Use business cards strategically in negotiations

8. December 2020

Who can escape them? Cheap business cards with Word clipart or the variant with 200 free standard business cards with print advertising on the back. Thrift often begins with the business card and company folder. Business Cards might appear “outdated”, however, some crucial points are still well worth to be considered.

Why are business cards still important in the digital age?

  • A business card is often that first physical contact with a new person and helps to win them over as a customer and start the negotiation on the right foot. The situation is even worse with service providers: Here this is sometimes the only tangible “gift” that is ever given. Accordingly, several pieces of perception act here at the same time (see The Master Negotiator Checklist p 108):
  • The first impression (Primacy effect) is rated disproportionately and stays in the memory much longer
  • Observations are unconsciously selected in such a way that the first impression is confirmed : “I knew it.”
  • Therefore, the following performance and price presentation is seen in the light of the business card impression. So it’s easy to start a vicious circle here.
  • Business cards are often “taken out again” after the meeting, touched and felt. They are therefore viewed more often than just when they are handed over.
  • Business cards are read! In the age of overstimulation, this is a very important opportunity.
  • So the last thing your business card should be is boring and interchangeable. Your business card is the mirror of your company and your achievements. Accordingly, you should invest in the design and printing of your business card and be sure to consult a professional.

5 tips for the optimal use of the business card with your negotiating partner

1. Cheap business cards really tend to leave a cheap impression

Do you want to look cheap? If not, invest in your business card.

Invest your time and money. Until you love them. When did you invest enough? There’s a little trick: if it’s such a beautiful work of art that you hesitate to hand your child a copy to play with because it feels too valuable for that.

2. All important information should be easy to find

After a keynote, participants had left countless business cards. Yet, 4 (of about 70) cards lacked e-mail addresses. 6 didn’t give any website information, or maybe didn’t have any ?!

Every industry works a little differently, of course. But e-mail and the Internet are a must practically everywhere.

But there is a little more to it than that. Assume that a casual observer, much like visiting your website, spends only a few seconds answering the following questions:

1) Who is that?
2) What is he doing?
3) Can I use it?

3. Take advantage of the back side

Imagine listening to a 1 minute commercial on the radio. Only if finishes after 30 seconds. Then there is silence. That is the situation and the lost chance if you leave the back of your card blank. You can include current offers, a slogan, a coupon or a URL. For example, I have information about my books attached on the back.

4. Always take business cards with you

You can share your information wherever you could meet people. Put some in your bike, car, bag, sports bag and with the seminar documents. After all, the interested customer can be waiting for you anywhere. So be prepared!

5. Think “Class” instead of “mass” when handing out your cards

During my last Speed Negotiation Seminar one participant “forced his card” on everyone, whether they wanted it or not. When tidying up after the seminar, I found half of the cards spread out on tables and in the garbage can. The potential partners reaction was to be “pissed off” and brought little positive either to her or to the recipients. Only give business cards to someone who deserves them. After you’ve invested so much in your business cards, hand them out only to people you actually want to work with. This saves you from stalking gossip and doesn’t seem so intrusive.

The first but important step would be done. If you want to take a closer look at fee negotiations and practice your first impression, have a closer look at my Speed Negotiation Event..

I wish you success!