The cheapest advertising tool you can use: business cards (and how to generate more sales with them!)

Large parts of business today are digital – emails, sending and receiving money, attending meetings, signing contracts and even some elements of networking. It makes you wonder, in this digital world is there room for the humble business card? In a nutshell, yes – and here’s why!

Thinking about your email inbox over the last week or two, how many marketing emails have you received? On your Linkedin, how many new connections and messages have you skimmed over?

Don’t get me wrong – email newsletters, Linkedin and other forms of online advertising definitely have a place and at times, quite an effective one.

In business, standing out is hard and being remembered is even harder. Surprisingly though, one of the oldest methods of advertising a business is still one of the most effective.

You can find new clients, anywhere – a tradesman might hear of some renovations a fellow parent needs done while dropping their child off at school, a personal trainer might hear of a friend of a friend looking to lose weight while both on a night out, a business coach might be striking up a conversation in an airport lounge with a person about to start a new business – in each of these instances, after a friendly introduction and a brief elevator pitch, you will need to leave the contact with some form of takeaway to be able to contact you again. A business card works perfectly for this.

Business cards get passed on – make sure that every client you see, has one (or a few) of your business cards. Word of mouth sales can generate a significant amount of business, and if your happy clients have a card of yours to hand over, the chances of the recipient contacting you are so much higher. Include them when sending out correspondence, invoices, thank you cards, etc.

Create strategic alliances and share business cards – a lot of industries will have complimentary companions that work perfectly for referrals. For example – accountants and bookkeepers, real estate agents and conveyancers, cleaners and yard maintenance, etc. Work on building strategic alliances, share a stack of business cards and use them as a cheap and easy way to cross-refer.

Business cards are kept – a lot of people, will either have a drawer, a folder or a holder that they keep business cards of people they know, like and will work with again. If you want to be contacted again, make sure your card is there when they need to contact you.

They are cheap – Each business card is only a few cents each, which means you don’t have to be selective when handing them out, even with a small chance of conversion if those leads converts, then your ROI will be through the roof!

For the next few months, challenge yourself to find a reason to hand out your business card once per day. Don’t just thrust them upon anyone, work on building a connection, even if a brief one and ask if you can give them your business card – they will almost always say yes (and mentally, they now feel like they are the one requesting it, so will be more likely to keep it).