This past week in doing some private coaching with an exceptional group of wedding professionals, we got off into one of those sideline discussions. This particular discussion was about business cards. In our discussions the opinions flew back and forth, “I like it when I get a card that has rounded corners”, “I like a card I can take notes on” and many more similar suggestions. After about 30 minutes, I finally had to make the following point; you don’t get business from business cards.
Let me explain further. Pretend your business card is sitting on a shelf somewhere; if Brides pick it up and immediately call with their credit card to book with you, then your business card is effective in getting business. Short of that, it is simply a business card.
I ask this question often; What is the purpose of your business card? Most people reply, “to give our information out”. If this is what our purpose is, great; we usually hit the mark. For us to hope that our business card, our brochure, our booth at a bridal show or some other static marketing collateral will alone close the sale for us is to hope too high.
Our job as business owners is to open our mouths, to approach and speak with our prospective clients and to open the dialogue with those who may do business with us. When we try to utilize other mediums to substitute these crucial business owner actions, we subject our businesses to a less than optimum result.
Think about this from a different angle; are people more direct and potentially rude over email than they are face to face? Or another way of saying it; Do they make decisions without full information? If you have ever had a list of brides with email addresses How many of your emails that you blasted out were deleted without even opening them? If you’re like most businesses who blast out emails, most get deleted without even opening them. Further you have had people who are rude over the phone, but will be much more kind face to face. The fact is when we have higher levels of connection we act better. I point this out to share with you that you will get your best results by working towards a face to face connection.
Back to business cards; A few years back, my Uncle Harry gave me some business cards of my Dad (who had passed away) from the late 50’s. These business cards were very similar to a typical card you would see today. The major elements of information on that card had not changed in 50+ years~! Now think about this- has the way we do business changed in the past 50 years- you better believe it.
One way that has consistently worked over the years is a personal approach. I remember years ago a trade show I was working where our next door neighbor was full of energy. This guy reminded me of the legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano- totally shot out of a cannon!. He was actually using a PA system to bring people into his booth to have a conversation. In the beginning, I thought it was pretty obnoxious, but guess what- it worked. At the end of the show, Mr. Trade Show was exhausted, but had a book of business he gained from that show that nobody else at the show could come close too. He reached out personally as opposed to his competitors who put some literature out on a table and the customers responded.
In order to get a better result in today’s economy, it is key that you get better at connecting with that prospective customer. Inanimate objects such as business cards do not accomplish that job- you do. Work on your person to person skills, your sales strategy and simply listening better to what your prospect is looking for. You like person to person contact, so do your Brides.