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Make your business card work for you

April 15, 2009
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What if I told you that most business cards are a complete waste of paper and ink?

You might disagree with me by saying that they’re a great way for giving prospects your contact information. A business card gives potential and existing customers the information needed to locate your detail shop, call or email your business, and learn the name of who is in charge.

The problem with this reasoning is most of these customers don’t hang onto a business card long enough to contact you. These small scraps of cardstock usually end up in the waste basket. The prospect may hold onto it for months in his wallet or day planner, but eventually the day comes to clean out all the accumulated junk. Then your business card is tossed out with ticket stubs, old receipts and any other scraps of paper they’ve acquired over time.

The reason why most people pay no attention to the average business card is because most are extremely boring and predictable. When you think of a business card, what comes to mind? A card with a person’s name, his/her title, the company name, phone number and email address.

What is compelling in this? Nothing in this information makes me take notice; or makes me want to pick up the phone or visit a web site. What most business cards are missing is an offer. An offer that tells the prospect “what’s in it for them.”

Here’s what every business card should have:

1. An offer

2. A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

3. Testimonials

4. Contact information

You’ll notice that I listed contact information last. There’s a reason for this. Just like any effective sales letter, your business card should hook your reader from the start; then lead them into taking action.

Make your contact an offer for a “Free Special Report” if they go to your website and sign up for your e-newsletter. For instance, your special report could be “The 7 Critical Questions You Must Ask Before Having Anyone Detail Your Vehicle.” Or if you don’t want to create such a report, you could offer a free service, such as a carpet or upholstery cleaning for all new customers.

Next, you want to have your USP. This should spell out what makes your service different from so many other detailing services out there.

Don’t forget to add testimonials from current customers. Nothing sells more than social proof from a peer. I use the back side of my own business cards for testimonials. That space on the back is wasted by probably 98 percent of all business cards. Put it to use!

I once helped a friend develop a card for his business. He didn’t have many testimonials at the time to add to the back, so I recommended he have the entire football season for the University of Tennessee printed on the back. This way he knew prospects would at least hold onto it throughout football season. Don’t be boring; add value to your cards.

Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach Taylor at

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