Even in today’s digital world, business cards are as relevant and as important as ever. There’s no simpler way to introduce your business to others or cement a new connection. But are you really making the best use of your business cards? If you keep them in a box on your desk and just bring a few cards with you to parties or social events, then you’re definitely missing out on networking opportunities. Here are five unusual scenarios where it pays to have business cards on hand.
1. You meet someone at a church or school function.
Even when you’re focused on your kids or family, there’s always the possibility of connecting with someone who wants to know more about you or your business. This is exactly the scenario where keeping several business cards in your wallet or handbag will pay off. If you want someone to follow up with you or connect with you online later on, there’s no better reminder than a physical business card that you place in their hand.
2. You run into an old coworker at the gym.
It’s always nice to catch up with someone you know from a previous job, and the conversation might even turn into a chance to socialize or network further. But what to do if you don’t have your wallet or handbag handy? The simple solution is to keep extra business cards in your gym bag! Just store a few business cards in a Ziploc bag to keep out moisture, and drop them in a pocket of your workout bag so you always have them handy at the gym.
3. The server at the drive-through window turns out to be a potential customer.
You’re juggling your money and your fast food when you start to realize that the person you’ve been chatting with is looking more and more like a potential customer. Don’t just scribble your email address on a napkin that could get lost. Instead, always keep some business cards in your glovebox where you can easily reach them. This works great for any situation where you’re in or near your car, and want to quickly grab a business card.
4. You’re shopping one minute, and networking the next.
Whether you’re strolling through the mall, shopping for groceries, or even buying a new car, you never know when you could find yourself in a networking situation. You should be prepared to take advantage of the moment, and always have a supply of business cards at hand. If you carry a pouch of coupons when you shop, why not slip a few business cards in as well? And if your salesperson hands you a business card as you’re shopping, it’s the perfect reason to hand him or her one of yours.
5. You run out of business cards at an event, but luckily your spouse has your back.
If you run out of business cards at a dinner or an event, your spouse can be a helpful backup. Ask your spouse to carry a few of your business cards in their handbag or wallet, and then offer to do the same for him or her. That way, you won’t be caught in the lurch if your own supply starts to run low.
Business cards are an incredibly easy and low-cost way to advertise yourself and your business. But if you don’t carry them with you or keep them nearby, then you’re not using them to your full advantage. Once you get in the habit of keeping your busy cards handy, you’ll find yourself ready and willing to network wherever you go.