We live in a digital world and people still use business cards. Not even earlier than today, there was one wedged by a door to door salesperson trying to sell me something. It automatically went in the trash.
This gives you the lifespan of most business cards. You still have the reflex of asking people “do you have a card?” when you leave a retail location and want to somewhat show interest.
Global Warming, being eco friendly… being paper less, does that help… I guess so, at least it doesn’t hurt anything, right?
Let’s look at another scenario, the kingdom of business cards, the networking event…
This events are made for professionals to meet with each other, converse regarding specific subjects, exchange experiences AND business cards. Could it be at the beginning or at the end of the discussion. One or multiple people in the conversation will ask for your card, present you their card as a sign of “please contact me I want to talk more”, or “I’m done with this group, I’m moving on to the next”.
You see the business cards exchange as a form of a lead, or as a form of exit. What you don’t see is a form of tree that is passing from one hand to another to end up in a suit pocket, a wallet, or the place where all the business cards go to die: A Purse.
Business Cards Cemetery
Ladies, nothing judgmental here, but I made this demonstration to both men and women. Simply asking this simple question:
To Men: “When was the last time you saw your wife/girlfriend tidying her purse?” followed by a “How many purses does she have?”
To Women: “When was the last time you completely emptied out your purse?” followed by “How many purses do you have?”
This leads me to a simple explanation, when landing in a purse… Business cards to go die there as they won’t be found when they need to be found. I’m of course using sarcasm and generalization is this example, but I’m sure a lot of people will get a grin out of it.
Now let’s use another exemple, myself… I get a lot of business cards given to me by people, however, I put my phone number, email and website in their phone. If they are looking to reach out to me, they can use their phone. Also by me being in there phone and as most people are using social media apps (linked to their contact list), I will be suggested on their Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and other social media applications.
Now, what do I do with those business cards that get handed to me, I have two places where I religiously place them… On my kitchen counter, or on the corner of my desk. Here is two places that I would not think about looking for something when I need it. Instead, I will look in my phone, on Google, on Linkedin, on Facebook.
Business Cards or iPhone
Your iPhone (sorry for you “green text” people) will show you how much time you spend on your phone and how many times a day you pick it up. I advise you to take a look at it and look at your statistics over the past 7 days and list them in the comments below. I am on my cell phone over 2h30 every day, and pick it up almost 100 times a day on average… Definitely not proud of it, but it’s part of the job.
So if someone puts their information in my phone, links up with me on social media, or gives me their business cards. The end result will be very different for me to stay in professional contact with this person. As the last hurrah, those business cards are usually gifted to account managers to follow up with those people.
Are the business cards outdated. Some people still believe in them and I’m not going to blame them. I haven’t been using any for the past ten years.
Oh, and if you are wondering about the answers regarding the purses:
Average answer from Men: “Never, I don’t know what she stores in there…” and “She bought another one two weeks ago, she has a lot”
Average answer from Women “Emptying my purse… Hahahaha, never, why?” and “A lot, I love purses”
Those answers can be a little altered to give you an extra grin, but the thought is there.