Business card trivia: 8 fascinating facts you can use as ice-breakers and sale makers
Business cards are some of the most underrated staff members a business can even employ.
Created and printed with the right blend of business savvy and creative juice, they instantly capture attention. And are the perfect wing-person at networking events, trade shows and other places where cards are swapped and hands shaken.
Some cards are so stunning and surprising, they take people from impressed prospects to loyal customers.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Once you've put your business card in the hands of a stranger, you still need to break the ice with some interesting chatter.
And while we expect you'll have plenty of topics up your sleeve, here are 8 fascinating business card facts to add to your arsenal.
Business cards are 600 years old
It's hard to say exactly when the first business card came into circulation, but it's believed that they were in use back in 15th century China.
Around the 17th century, it was believed that the high-born families in Europe used these to announce their arrival. Small establishments saw them as handy 'trade cards" to further business.
And men were expected to leave a card for every woman in the room when visiting a friend.
It's a ritual in some cultures
When you exchange business cards in Japan or China, you are not simply exchanging names that are written on small pieces of card.
In Korea it is bad form to study the card for too long. In Colombia, hand it over with your thumb and forefinger in the corner so important details aren't hidden.
Business cards represent important human emotions, which can take a business meeting from an ordinary first encounter to a fruitful long-term relationship.
How you present your card and receive the other person's card must convey respect.
Folds tell a story
These days, we pay no heed to folds in a business card other than sloppiness. Back in Victorian times every fold had a story behind it:
- Right-hand upper corner - a friendly visit in person
- Left hand upper corner - a congratulatory visit
- Left hand lower corner - a condolence visit
- Right hand lower corner - if you were going on a long trip
Cards were for occasions
In the 1800s, people sent business cards:
- one month after the birth of a child
- if they couldn't attend a wedding
- before they visited a bride and groom after marriage
- when someone passed away, with the left-hand lower corner folded down.
Colours are keepers
Your business card has a 1000% better chance of not getting thrown away if the background is colour.
Serious business bling
If you worry about wasting business cards, you may want to avoid the Black Astrum Signature Card.
The world's most expensive business card is studded in 30 carats of diamonds and made of Swiss metal. They are sold in packages of 25 and cost USD1,500 each.
We're hungry for amazing business cards
While good paper stock will always impress and last the distance, it hasn't stopped entrepreneurial types testing out alternatives, including edible cards made from:
- Peanut butter ink
Business cards influence sales
Research has shown that business cards have a direct impact on people's impressions of businesses, and whether they buy or not:
- 57% swear by their cards and believe it does their business good
- 39% won't do business with people who don't' have cards, or give them sub-standard ones.
- 72% equate a company or person with the quality of their cards
While some of these facts might be light-hearted, they all provide a good lesson. Never underestimate the power of a business card, or the message it carries about you and your company.
If you'd like some help designing and printing business cards that project the message you want to convey, talk to the business card specialists at your local Snap Centre today.