There is not a week that goes by that I do not see the same three simple basic marketing mistakes made by small business owners, sales personnel both junior and senior, and even marketing managers.
The first mistake is not having a business card to give out to someone you are meeting with, or someone you are being introduced to. Your business card is the first piece of marketing material that a potential client or customer receives from you. We all agree that first impressions do count.
How many times, after you have left an office or event, have you reached into your pocket and pulled out the business card of someone you met and made a note on it about the person, the meeting, or something you need to do? Do you think you are the only person who does that? If your client or potential client does not have a business card from you, there is no way they can make a notation on the card about you or your services.
How many times have you forgotten the person you met the next day? If you did not receive a business card from that person, they would not be on your radar screen.
You would not go to work in the morning without your debit/ATM card, then why would go to work without business cards? Get in the habit of having clean fresh business cards with you all the time, it is only basic marketing.
The second biggest mistake is stumbling around for a business card, and when you reach into your wallet or purse and pull one out, it is dirty and /or dog eared! Then you proceed to hand it to the client or potential client with an excuse for it being in bad shape. What a bad first, or any impression, you have given to a potential client or customer! You really are not showing them much respect. How do you expect them to give you, your company, or your product, respect in return?
No doubt you would have been better off not having one. So get yourself a card case, a nice professional card case, in which you can carry a small quantity of crisp and clean cards. Put the business card case next to your wallet or purse to ensure you do not leave home without it.
The third biggest mistake in basic marketing is pulling out a clean, crisp business card and then crossing off the phone number, changing the email address etc. It really makes your company look cheap, or makes you look lazy, because you have not ordered correct cards.
You need to ensure that you have a supply of current, accurate business cards. If something changes, immediately get new cards made and throw the other cards away. I do not know how many people I have coached over the years who do not throw the old cards away. For some odd reason we must think they cost a small fortune!
I personally have several business card cases filled with business cards, one in the glove compartment of my car, one in my pocket, and another one in my desk. I always give out a card to my current clients and customers even though they know me and have my current contact info. Several years ago, I was contacted by a potential client who got my business card from one of my clients, who had my business card on his desk from our meeting the day before. He gave it to a friend who had come into his office. His friend contacted me and he became my client.
In my business I stress the small things. These small mistakes may seem trivial, however, it all adds to the impression you make to your clients or potential clients.
Also, I realize there is not much, if any, business card etiquette in the United States, but there is no reason why we could not learn and acquire some etiquette from other countries. You might be surprised if you incorporate some of their etiquette. Your customers, clients or potential clients may notice it and remember that about you. Is that not what basic marketing is all about?