Great sales professionals don’t miss a selling opportunity, nor do they miss an opportunity to network with others and place their personal business card into others’ hands.
Superstar sales professionals recognize that the business card is to a sales professional what the road sign is along the highways of life. It tells people who you are and how to reach you. Successful sales professionals know that you never know when a great selling opportunity may present itself, and having a business card to offer to someone can really differentiate a super sales professional from merely another sales person within a pack.
Business cards are also a powerful measurement means to determine if one is investing enough time with Suspects and Prospects in the Sales Funnel (Mini-Seminar and eZine column 14). Within each contact is an opportunity to offer your card to them. When you are truly in a sales position, getting your card into the right hand is critical. Warehousing business cards in one’s desk drawer is more of a sign of lack of work than a sign of smart work.
Whether one is a super sales star, a sales trainer, sales manager, or business owner, one can use the amount of business cards a sales professional orders as a means of determining who is and who is not prospecting, marketing, networking and selling!
There are many ways in which a business card can be used to bring greater value to the recipient and yield greater returns for the sales professional. Consider:
1. As most business cards are blank on the reverse side, this is a great place to make specific notations for the prospect or customer on special Feature/Benefit items that you are offering to them. People are more inclined to keep your business card and more inclined to discard the brochures and handouts that sales professionals tend to load them down with (Or if you are in a sales profession whereby personalizing like this would be against the law, then having key product or product data on the reverse would be a default action).
A powerful way to use the business card as a customized selling brochure is to draw a small circle in the reverse blank side – about the size of a small coin. Inside the circle, write a word or a few words concentrating on the key point you want to be remembered about your offer/presentation. Then for any key offer, price, feature, benefit, etc., which relates to that encircled notation, draw simple, short axis lines outward from the circle and write that simple notation on each line.
Visually, what you will have is a circle with lines shooting outward from it. In essence, a wheel with spokes appears and key words which mean something to the recipient of the card. You have given to them a special, customized print reference instrument.
2. You can use the business card as a means of soliciting someone’s name and title by offering your card to the other person at the beginning of the sales conversation and requesting theirs. Then take their card and leave it out in front of you during your sales conversation/presentation, so that at any time if you forget the other person’s name, you can cheat and look down at the card and maintain conversation flow and control.
3. You can offer an extra card to any prospect at the moment they become a happy customer, as a means of involving them as a referral agent for you. Example: “Here’s an extra card for you, should you know of someone that would be appropriate to benefit from this product/service as you have. Thank you.”
4. In any follow-up letters, “Thank You” letters or introduction prospecting letters (Remember, Rule 1/12/50, Mini-Seminar 31) you can always include a few cards, one for the intended reader and extras for them to pass along to others.
5. Place the business card in “Give-Away” drawing bowls/jars on counters in stores with high volume pedestrian traffic of your “profile” prospects and customers, in such a way that your card is held within that bowl or jar as a free billboard for viewers.
6. Look for display areas where your business card can be “thumb tacked” up, included in other merchants’ direct mail circulars/envelopes/mail packs, etc., magnetized and hung-up, used as a book mark, or other multipurpose instrument.
Sales professionals need to recognize that there are a lot of powerful ways to utilize their business card as a powerful selling instrument. Cards sent out are like seeds. The more seeds that one plants, the greater their potential harvests!
Using Your Business Card As Your #1 Selling Instrument
Brainstorm all of the smart ways and places that sales professionals can use their business card as a selling instrument in the next week. Then develop a list of as many ways as possible to get their business card into the hands of targeted prospects and suspects in the next week.
Make it a sales professionals’ game to move 500 cards into the Suspect, Prospect, Customer levels of the Sales Funnel in the next week.
Have each sales professional, on the reverse of one of their own business cards, develop an action plan of all of the places or people that they intend to contact in the next week. Then have them either duplicate that onto a second card or make a photocopy of it and trade with another sales professional as their accountability coach. Have partners work with one another in the next week to ensure greater execution and commitment of action plans.
We sometimes get so caught up in the latest technology, the latest trends and the newest tools, that we forget the basics. What are some creative ways you’;ve used the simple, and humble business card as a great sales tool? What are some other creative ways you can leverage some simple and affordable "old school" sales tools?