marketing tip //
By Jamie Dodd - Reason Media
We all know how important it is to own, hold and pass out your business card on every suitable occasion but how many of us actually do it?
I have been passed cards several times in just the last few days and I think I should point out why I feel these little gems put you in good stead to progress to a good business relationship with who you passed to or who passed to you.
Now the business card isn’t something that advertises you or your business, it is there to reinforce the communication and the positive image you as a person left after you initial meeting with a prospective client. I have clients that order 500 business cards from me 3-4 times a year because they are consistently passing them out to everybody they meet. It makes sense that on having a great conversation with somebody, you pass them your contact details and let them know that they can call you any time and you will be able to help. You can now consider the business card as not only a reminder to that person but also a prompt – a prompt that contains all the relevant information for that person to take the next step and get in touch with you.
Does your card have to be flashy? Certainly not, it has to represent you and your business and if you wish to come across flashy, you probably won’t be doing yourself any favours. It should be smart and professional with an element of character to it. At the end of the day it is you and your services that are binding the relationship.
My partner Jackie and I have recently been very lucky and purchased a big oaf of a dog several months back and although he has soiled the cream carpets, destroyed his beds, chewed all of our DVDs, books and indoor plants to shreds, he is still a really important and much loved addition to the family.
I walk Knoxley every day, and we often use the Bristol Downs as his morning spot. This morning a man approached and asked a few questions about my dog and quickly proceeded to introduce himself as a retired School master who boards dogs for people who prefer to avoid kennels. It wasn’t long before he kindly offered me his business card as well as 24 hr trial period for Knoxley to see how he gets on. We talked for a further 20 minutes and it seemed every other dog walker and their dog would say hello to him, as well as he addressing each of their dogs by name.
I walked away thinking that he was certainly getting a call from me in 2 weeks when I head out with my wife for a log cabin holiday in the forest of Dean. Knoxley may have ended up in the kennels or even another home boarder but now I have this card I will be looking only to Geoff and I don’t even care about the price.
Geoff did several things right here... He asked my name and guessed the breed of my dog correctly before asking his name. He didn’t forget our names for the rest of the walk and conversation. He expressed his passion for dogs and for his home run business. He showed dedication by remembering the names of nearly every other dog and owner we passed and their reaction to him was as good as getting a clear recommendation on the spot. He offered me a 24 hour try before you buy. He said that if I visit and didn’t want to leave my dog with him then he would still want to say Hi during walks and he was genuine in every tone of his words. Geoff knows how important a pet is to its owners and alike how important your business is to you, showed absolute interest and passion in my dog. It isn’t surprising then that he had literally won me over. He had taken me on a sales journey! A natural, unscripted, honest journey to the point which I felt I wanted to know more and see how well my pooch would do with him and his other dogs.
The most important thing here is that Geoff slipped a business card my way and it would be a clear miracle if anybody else would come along and take my business away from him. I will be calling Geoff tomorrow with sight to boarding my dog with him and if all goes well, henceforth!
If the business card was not to hand and I had no way of remembering or contacting Geoff then it could be weeks before I saw him again. I would have booked with somebody else.
If I wasn’t going on holiday any time soon, the business card could have stayed with me in my wallet or drawer for quite some time. The ground work was laid. I was very impressed.
Every day we have friendly and meaningful conversation with each other. If we run businesses then we should have our business cards, or ‘reminders’ at the ready. See it as a - ' thanks for taking the time to speak with me, if there is anything I can do for you in the future here are my details! '