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Are you taking full advantage of your business card?

Business cards have been around for a long time. Some think the first business cards were used in China in the 1400’s. In 17th century Europe cards were used by the aristocracy and in London trade cards were used to adverise businesses. In France during the mid 1600’s and early 1700’s visiting cards were used with a system of set rules.

By the 1800’s calling cards were used by the middle and upper classes. In most homes silver trays were placed in the hall to receive the calling cards of visitors. Business cards became popular in the US in the 1890’s. Since this time some interesting business card etiquette has developed. For example in Asia it is considered rude to present a business card with the left hand. It is also thought rude to put the card away without reading it.

Cards should be kept in pristine condition. Most cards contain the name of the card holder, his/her title, the company address, telephone number, email address and fax number. In some instances the mobile telephone number and website address are added. The business address is not always placed on the card. Most cards also have a logo and a company tag line or slogan.

How to take more advantage of your business card

When handing a card to a person give them more than one. This means they can hand your card to someone they know who may be interested in your business

Make sure you give your cards to people to whom it would be relevant

It sometimes pays to give your card to a competitor. They could end up with too much business and send business your way

Take every opportunity you can to hand out your business cards

Plan strategically and set goals

The mistake most business people make is – not passing out enough cards. There is no wrong way to get your information out to people. Make sure you have an ample supply and just keep on handing them out. The key is the odds are in your favor the more you hand out the more likely you are to drum up more business.

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