Many people hand me their business card with an apology for something wrong with it. I read from multiple studies that 81% of business people are embarrassed about their marketing materials. Many business cards have the phone number or e-mail crossed out, or they are handed off with an apology.
I was at a conference recently when one lady, after making a compelling verbal presentation of her services to me, digs into and mulls around the bottom of her purse. She pulls out a raggedy business card, wipes it off against her skirt because there seemed to be some “stuff” on it and presents it to me. All the time, apologizing for forgetting to bring her “perfect cards.”
I declined to accept it, looked puzzled.
“You may need that for someone else. Keep it,” I said while keeping my hands to my side. A few minutes later, I handed my business card with a proud smile and tall stature, and “why don’t you call me tomorrow.” She looked at it and commented on how nice it was while flushed from her embarrassed.
She never did a follow-up. Probably out of embarrassment. I’m glad she didn’t. She had the right answer to my problem too.
Let me say that if this happens, it’s a huge turn off for me. I am sure it is for anyone on the receiving end. You don’t have to be kind and accept such an imperfect gift. I don’t want a “dragged through the purse or wallet” business card. Nor do I want one that you can’t hand me with pride.
If you aren’t proud of one of the cheapest business tools available, how are you going to be proud of the service you deliver to me? What does this say about you? About your business? What does it say about the start of our relationship?
This conversation isn’t just about the business card, either. What about handouts, flyers, and anything else that exits your business?
It takes pride to order new business cards when something changes on them. It takes pride to reprint a flyer that you have made a mistake. Have it! Ask for it! Deliver it!
Every time I need new business cards, I get a new design. I pique people’s interest, and they want one even if they already have others of mine.
Don’t make a homemade business card. Not even if you sell crafts. Don’t push them through your inkjet printer. Not also if it’s a color inkjet.
Does your brochure make you tingle? What about the rest of your marketing materials? Did they tingle last year, but don’t this year? Are you giving them out just because you printed too many out? Take this as a learning lesson. Never overstock your marketing materials. They are like a car; they are outdated as soon as they are driving off the lot. Only print what you estimate you are going to use. Not even to save a few bucks on the reprinting charge.
If you are ashamed of any of your marketing materials, redo them, or don’t give them out. Not even with or without excuses. Not also if you have the luck of the draw, and Donald Trump is standing in front of you.
Deliver the best. Display your best.