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After on-and-off working from home and leading a ‘digital first’ work life we are not only commuting back to the office, but also have meetings in person plus corporate entertaining and events are back. During these important in person encounters you need to make a lasting impression. Your business card will prove an essential item to do so. Yes, a business card. 

An informative and inspiring meeting is great and connecting on LinkedIn is important, but giving the people you meet something physical adds a dimension to the dialogue. Makes information tactile and less easy to forget.

Business cards are simply ‘good business’ – especially when you are in sales, business development, public affairs or any other profession where building a network of stakeholders is part of the job. Making sure people you meet will remember you after (preferably long after) you met is the ROI of every business encounter. 

Make sure to hand everybody you meet – for business reasons – one. You should not do so once in a while, but all the time and at the start of every encounter with new people. 

Yes, your business card will be put in a folder, in the pocket of a jacket, on the pile on a desk, at the floor of a car. But in all these cases they are out there, as little ambassadors of you. Business cards are not thrown out easily. If the meeting was any good people will remember you as a person that has value to ad and they will see the card as a substitute of you in person. Throwing it out will feel as ending the relationship with you, and for most of the people that simply does not feel right.

There is a FOMO element too: “What if I need this person later on and I no longer have their details?”. So after a while they might put your card a bit deeper in their desk drawer, forget about it while it is still in that one laptop bag they no longer use or your card will end up at the bottom end of the pile on a desk.

At some point someone will need what you offer, and they will remember that card. They might not remember your name or face, or what your company is called. Yet, they know there is this card, somewhere. They'll find it and contact you. And you will close as the actual sale already was made the second you handed them your card. 

With handing them that rectangular piece of cardboard you said: "I have something to offer you eventually need and at that point I'll be ready to help. Here is something to make sure you will allow me to solve your problem at that point in time, here are my details." 

Watch my left hand when we meet, the second we shake hands, I will present my card for you.

Richard Neve is the managing director of Cognito Amsterdam