Business Sustainability: Business Card Etiquette

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A major part of keeping your business viable can often be found in your pocket or purse. Proper etiquette dictates giving one business card to each person in a group, up to six people. For larger groups, set some around the table so those who wish to, can take one. Never toss your card across to anyone, or toss a stack of cards onto a meeting table. The way you treat your card demonstrates how you want others to treat your card and therefore the relationship.

The business card must identify you, your title, your qualifications, the organization, and contact details. Good quality paper is a must, as well as clear, easy to read font. If you are dealing in an area where there is more than one language being used, the card should be in the language of the recipient. Many situations can call for the card to be printed on both sides, each in a different language.

Business cards must be offered and received with respect. Read the card as soon as you get it, making sure to fully note the name, title, and qualifications – Don’t just carelessly toss it around! While it may seem at times insignificant, your business card is an extension of you and your company. It is often the only tangible thing left after a meeting is over, so never be caught without one and don’t be stingy with them.

Ever found yourself scrambling for a pen during a meeting to write down someone’s information, or embarrassed when asked for your card and not have one to offer? Feel free to leave your stories below.

Patricia Burkhart is the executive director of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc., a research, development and manufacturing firm based in Shelby, North Carolina.  CRT is an IFMA CSP, EnergyStar Partner and manufacturer of independently-certified Green products for HVAC maintenance. Since 1986, CRT has been creating leading edge HVAC maintenance products that have become industry standards, used in thousands of commercial buildings world-wide. CRT employees are members of BOMA, ASHRAE, ASHE and the American Chemical Society. www.cleanac.com (800) 766-9057.

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