MOVING BEYOND MARKETING RITUALS TO INCREASE PROFITS
by Charlie Cook
You're at a networking meeting and someone asks for your
business card. You hand them a fairly typical card with your
company's name, your name and title, and contact information
on it. What happens next? Do they get in touch with you? Do
they become a client?
Nine times out of ten, the conversation ends when you hand
someone you've just met your business card, and you never
hear from them again. Wouldn't you like to use these
opportunities to generate interest, get a conversation going
and have prospects contact you?
All of your marketing materials should be written and
designed to prompt prospects to take action. When you meet
potential clients or customers, whether in person or through
your brochure or web site, you want to lead them to ask you
how you can help them and to call or email you later for
more information. A typical business card does neither of
You don't have much real estate on a business card to work
with, so use it well. Start by looking at the basic elements
of your card.
Most business cards include titles. Your card may say,
"Broker", "Consultant", or "Vice President". What does this
tell prospects about what you can do for them? Titles only
give people a vague idea of what you do and rarely explain
how you help people. If you include a title on your card,
make it descriptive of your role in the company or
your work with clients.
Instead of or in addition to your title, put your marketing
message on the card. This is a one-sentence description of
how you actually help clients. When prospects read your
card, they'll quickly learn the problems you solve, and
they'll want to know how you can help them or someone they
know. Your card then becomes a catalyst to conversation and
gives you an opportunity to learn more about this prospectÕs
Another way to use your business card to pique prospects'
interest is to include an offer on the back. You might offer
a free report or guide of interest to your target market.
For example, if you are a real estate agent you could offer
an article on "10 Simple Ways to Increase the Value of
Your Home", available on your company's web site through
the link provided. When prospects visit the site, ask them
to provide their name, email address and phone number, and
then deliver a well-written and informative article.
The first step is to get a prospect's attention and their
contact information. Then you can stay in touch with them on
a regular basis, offering more helpful ideas and information
about your services. Building relationships in this way is
well worth the additional cost of printing on both sides
of your cards.
Before you rush to redo your business card, you'll want it
designed so it is easy to read and moves your prospects to
contact you. If you want it to look professional, hire a
graphic designer to help put your marketing objectives into
Stop exchanging business cards as a ritual and start using
your card to attract new clients. Reconsider your title and
include your brilliant marketing message. Add a free offer
your prospects can't refuse. Your business card will help
you start conversations, generate more leads and grow your
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and
small business owners attract more clients and grow their
businesses. Sign up for the Free Marketing eBook, '7 Steps
to get more clients and grow your business', full of
practical marketing ideas you can use to improve your
business marketing plan