Monday, July 28, 2014

The obsolete business of business cards

Exchanging business cards is a part of modern business etiquette. The tradition of exchanging cards is as old as the 17th century. i guess the idea is to sum up your entire contact details in one place for future reference. As a corporate trainer, i enthusiastically discuss the do’s and don’t’s of this etiquette and ensure that people get it right. 

But isn’t this idea of exchanging business cards defunct in today’s day and age? i have never really gotten my head around the little piece of paper which, to me, becomes totally useless after i have saved the number of the person. i like the innovative cards some people have in all kinds of fancy shapes - round, oval, rectangle. Some cards have different colours rather than the boring black and white. But i think the initial euphoria of exchanging cards lasts for exactly 2 seconds. They are either stashed away somewhere to never be picked up again. 

My husband has meets people all over the place. He comes and puts them on the nearest flat surface and forgets about them. i have about a thousand cards stashed away in boxes since they weren’t supposed to be thrown away. And he hasn’t looked at even one of them in the last 7 years!! i have a more practical approach to stem the tide of visiting cards flooding our lives. i save numbers of people i think i will need for future reference and discard the cards. 

In this day and age, business cards should be banished. A lot of times, we have already spoken or emailed people we go to meet and hence already have their contact details. If made properly, our Linkedin profiles can be an easy reference point to check out our professional credentials. Or just exchange numbers on our smartphones or use text business cards option on the phone. Hopefully, we will soon realize that there are better ways of connecting than exchanging pointless pieces of rectangular paper. 

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