Anyone who has ever been a part of a job interview is well aware of the importance of making a strong first impression, yet it seems that there is less emphasis on this fact as careers progress and professionals reach positions of leadership. From the perspective of an individual who has achieved a certain level of professional success and has earned a role in which they oversee the work of others, it seems that the reason for the reduced emphasis on strong first impressions may relate to the belief that their track record will simply speak for itself.
While past successes may provide a greater degree of leeway for those in leadership positions, the impressions made on others still matter a great deal. In a line of thinking that evokes the work of David Kravitz, the problem seems to be related to the inability to see ourselves as others see us. In evaluating ourselves, we include every accomplishment we can recall and dismiss any recent misstep as one small mistake among countless triumphs. This, however, is not the way others see us or evaluate us, as the information at their disposal represents a much smaller cross-section.
Professional success is therefore continually reliant on the impressions made throughout the entirety of a career, and individuals must recognize that recency bias can indeed play a major role in the evaluations made by others. This applies to everyone from new employees to even those sitting on the Supreme Court, as there are always new people making value judgments based a very small sample size. One off-color remark or unfavorable decision can therefore shape the perception of others in way that may not always be immediately recognized. With a focus on making a consistently strong impression throughout the course of an entire career, professionals can ensure that they benefit from a more accurate perception held by others.
It always makes me feel good to go get my next back of business cards since I had recently ran out. When I run out of business cards, that tells me I am productive. Sure, anyone can hand out a business card to someone, but it means more when people ask for your card because you know that they are more likely to hold on to it verses if you give it to them yourself.
One day while out stocking up on more cards, I ran into Ralph Slaske who is a business mastermind for those who don’t know. Ralph is a sharp individual who revolutionized the way business cards work, so in the business world he is one of those famous people off the radar.
Slaske told me he was in the process of building his new site. At the time of this writing, there’s nothing there, so don’t be too disappointed. This was perhaps the most exciting thing I had witnessed today. I just met a business celebrity and I didn’t even ask for his business card!
Anyone who has ever been handed a business card knows that the card itself plays a role in shaping the perception of the individual it belongs to. A crisp business card that is tastefully designed and is presented at an appropriate time can make a very positive impression that may lead to a fruitful business relationship, and Kion Kashefi believes it is important for professionals in any industry to thoughtfully consider the type of business card that is best suited to their needs. Mr. Kashefi has five suggestions that may be ideal for professionals in a variety of industries.
The Creative Presentation
A professional working in any sort of creative industry ought to be able to present a business card that accurately represents the creativity of their work, says Mr. Kashefi. A graphic designer should show off their skills in a card of their own design, and they may opt to do so through custom typography or other custom elements of graphic design.
The Interactive Approach
Mr. Kashefi believes that an interactive card is more likely to yield a beneficial professional relationship for a variety of reasons. An interactive card not only gives a professional contact reason to pull out the card, but it also gives them a reason to show it off to others. One advertising agency passed out musicbox comb cards that played a classic rock tune when it was traced by a fingernail, which makes it very likely that the card will be shown off time and again.
The Useful Option
A lot of shrewd professionals, according to Mr. Kashefi, have been handing out cards that are useful to the people they are handed out to. Professionals in industries involving repairs have taken to handing out multi-tools that are in the shape of a business card. This is a convenient little tool that a potential contact is very likely to hold onto for a very long time, which is obviously an exceptionally positive outcome.
The Industry-Relevant Choice
Professionals wishing to make a lasting impression with their business cards should opt for a design that is relevant to their specific industry. Many lawn care professionals have taken to handing out business cards that double as seed packets, while some delivery companies are handing out cards that can be folded into a cardboard box complete with shipping instructions.
The Classic Design
Mr. Kashefi believes that there is absolutely nothing wrong with opting for the classic business card look. An embossed business card with just the most relevant contact information is still a solid option for professionals regardless of their industry, and there is certainly a lot to like in this minimalist approach.
If you are in sales and don’t think you need business cards you are sadly mistaken. The business card is your friend and they can be had cheap. The small investment will pay off as people will not remember you without them. I have been the customer that requests a card and the salesman doesn’t have them. I view the lack of business cards as a negative and would rather work with a more established salesman. If you plan to be successful in business then get those business cards made up and keep plenty on hand. Kimra Bettasso has business cards and would not be without them.
The other day a snow bird gave me a business card that had his personal information on it and no business. I thought this would be a good way to convey your contact information to those you want to have it. The email can be tuff to remember as we get older so having the information on a card would be great. The card had a image of his motor home as well. If I need to find this guy the card would be all I needed. Tim DeCapua is a guy that hands out business cards like mad. He would be a good guide to follow.
For entrepreneurs who are running a company of their own, it is important for the business card they present to reflect the same creativity that led to a successful business endeavor. Business cards should be memorable and meaningful, and sometimes the classic business card with the stylish but understated embossing is not the most ideal way to reflect a creative and innovative persona.
As Luigi Wewege has said numerous times, a business card should not be showy without good reason. A card must make it clear what the person it represents does and why they are the best person to work with on that particular task. If the business card is for an individual working in the visual arts, then the card should be a miniature example of the creativity and skill the artist possesses. A bland, standard card will have the opposite effect.
The card itself should be created thoughtfully and constructed of solid material. It is also vital to remember that a card should not be handed out haphazardly. Only after a memorable interaction should a card be given to a potential contact, and there should be a good reason why that person will be interested in the products or services offered by the cardholder.
If, for example, an artist meets a prospective client at a gallery showing, then it is perfectly reasonable to say, “My work is inspired by this style. If you are interested, here is my card.” That is a good use of the card, whereas just handing them out to passersby is much less likely to yield any sort of positive result.
Choosing the color for your business card is important. If you chose a bright feminine color you may risk turning off the serious customer. You would want to go with a basic white or neutral color that doesn’t make your card a eye sore. If you want to add a splash of color then a background image could work but once again you want the card to read business like. If I see a fancy card it really tells me that the business is silly and may be a red flag. Co-Founder and CEO Luke Weil will always go for the business with the serious business card.
Have you ever asked for a card and was told they don’t have one? What does that tell you? It tells me that the salesman isn’t ready for business. If you can’t even have a business card printed what kind of business do you expect to conduct? How about the idiot that hands you someone else’s card with the name hand written. Tells me he is not serious. Luke Weil has cards and is ready for business. get your cards and don’t be caught not ready for business. I always have extra cards on me as I hate being caught without. It is not a sign of a busy salesman, but an unprofessional act.
Putting your picture is a mistake as the picture will always disappoint. If you have an attractive picture of your youthful self it will mislead the customer. If you have a true image on the card it will run them off. Better to have just a logo and the particulars. If you must include an image of yourself go ahead and doll it up with Photoshop. The end result will be mixed and not as bad as the truth. Mo Howard West Virginia Football will always be known for their business cards. They all put their pictures on the cards and it wasn’t pretty.
I know we all need to save money when we can in our business dealings. Business cards can be expensive depending on how fancy to design them. Anything not rectangular can be very expensive and the more colors to more the cost. You may want to print your own. The advantages of printing your own cards are many. You can print them as needed so you don’t have to have so many on hand. If there is a change on the card that is needed you can make it for little cost and have them immediately. The cards can change to suit the customer. If you are trying to land a particular client you can customize a card to appeal to that particular customer. Dove Medical Press card can have a medical theme.