So when is the right time to offer your card? I have asked myself these very same questions; which began my quest for understanding business card etiquette. My ten rules on business card etiquette are based on research and will enable you to be worry free about committing a business card etiquette faux pas at your next networking or business event.
Rule #1 - Do not deal out your business cards like you are dealing a deck of playing cards; this is rude and pushy. You should ask for the other person's card first which will prompt him or her to ask for your card in return or politely ask the person "May I give you my card".
Rule #2 - Do not give out soiled or torn cards.
Rule #3 - Present your card with the print facing up.
Rule #4 - Treat the card with respect- upon receiving a card take time to look at it and show interest; which in turn will make the person holding your card treat it with respect.
Rule #5 - Show respect to those of a higher rank or position by waiting until he or she asks for your card or a third party has introduced you.
Rule #6 - Dispose of cards you do not intend to keep discreetly. Do not reject an offer to take a card.
Rule #7 - Do not place the card in a back pocket, wallet, or bag this is considered disrespectful and shows lack of organization. Place the card in a planner, notebook, or business card case.
Rule #8 - If you hand a card to one person in a group - hand a card to everyone; do not make someone feel left out or inferior
Rule #9 - If you routinely see a person and know you have given him or her a card you do not need to give another card...just extend your hand and introduce yourself if you feel they don't know you. People do not want to be bombarded with multiple cards.
Rule #10 - Do not hand out cards that are used i.e. writing on the back such as grocery list, phone numbers etc.
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