The Demise of Business Cards?

By
Education & Training with Hoover Elementary

Late November I met a financial advisor at a networking event.  I liked him off the bat because he seemed more interested in actually getting to know people than "networking."  He's also the only person I've met since high school who is a member of any sort of ski patrol.  So, I was pleased when he agreed to meet me for coffee last Friday.

Since it had been a couple months since we'd met, he asked me to give him one of my business cards to refresh his memory.  I am always happy to comply with such a request because Stewart Title has given me the "Cadillac" of business cards.  Our marketing department does a bang-up job: My cards are on sturdy, bright white cardstock.  The company's name and logo are in raised, embossed silver lettering.  My color photograph is on the front of the card and on the reverse is a QR code which, if scanned, leads to my personal website at Stewart.  It might be a little over the top, like something from a Bret Easton Ellis novel, but I'm very proud of my cards.

My new friend threw me a curveball, though.  He pulled out his smartphone and opened up an application called "Cardmunch."  He took a picture of my card and handed it back to me.  He said that the app would transcribe all of the information- even synch it with my LinkedIn profile- and store it on his phone, so he didn't need to keep my card.

I have to admit, I was a little bummed out!  My first impulse was to try to get him to take the card, anyway (I didn't).  I couldn't put a finger on it, but I felt offended, as if a gift had been refused... Maybe because- even though not intended as such- giving the card back was a physical act of rejection.

I quickly swallowed my pride, however, asked him to show me the app, and we had a very nice talk before he had to leave to teach children how to tie fly-fishing lures (He's an interesting guy!).  I thought about the card incident over the long weekend, and I guess I just have to accept that's the future of business.  That is, I have to accept that certain aspects are going to change.  My fancy cards aren't going to be that impressive.  What didn't change, though, is the exchange of information.  He's got my contact information- In fact, it's in a much more accessible format that he's also far less likely to misplace.  He's actually more likely to call me now than if he had to find my number by pulling my card from among a pack of others in his wallet or briefcase.

I think this was a good lesson and one that will pave the way for me to be more accepting of other changes going forward.  Today when I met a prospect, I scanned in his information on my own phone's Cardmunch app... but, I still kept his card- just in case!  :)

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Rainmaker
1,260,210
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

Think about how many cards just sit around on or in your desk. I think we will see more and more of this.

Jan 17, 2012 11:38 AM #1
Rainer
359,377
Andrew Capelli
Hoover Elementary - Hazel Park, MI

Chuck: Thanks for the feedback- I think you're right.  Eventually, we'll probably just hold up our phones and they'll exchange the information for us!

Jan 17, 2012 11:49 AM #2
Rainmaker
208,110
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Wow! Sounds pretty slick. But I have to admit all these new and ever-changing technologies make me feel pretty overwhelmed lately. How do you keep up??

Jan 17, 2012 11:54 AM #3
Rainer
359,377
Andrew Capelli
Hoover Elementary - Hazel Park, MI

Peggy: That's a great question- I rely on people I meet and coworkers to let me know what they use and what's working (or not) for them.

Jan 17, 2012 12:01 PM #4
Rainer
122,123
Steve Queen
Bennett Realty Solutions - Bowie, MD
Chosen Realtor for Bowie And Laurel

This is great information.  I am going to check out the app.  It would be great to actually have the cards I obtain stored versus all over my vehicle. 

Jan 17, 2012 12:56 PM #5
Rainer
359,377
Andrew Capelli
Hoover Elementary - Hazel Park, MI

Steve: It is a pretty functional app- and the convenience is nice.  I haved used it a few times now and it works great.

Jan 17, 2012 11:05 PM #6
Anonymous
Marc J. Sosnowski ("Marco")

Hi, Steve.  You can munch my biz card, too, but remember that it is also a pharmacy discount card.  You and your loved ones can take it to the drug store anytime.  It doesn't expire.  Compare the regular pricing of your med's to the pricing with FDI Youngevity.  All the info the pharmacist needs is on the card, and you can even price prescriptions at home by going to the website on the green side of my card.

Jan 19, 2012 03:23 AM #7
Rainer
26,954
Hazy Oberski
RE/MAX Four Seasons Realty - Asheville, NC
Asheville, NC

Andrew, It does seem to be where technology is taking us. Doesn't it seems like we are getting further and further away from personal interaction with people?. As for him giving your business card back, most people who take your card either add it to a stack on their desk drawer or throw it away. I also have a card reader but I still take the business cards I collect at a networking function and send them a real greeting card they receive in their mailbox telling them how nice it was to meet them and that I will keep them in mind when I meet someone that may need their service. When it's my turn to stand up and give my elevator speech I always ask the other attendees what they plan to do with the cards they are collecting. I always receive the same response...dead silence....

Jan 26, 2012 07:16 AM #8
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Rainer
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Andrew Capelli

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