ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Business Card Etiquette - The Correct Way to Hand Someone Your Business Card

Updated on June 29, 2018
Cyndi10 profile image

Cynthia researches and writes about a variety of topics including travel, family, business, gardening, beauty, and health & wellness.

Business cards have an etiquette to presentation.
Business cards have an etiquette to presentation. | Source

Relationships are crucial to business and if you are in business, you have (or should have) business cards because of the role they play in helping to build those relationships, but there is a right way and a wrong way to handing someone your business card. It seems there is etiquette - standard rules to follow - for nearly everything we do and it's important to understand that there is an etiquette to handing out business cards, too.

While there are ways to use technology to store business information, even exchange "cards" of potential customers, collegues and peers, technology has made little difference to that intimate act of physically handing someone a business card.

Nearly everyone who wants to promote their business has a business card; there are few exceptions. In fact, nearly 27 million business cards are printed daily which amounts to just under 10,000,000,000 a year. That's because business cards are important to the legitimacy and credibility of a businss. A business card says that you are invested in your business. That average investment in the US is $194.00 but a business card can cost as much as $1,500 per card. That particular$1,500.00 businss card is called the Black Astrum Signature Card and is made of Swiss metal studded in 30 carats worth of diamonds. Quite an investment.

To put business cards in their historical perspective, here are a few facts. Business cards were initially called calling cards and were first used a few hundred years ago in China royal houses. The West caught onto the act of leaving calling cards at the home of the Royals and their court around the 17th Century. At the same time that the aristocracy were actively leaving their calling cards about town, enterprising merchants and businessmen saw the business card as an opportunity to advertise their business.


Source

Hand Out Business Cards the Correct Way

Today, that small 3.5” x 2” standard sized card is just as valuable a tool as it was in the 17th Century, although it is now just one of the tools in an of arsenal of tools used to promote your business and it comes in a variety of sizes. It is interesting fact and certainly inevitable, that over their four centuries of use, the business card has developed an etiquette to handing them out, particularly in Asian countries. Given that we are a global economy, we should be mindful of the proper way to handle business cards so that we don’t inadvertently offend someone and possibly even jeopardize negotiations. Being mindful can't hurt and it certainly won't hinder business acumen.

The following are a few tips regarding business card etiquette to keep in mind the next time you attend a conference or meet someone:

  • Your card design should make a statement your business and should have a minimum of your name the business and a way to contact you. Cards to today come in a myriad of sizes and designs. Be sure the design reflects your business. Visit sites like zazzle.com or read the article at Canva to get an idea of designs that are available.
  • Purchase the best quality card that you can afford. You don't want to give the impression that you are cheap. The card, whether the receiver keeps it or tosses it, will leave a lasting impression and, the cheap card often goes in the trash first.
  • Store your cards in a well designed “statement,” card holder. Like your business cards, your holder is a reflection of you and your business. In addition, when you neatly store your cards, you avoid fumbling for them when the time comes to present it.
  • When you first receive a card from a colleague, show some interest in the design and even make a polite comment, that is, unless you are exchanging cards with a Korean. Koreans consider it impolite to study the card at the moment you receive it.
  • It is rude and pushy to interrupt a going conversation in order to present someone your business card - in any culture!
  • Be selective in passing out your cards. Your cards can be expensive, depending on your design and you also don't want to give a card to someone who will have no intent of ever using your business. Use your best judgment here.
  • When handing someone your card, hand it to the receiver with the business information showing face up. Use one hand to present your card unless you are in Japan or Korea where you use both hands to give the receiver your card.
  • Don't write on your business card in the presence of the the owner. This is considered disrespectful in some Asian cultures.

As you can see, like many other activities in life, there is corresponding etiquette - a right and wrong way to handle that little card. Using a little business card etiquette can make you look more polish and ready to handle business. It can also help you avoid insulting someone from another culture. You invested in the best design, use your business card effectively and correctly when handing them out.

Business cards should be used strategically as part of your brand.
Business cards should be used strategically as part of your brand.

© 2016 Cynthia B Turner

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      2 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, it's interesting the way our different cultures treat business cards. One I left out was that it is considered impolite in some cultures to write on the business card in the presence of the giver. This is something I had been guilty of until I learned that.

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Take care.

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      2 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Jodah, Thanks for taking the time to read and for alerting me to the paragraph. I love that rosewood card holder myself!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      I found the cultural differences very interesting.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Cynthia, it is very helpful to know the correct etiquette involved with handing out business cards etc. I love the folding rosewood card holder in the Amazon ad. (*You have repeated the last paragraph.)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)