By Cathy Stucker
You have that big box of business cards, fresh from the printer, there on your desk. So, what will you do with them? Business cards are an inexpensive marketing tool, but they are only useful when they are out of your hands and into the hands of others.
Always carry a supply of cards with you, wherever you go. You never know when you will have an opportunity to give one to someone who may become a customer, or who knows someone who may become a customer. Having cards in your pocket or purse means that you will never miss out on a chance to promote yourself. Of course, keep the cards protected in a case. You do not want to hand out a card that is wrinkled and creased, smeared with lipstick, or has an old breath mint stuck to it.
Start with the following seven suggestions on using your business cards, and always look for more ways to get your cards to people who could become your customers.
Hand out cards at networking events, and anywhere you meet potential customers. When you make a sales call, give a card to your contact. Give one to the receptionist when you arrive for an appointment, so they can refer to it when announcing you.
Provide a supply of cards to customers and associates who are in a position to refer others to you. It will be easier for them to do if you make sure they always have lots of your cards on hand.
Drop two cards in every envelope you send out. Whether you are sending sales letters to prospects, invoices to clients, or a check to a vendor, include your business cards. Do this with both your business and personal mail. You never know who will open the envelope and find your cards.
Add your cards to card displays at local businesses. My dry cleaner allows customers to put a stack of business cards on shelves near the counter. Some simply place a few cards on the shelf, others supply a cardholder to display them upright and keep them neatly organized. I have also seen bulletin boards and card holders at a number of other businesses. Whenever you see a place that allows you to add your cards, do so.
Include a few business cards in your media kit. Sending cards when you send media releases or full media kits means the media outlet can easily give your contact information to multiple staff members who may be working on stories in your field.
When a radio station schedules an interview with you and requests your media kit, be sure to ask them to share your card with their receptionist. That way, the person who answers the phone will be able to pass your contact information to anyone who calls the station after hearing your interview.
When you see articles that may be of interest to your customers, send a copy with your business card attached.
Don’t hoard your business cards. Give them freely.
Cathy Stucker, The Idea Lady(tm)
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