Networking- Beyond the Typical Business Card
by Bob Salvas
 

What should you hand out when networking?
 
You may have seen that there can be two extremes.  The first is to hand out something substantial that will make
you stand out from the crowd.  The problem with that is that networking is a ‘moving around’ activity.  People do not want
to carry around your brochures, catalogs or promotional products. Most people will politely take what you offer them
but then discard it at the event.
 
At the other extreme are people who show up with nothing.  They want to put your contact information into their
phone but, that may not be how you collect information.  Everybody uses technology differently. And if I am really
interested in following up with you, you should be making it easy for me to do so.
 
In between these two extremes is the time-tested business card.   It’s portable, makes it easy to exchange information
and is still the best tool in networking.
 
The only down side is that it is difficult to make a business card stand out.  If you are a promotional products distributor,
here is an idea that could greatly enhance your business card:
 
Imagine that you order new 4” by 3.5” folded business cards.  On the front outside of the card is your typical contact
information.  On the inside is a bulleted list of recent research conducted by PPAI proving the effectiveness of
promotional products over traditional advertising.  The inside could look something like this:
 
Why are advertisers transferring funds from their traditional advertising budget to their
promotional products budget?  Here’s why…

 

  • • 83% of consumers said they are more likely to do business with a company after receiving a branded gift
       compared to 6% online, 12% print, and 17% of broadcast and mobile
  • • 62% did business with the presenter after receiving the gift while 4% made a purchase after seeing a print ad, 1%
       after watching a TV commercial, and 6% after seeing an online ad
  • • 90% of recipients recall the company’s branding compared to 30% of broadcast and 20% of print, mobile and
       online
  • • 79% of recipients said they looked up a brand after receiving a gift
  • • 80% recall the company’s message
  • • 71% of recipients feel happiness toward the gift-giving company
  • • 91% found that gift giving was effective in achieving their goals of motivating an initial purchase
  • • 44% increase in media advertising results when adding a promo product to the advertising mix

 
Your folded card would then accomplish three things:  First, it would continue to be a calling card with your contact
information.  Second, your card would educate the business person as to the effectiveness of promotional products
advertising when compared to traditional advertising.  And third, the PPAI research could stimulate conversation among
networkers.
 
By the way, this works because it is educational.  If you had used the folded business card technique to list your
company’s features and benefits, it wouldn’t have the same value or impact for the person receiving it.
Happy networking!