My husband is a handyman. He doesn’t own his own business, but he does odd jobs for people when they need it. We were at a neighborhood garage sale a few weeks ago, chatting with the homeowner, and it turned out that she had a tree in her backyard that had fallen down, and she needed it cut up and disposed of. My husband said he could take care of it for her. She was thrilled.
“Do you have a card?” she asked.
Wah-wah (à la Debbie Downer).
We had been talking about getting some made for him, but hadn’t gotten around to it. He gave her his number, she punched it into her phone and called him, so then they were connected. But, oh, wouldn’t her first impression of him been so much better if he had been able to hand her a professional business card with his name and number? The situation would also have been less awkward. And she would have had a reference point for being able to suggest his services to any of her neighbors or friends. Instead, she didn’t call him, and we think his not having a card had something to do with it.
It was, unfortunately, a clear example of why business cards are still such an important part of our culture and how they can work for anyone.
According to Pew Research, 91 percent of American adults own cellphones, with 56 percent owning smartphones. We become so caught up in emerging technology that sometimes we forget the power of a tangible reminder in our hands.
So, why are business cards still so important?
1. Business cards are the fastest and easiest way to give someone your business contact information. No writing, no punching in numbers, no trying to remember someone’s name to look them up later on LinkedIn.
2. Digital device usage varies. Not everyone has a cellphone, a little less than half of those have a smartphone, and even those who do have smartphones use them to varying degrees. You can’t count on everyone you meet to use technology to the same degree you do.
3. Business cards aren’t dependent on battery or signal strength. Maybe you’re on a camping trip in the mountains and you strike up conversation with someone. You can’t call them, but you can hand them a card.
4. Business cards are a marketing tool. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. When meeting someone face-to-face, cards provide the first exposure to your brand. They can also be kept, passed on and referred to over and over, extending your brand message every time.
Technology is a good thing, but remember that just because you CAN use it for everything, doesn’t mean you should. In your real estate marketing, it is important that you maintain a personal relationship with your clients. Talking to them face-to-face and giving them tangible reminders of what you can do for them – including business cards, postcards and newsletters – keeps you top-of-mind and helps your business grow.
For more information on the business cards, postcards and other personalized printed materials offered by The Personal Marketing Company, visit us at www.tpmco.com.