Why Are Business Cards Still Important?

Despite living in the 'digital age', paper business cards are still very common. Why?

I understand they can be useful, instead of jotting down multiple pieces of contact info, you can just smoothly hand someone a pre-printed list of all that stuff. However, most people hand them out without thinking - even if they are family, have known them for years, or you just meet them once.

The big problem with that is business cards almost never are accurate after a few months. I just tossed a binder full of cards I collected at various trade shows, and I'd guess that 20% still reflected current details. Jobs, titles, companies, phone numbers, even email addresses frequently change.

In almost every case, the internet (via LinkedIn or web searches) is quicker and more accurate for finding the right contact versus digging through piles of cards. I really do not understand why people still value them.

Do you think business cards are important? If so, why? Vote below:


You have to print the QR code on something...

For the same reason I do wish people would make use of VCard files a bit more and lengthy email signatures a bit less.

I hate vCards. I often sort emails by attachment to find that file that so and so sent me. vCard break that.

That is a good point and definitely one of the major drawbacks. Now that I think about it, I just dislike having to retype things into Outlook.

I suppose there are always applications like CamCard that let us just snap photos of the card, use OCR on them, and import them in as a contact. The OCR isn't quite error-proof particularly with some elaborate cards.

Without the back of my business cards, I won't have a notepad!

I think business cards are like hand shakes and are still important for the same reason mentioned above: "you can just smoothly hand someone a pre-printed list of all that stuff", in other words, it's a quick way for someone to reference you later. In addition, if done properly, the card serves as a branding tool...the more someone gets a visual image of your company, the more they are likely to associate your company with their need should it arise.

In our quick hustle and bustle world, it's cumbersome to have to write down someone's contact info (and worry about if you spelled everything correctly), or take a moment to enter it into your phone (even for those savy enough to do it quickly). I think what has changed, is what needs to be listed on the card. In short, a logo, a mobile number-which accepts texts, an email address, and maybe a linkedIn address is whats necessary, right?

So unless someone invents a fumble proof way of transferring contact data and a picture between two mobile devices without requiring more than 1-2 smartphone taps, then biz cards are here to stay.

I noticed that I'm more likely to make a sale if I do the fancy wrist flick thing when I hand someone my card. I don't like what this says about me or about human nature in general, but I'm not about to give up sales to make a point either.

Do this, get even more sales:

Around here, you say "I guaran-damn-tee it!" when the customer asks if your pricing is accurate. Instant sale.

Do you also have to dance a jig while firing your pistols in the air and shouting "yee-haw" when you make the sale, or is that optional? Because I always mess up the jig part.

without business cards I wont have a chance to win that free Subway lunch that they draw every week by picking business cards out of a jar!..

My memory is so bad I forget someones name 10 seconds after they tell it to me and trying to remember who they were several hours later....forget it. Having their business card lets me quickly refresh my memory so I can use thier name when talking. The card is also a helpful reminder for follow ups once I get back to the office. I'm just going to retire if that tool goes the way of the pencil, pad & rolodex! :)

They are great for writing down on the back a brief scribble about that person, how you met, etc. Until everyone has a standard app they can use to exchange vCards, they will persist. Even after, I think.

By the way, you might want to obscure a little more of Brent's card. :)

Like this?

I thought I would bump this discussion because a co-worker showed me an awesome iphone/android app today for business card management. It is called Haystack: http://thehaystackapp.com/

Coolest feature is that cards auto update. So when your contacts get a promotion, change jobs, or offices, so do their contact details via haystack.

Even John might have to admit this is a useful app! :)

I hope they don't go away like album CD covers did.

My three favorite "rookie" cards:

Personally I don't see the importance with them. I take a business card, immediately put all the information into my phone, and toss the business card somewhere to be found a year from now.

But...almost all of my clients ask for business cards, and my company chooses not to give installers business cards (I guess the idea is they should call the office, but I'm also of the oppinion sometimes a quick call to the guy who installed everything can save a service call, or at least point the service guy in the right direction).