of the people who I have come into contact with (either worked for or gave an estimate to) who are contacting me again months/years later do it via replying to an email that I sent them (estimate/invoice).

Many people also contact me again thru the emailed form on my website. People who I know I gave my business card to, but they found me again by remember my company name and going to the website.

So I think to myself, what do I do with business cards that people give me?

I do one of two things. I either throw them out if I have no plans of ever talking to them. Or I put the info into my phone's contact list.

In my situation when I would normally give someone my card, they have already called me so they know my number.

I used to give 4-5 cards to everyone, but I stopped doing that. Out of all the referrals I have gotten, I never had someone say that they were given my business card. It's 2019, they just text the contact info.

So as of now, business cards seem like they might only be good to give to someone that I met in real life (without them call me to come over) and I want to give them my contact info quickly. Someone who I am pressuring into taking my contact info, because if they really wanted it they would pull out their phone.

Business cards are pretty much the only paper I touch anymore.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:52 AM   #2
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I still use business cards to new customers. My new customers are usually referrals. I normally give out two so the customer can keep one and give the other to someone who is in need of an electrician. When I'm finishing a job I always say to the customer if they are pleased with the work and the price please refer me to your friends. That has been my sales pitch since I've been in business, 1982.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:01 AM   #3
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I still use business cards to new customers. My new customers are usually referrals. I normally give out two so the customer can keep one and give the other to someone who is in need of an electrician. When I'm finishing a job I always say to the customer if they are pleased with the work and the price please refer me to your friends. That has been my sales pitch since I've been in business, 1982.
I have always done the same thing, and still will do the referral thing.

But my questions are: Will those people give out your card? Are they going to go find it to give it to someone at their house? Or are they going to remember to take it with them to give someone that they see elsewhere?

It seems like most people would just give their friends your number either by mouth, texting it, email/message (Facebook, etc.).

The same with repeat calls. Will they go try to find the business card, wherever they put it? Or just say your business name into their phone that is already in their hand? Or reply to your email that they have from the last time you spoke?

I was thinking about texting my contact info to people in one of those little Contact Cards with all my info, along with a message saying how they can just send that Contact Card to anyone else they may want to refer me to.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:09 AM   #4
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I probably should have them in my pocket at all times but I almost never have one when I need one.

I will often have a conversation with someone I meet while working or otherwise randomly meet, and they'll ask for a card. The card would make sure that some people that forgot my name or etc. would remember and follow up in the future.

If they really look like a prospect, I just write my name cell and email on a sticky and give that to them. Or ask for their cell and text them my contact info.

Of course if I did carry cards, there are lots of people I'd STILL tell I don't have a card with me, and then I'd be lying, and probably a karma penalty I can't afford. So I guess it's just as well.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:09 AM   #5
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Business cards are cheap advertising. I don’t care if people throw them away. People still ask for them. If somebody puts my name in their phone I tell them to enter it as “Percival Electrician”. If they enter the surname, six months from now they won’t remember who the electrician was.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:15 AM   #6
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Business cards are cheap advertising. I don’t care if people throw them away. People still ask for them. If somebody puts my name in their phone I tell them to enter it as “Percival Electrician”. If they enter the surname, six months from now they won’t remember who the electrician was.
I always have them in my wallet, and if someone asks for one then it definitely makes sense.

And they did ask for them, years ago. But I can't remember the last time someone asked for one. I do know that a few people have told me that they have me in their phone when I tried to give them one, as if they didn't want it.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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I remember in a freshman business class professor said if you're in business you should never go anywhere without a fist full of business cards. That was some time ago though.

I keep a box of them in my truck. Every supply house wants it. Contractors ask for it all the time. And now we put one in every packing list pouch on every order we ship.

When people give me a business card they go into a box in my office which is a many year collection of business cards. I'd guess there's 500 or so in there. I refer to them probably 5 times per year. If I find I'm contacting them, I enter them into my contacts.

We are now in a day where someone can take a picture of a business card, scan the business card or simply hand it to someone else after they have captured the information.

For about a penny or whatever they cost, it seems like about the lowest cost form of advertising you can have.

Some people ask for more than one and I'm very generous when that happens. If they ask for 10 I give them at least twice that.

If someone asks for a business card and you say you don't have one, your stock just went down.

Spend the $10 at Staples and always have business cards on you. Leave one or more on every job you're on.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:36 AM   #8
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I remember in a freshman business class professor said if you're in business you should never go anywhere without a fist full of business cards. That was some time ago though.
I bet you took those notes with pen and paper. And then drove home in your car that had a carburetor and distributor cap.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:38 AM   #9
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Yes, we still use business cards. Along with all the different folks I run into on job sites.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:54 AM   #10
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We don't use them anymore. I can't remember the last time I was asked for one. They are a waste of money. Just like newspaper ads, yellow pages, radio, TV, trinkets and trash like key chains, pens, magnets, calendars, etc.

They are a waste of money. I want that money to go to my bottom line.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:09 AM   #11
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People are calling business cards "advertising". But I don't know if I see it that way.

Advertising is getting your name and brand in front of people that wouldn't normally see it.

When it comes to business cards, they already know you. The card is nothing more than writing your name and number on a sticky note and then keeping it or handing it to someone else. And not many people do that anymore.

Now if your business card had a promotion on it that actively enticed people to pass it to others, that would be advertising. Maybe a coupon or loyalty program. But without that, your business card is doing nothing that the person's voice or fingers wouldn't be doing if they didn't have the card.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:51 AM   #12
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No doubt we are in different segments of the industry but several times per month I'll sit down for a meeting and the first thing everyone does is push a business card to everyone else attending. It tells you who they are, what they do, where they're from, etc. If your operations don't include a need for business cards, then you get to save $10!
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:17 AM   #13
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If you can get past the paper medium and think about it you see there is some value in the business card for some people. It really depends on how you get business.

The business card is a very quick, non-pushy way to let someone you meet in passing remember you later and possibly follow up. It's just that simple.


Let's say I am installing security cameras for a customer. His accountant is coming or going while I am working and we exchange a brief hello and "what are you working on today." He says oh I didn't know you did those, we should talk, asks for a card, I give it to him, we both continue with our already busy day. This is undeniably less obtrusive and faster than the digital alternatives - texting contact info to his cell or whatever.

Later, he is emptying his pockets, sees that card, and emails me an inquiry that leads to a sale. The card is not only information, it's a reminder, if you can see it that way. The paper medium is old but it is still the best and most efficient medium for some things.

A lot of commercial and industrial work has come my way from this kind of interaction over the years. If it was residential work, or work in retail locations, maybe it would have been a lot of pests and tire kickers I'd have been giving cards to. For me, it was valuable when I was building up my business.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:22 AM   #14
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Business cards are a prop used during a meet and greet. THAT'S their social purpose.

Marketing experts have studied their function IN DEPTH.

B Cards function as a visual prop during your chatter.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:26 AM   #15
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Welcome to the New World Order. It only gets better and better.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:44 AM   #16
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Next thing your going to suggest is get rid of my rolodex ??


I still use business cards. I really only give out maybe 10 a year, but I always keep 2 in my wallet just in case.

When I was working in utilities, it was (and still is) normal for the bosses/contractors to have them. (Usually passed out at site construction meetings, similar to what MikeFL said).
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:56 AM   #17
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Next thing your going to suggest is get rid of my rolodex ??


I still use business cards. I really only give out maybe 10 a year, but I always keep 2 in my wallet just in case.

When I was working in utilities, it was (and still is) normal for the bosses/contractors to have them. (Usually passed out at site construction meetings, similar to what MikeFL said).
I always have some in my wallet for that odd time when I want to be able to throw one at someone.

As for the construction meeting thing, nowadays those meetings all have CC emails going along with them, so you know everyone at the meeting and all their information. And you can go back to those emails to get their names and number at any time in the future.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:05 PM   #18
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Business cards are a prop used during a meet and greet. THAT'S their social purpose.

Marketing experts have studied their function IN DEPTH.

B Cards function as a visual prop during your chatter.
They did studies showing that 9 out of 10 doctors prefer Camel brand cigarettes.

I don't doubt what you said is true, at one time. When were those studies that you speak of performed?

Many people don't even want to carry credit cards or keys anymore, they are integrating those things into their mobile phones. Those people aren't looking for paper cards which contains info that should be on their phone and need to be manually typed into their phone to be used.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:00 PM   #19
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Some of us still use (gasp) flip phones.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:04 PM   #20
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And landlines are still used quite extensively in business.
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