General Question

Trustinglife's avatar

Why do people say, "Let me give you my business card?"?

Asked by Trustinglife (6603points) February 4th, 2009

What are they expecting me to do with it? So I have it… just in case?

Of course, I’m not talking about situations where there is a clear mutual desire to connect, or where there’s a specific exchange already arranged (“I’ll e-mail you the link to that organization.”)

No, I’m talking about when you have just a pleasant conversation and there is no clear further connection. Am I “under-reading” the situation? Is there a possible interest I’m missing?

Personally, I would never offer my business card unless there was a clear reason for it: something I wanted the person to do with it. Help me – what am I missing?

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13 Answers

KrystaElyse's avatar

The way I look at it is that it’s a networking thing. I give out my business card even if that person doesn’t have a need for my business because he/she might know other people who might! You never know.

steve6's avatar

My thoughts exactly.

augustlan's avatar

I’m going to have to agree. It’s either that, or they are interested in getting to know you better, but don’t know how to say so.

funkdaddy's avatar

My hope is always one of two things will happen.

Either you’ll have a need for my services in the future and dig through your pile of business cards to find mine (could you really remember my company name, phone number, or email in 6 months without it?) Or you’ll hand it off to someone who happens to need my services as Krystal mentions, which I think is better.

Even though you’re not recommending my service necessarily, that person (in my estimation) is a lot more likely to actually call me rather than go to the phone book or internet. It’s like an implied recommendation from someone they trust.

Also, from an advertising perspective, you get to hand it straight to someone, rather than plastering flyers on windshields, or placing an ad. It’s a ten cent advertisement that is guaranteed to find its way into someone’s hand and gain their notice at least twice. When you hand it to them, and when they dig it out of their pocket/wallet/purse and decide whether or not to throw it away.

Jeruba's avatar

To justify having had 1000 of them printed.

Having 1000 business cards printed would be perfectly comprehensible to a dog that chases trucks.

VisionaryAdvait's avatar

It is a networking tradition. If they have it on them they might one day look through it, and remember you or if someone says they needs a service and that person has your card they may refer you.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Because they want you to let them give you their business card.

benseven's avatar

I got my current job because I randomly gave a card to a friend, and it caused him to remember me when his flatmate’s company was looking for a designer. Never underestimate the power of passive networking!

dynamicduo's avatar

1. Ego. It’s nice to give someone your business card, especially when you have a shiny company logo that you’re proud of on it.

2. Networking. You may not need their services, but maybe two weeks later, your friend casually says “oh man, I need to go to the dentist”, and you remember the dentist you chatted with and still have his card, so you can connect your friend and the dentist.

3. So that business card manufacturers stay in business. There’s been many attempts at a digital business card, Palm Pilots had the ability to ‘beam’ your v-card via IR to another Palm, and even the iPhone has this, but it’s just not the same as handing someone a crisp business card.

cwilbur's avatar

It’s a habit. They give their business cards to everyone, because that’s how they get leads or customers or whatever it is they need in their industry. If you need what they do, you’ll think of them first, and go flipping through the business cards.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Finally, a question I have the experience to answer. I worked at a print shop for many years. Here are some facts. A business card is a mini billboard with your information that you can give to anybody, and if they don’t use it, maybe they know someone who will. Very affordable advertising.

When purchasing business cards, everyone talks about layout, text styles, etc. What they don’t tell you is this. 90% of the cards you hand out will end up in the trash. This is very important to remember when having a 1,000 business cards printed up, because buying very expensive cards can be a waste of money. On average, only 100 of them will get you the business you seek. The other nine hundred will end up at best as something someone writes on because they can’t find a piece of paper, used to keep something from vibrating by folding it over several times and shoving it into a crack, or simply thrown away.

Response moderated
Ron_C's avatar

I give people my business card so that they know who they are talking to. I also hope they call when they need service.

I wish everyone gave you a business card on first meeting. I remember faces and details about our discussions but am terrible with names. It would be a big help.

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