One Business Card or Two? 5 Ways to Double Your Chances for Success

Most people hand out one business card at a time. How often have you handed out two, or received two or more? Here are some ideas to make the most of each business card exchange.

1. Use your customers to help you build your business. When someone asks for your card, think about whether it would be a wise move to offer more than one. It depends on how much rapport you have established. If you feel comfortable, ask them if they know of anyone else who could use what you sell.

2. Don’t give out more than two. If you give out a pile of cards, it diminishes the value of your cards, and this reflects on the value of your service. Don’t hand them out by the pound. Keep the perceived value by handing them out carefully. If someone gives you a card back, you’ve probably given out too many.

3. Ask for an extra card. When someone gives you a card, ask for an extra one to give a friend or business associate. They might get the hint, and ask for an extra card of yours as well. If they don’t, the person who gives you a card will still appreciate your courteous gesture, and it will go a long way towards establishing rapport and good will.

4. Be specific. Even more powerful is to mention a specific person who might be interested in their product or service. Search your brain for a moment, and think of someone you could refer them to. Remember that what goes around comes around, and you’re more likely to get clients when you help other people get what they want.

5. Tell them why you want it. Don’t make it up. Be sincere in trying to help them. You’ll be imprinted in their mind as someone who has their best interests at heart.

Make it easy for people to tell friends and colleagues about your services by exchanging two cards. But don’t make them look cheap by giving them out by the dozen. Be sure to keep the value of your business cards intact.

You are invited to use these tips to increase your sales using your business cards.

The Power of Just One Business Card

The guys and gals who are smarter than I am in the space we call social media are saying the business card as we know it will be a museum artifact very soon. As archaic as the act of exchanging physical business cards may feel to some of us, I think the power of doing just that has been enhanced exponentially by what that business card represents.

Keep that thought in mind as I shift gears slightly to the concept or idea of the WIP (work-in-process) LinkedIn connection.

Many of you know (because you have attended one of my beginner classes or read my book) I have been a big proponent of your first-level LinkedIn connections being people you trust. This is also LinkedIn’s definition of what the site is designed for. My definition of trust is and has always been the following:

  • Do I know them?
  • Do I love them?
  • Do I care about them?
  • If they called, would I take the call and help them?

But I have also always been a big proponent of the WIP LinkedIn connection and have encouraged people to pursue this tactic as a way to grow their network very strategically. It works this way.

Let’s say you are attending a networking event or a convention, and you do your usual thing of picking up a pocketful of business cards. You hope at least one of those cards represents the start of a new relationship that will lead to more business. After all, that is the reason you went to the event in the first place, right?

After the event, you pull out one special card and wonder if that individual actually liked the conversation you had with them as much as you did and whether they look forward to building a relationship that will go past the beer or plate of snacks you shared.

I am suggesting your next move should be to invite the person into your LinkedIn network as a “work-in-process connection.” By sending this invitation, you are saying:

  • I liked you. Did you like me?
  • I think we can help each other.
  • I look forward to taking this relationship to a deeper level.
  • Through me, people in my network are available to you if they can help you.

LinkedIn helps you quickly move the relationship to a level of trust (and ultimately usefulness) because of the following techniques or features:

  1. The details on a person’s profile can give you tremendous insight about their history and interests — information you probably didn’t learn while drinking a beer with them.
  2. By reviewing the groups the person belongs to, you can see not only who they like to hang out with but what they find interesting in both their work life and their personal life.
  3. You can now see who they know and trust by scrolling through their first-level connections. This could prove to be very valuable.

Wow. All of this detailed information about the person, plus the ability to ask for an introduction to anyone in their network, came out of collecting one business card. That is what I call powerful.

Repeat After Me – “I Have Only One Business”

Imagine you’re ten years old, and there are huge stacks of cardboard boxes towering over you. It’s a maze. It’s a fortress. And you’re allowed to climb all over them.

Inside every single one of those boxes is a dozen bottles. Fine wines, liquor, you name it. It may sound like a caterer’s dream, but I was just hanging out in the warehouse of my grandfather’s wine store. My parents worked with him, and so I kinda grew up there.

1000’s of bottles. One business.

The store ran ads every week, because every week there was a different special, a different deal. A new wine, a new vintage, a new label. Customers came in, and often the parking lot was jammed, with a line from the cash register snaking towards the back door.

Can you imagine if every time a new bottle came in, my grandfather had to open a new store to sell it? Create a new and separate ad? That’s crazy thinking, isn’t it?

One business can handle a whole lotta bottles.

You can breathe a sigh of relief. While you may be the world’s most amazing neurofeedback practitioner, just because you also want to provide nutritional education and support doesn’t mean you have to start a second business.

If you’re consulting around marketing and brand development, you don’t have to kill yourself trying to start a new consulting practice to offer organizational development and leadership training.

You’re just adding more bottles to the shelf. Seems kinda obvious when you think about it. But, what if you need another website? Or another stream of income? When does it become separate business?

A business is defined by the people it serves.

A business exists to help people solve a problem. Not just any person, or just any problem. The same business that fixes holes in your teeth isn’t going to be the same business that fixes potholes in the road.

If your message is talking to the same kind of people, about the same kind of problem, then no matter how radically different the offers are, you can keep it all under one roof.

Meditation CD. Spiritual healing session. Hot rock massages. Pilates classes. Nutrition consultation. Health strategy session. Spans quite a bit of territory, but because it addresses people healing from traumatic injuries, all of these offers connect. One business.

One business. Two businesses. Why does it matter?

Well, aside from the overwhelm that can rise up when thinking about running more than one business at a time, it all boils down to one word: Momentum.

A customer that buys a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau one week, may buy a case of Burgundy the next. And then the next week, on your recommendation, they may end up trying some white wine, and finding out they like that, too.

All people, including your clients, are complex human beings, with a large variety of needs and wants and challenges. By the same token, problems are rarely solved with only one solution or approach. A good dinner may need both a rich red wine for the steak, and then a sweet dessert wine for afterwards. An injury may need massage, exercise, nutrition, and spiritual connection to heal.

But if you’re already known as a specialist in neurofeedback, say, how could you ever expand your business without losing clients? Good question. Let’s take a look.

Keys to Adding Bottles for Momentum

* Single Answers Can Be Suspect

After touring through the world of healing, where there has to be at least one gazillion different ways of doing it, I’ve come to the conclusion: there is no one single ‘best’ way. If you are dedicating yourself to just a single modality, it’s hard to do that without having a least a little bit of unconscious modality chauvinism creep in.

Offering a sensible variety of approaches that work together and support one another can actually increase the trust your clients have in you. They’ll know that you’re growing and learning, too. And that you are more concerned about helping them, than in just doing “your thang.”

* Variety is the Spice of Life

Even people who have the most “dog with a bone” tendencies still like change and variety. By providing variety and change that is sincerely helpful, and yet still has focus, it means that they will be able to change focus, without leaving your business.

They’ll stick around and drink more deeply at your fountain, just because you’ve got different flavors. And this means that not only are they getting more and better help from you, but for you, that’s one less client you have to replace.

* Quality leads to Quantity

Because you’ve got multiple solutions all supporting the same issue behind Door #1, people are getting even better results. Which means they come back, as we’ve already said. And bring their family. And tell their friends.

Even your best clients may feel like your services are especially profound, or different, or, let’s face it, weird in some way. If you have a few different bottles available for different tastes, chances are it will be easier for them to think of something that a particular person would like.

Go ahead, take that breath, and start stacking your shelves with whatever bottles float your boat, and support your focus. Your clients will thank you, and your business will have that much more help going into momentum.