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16. Wear them! Use them as nametags at meetings and conferences instead of "Hello, my name is ..." type of tags.
17. Keep a stack of cards everywhere you might need them - in your car, your jacket pocket, your briefcase, your purse or wallet, in your planner, at home, anywhere you can think of. Then you'll always have some on hand when you meet a prospect.
When to Use Them:
18. Give them out during your personal meetings when you meet someone new: at your church, your children's soccer games, at lunch with your friends when someone brings a guest. To be more polite, you could have a personal "calling card" printed up with your information to use in these situations.
19. If you do seminars, have your participants exchange cards with each other. Have them write a compliment about person on back before they hand them out. Everyone will have a wealth of contacts; they will remember each other and it will also give participants a boost of confidence.
20. Ask neighborhood businesses if you may display your cards near their registers.
21. Tack them to bulletin boards at supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores and library - anyplace that has a bulletin board.
22. Give out two cards at a time - one for your prospect or client, and one for her/him to give away.
23. Place some on table when you leave a restaurant.
24. Agree to mail cards of other businesspeople in mailings you do, if they will do same for you. Your networking circle will grow as your cards are passed around.
How Not to Use Business Cards:
25. Don't give them to a member of opposite sex in hopes that s/he will call you. I have a friend who was told this wouldn't work. He did an experiment for six months to prove it, and his friend was right! Sadly, not one woman called him. Although he does have a girlfriend now!
26. Some people don't give out business cards when they meet a prospective client. Instead, they send a follow- up note later with their card enclosed.
Other Types of Business Cards to Have
27. Business card CD-ROM. If you haven't seen these yet, they are a mini-sized CD that plays in any CD player and has your contact information on it, as well as an introduction to your business.
28. Email Signature. Put your contact information into a signature file for email, along with a link to your website (be sure to include "http" in order to make it "clickable.")
29. Vcard. These are electronic business cards that recipients can click on and automatically add to their address books. Do a web search for "vcard" to find software that supports this technology. Then use it in all your emails!
30. One consulting company, which works with designers of products for people with disabilities, prints their cards in Braille. It reminds their clients how they can help them comply with disability laws. It also gets people asking for information.
Linda Elizabeth Alexander is a business writer and marketing consultant based in Longmont, Colorado, USA. Improve your writing skills at work! Subscribe to her FREE ezine. Write to the Point at email@example.com or visit http://www.write2thepointcom.com/articles.html.