Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Business or quick fumble?

A customers measure of our quality, competence and value are very different to what we might imagine. The bad news is it is rarely, if ever, determined by how brilliant we might be at something. It is almost always measured and judged by what we’re saying through non-verbal communication.

Let’s look at business cards -

In business I see companies and consultants listing endless services, I guess in the belief that as a customer I’ll be impressed by this. The opposite is in fact true.

I have no idea what it is they’re good at, they appear lacking in confidence, perhaps unsure themselves about their strengths and expertise, and so unwittingly communicate in a way which leaves me confused and doubting their credibility. Jack of all trades, master of none

It does little to create anticipation and irresistible temptation either. It’s the equivalent of baring all and leaving nothing to the imagination.

You surprise and delight your customers far more by introducing additional products and services in an appropriate and relevant manner, rather than attempting to explain everything at the same time. Better to find the judicious opportunity to unfurl your businesses breadth of services and products in a thoughtful manner than to pitch everything at once in a desperate and frantic manner.

5 tips to think about –

  • Decide what it is you want to communicate with your business cards – do you want to tell all or offer just a hint of what you offer? This is often the first thing people see in a business environment or networking event. It is the first opportunity you will have to create the wow
  • Consider also the ergonomics of your card – it must be able to fit into the wallet, and also business card holders. Designing something that is none-standard is flawed – if it can’t be filed it will be dumped! Confine none-standard shapes to your promotional material not your business cards

· One vital point on your cards is to ensure you use both sides. It is a missed opportunity and a false saving to only print on one side – don’t be misguided – use every available space

· Get them professionally printed. This is a necessary investment – substandard cards suggest you either don’t take yourself seriously or worse that you won’t be around very long. This may not be your intention but it certainly is what gets communicated

· If the contact details are out of date get new ones printed – never scribble details through, it just looks cheap and naff

The quality of your business cards, as with all your printed stuff will communicate more about your professionalism, how much you value yourself and ultimately how much I’m prepared to pay for your products and services. Avoid BTN (better than nothing) thinking – because it never is.