Did you know that there is a proper etiquette when giving away or accepting business cards? The basic rule when presenting or receiving business cards is to do it with both hands. When you receive someone’s business card, take time to look over it and if possible, make some comments or ask for more information. Proper etiquette is called for as this will determine if your new acquaintance would decide whether or not to do business with you. There are some guidelines to help you in exchanging business cards in other countries so you’ll know what you should and shouldn’t do:
UK and North America
There is very little ceremony when it comes to exchanging business cards in these parts of the world. Exchanging business cards here is an informal occasion. You can stow any card proffered to you upon receiving it.
Gold colored lettering is considered auspicious in this country, so natives prefer business cards printed in gold ink. Also have one side of your business card translated into Chinese, and try to find out the local dialect of the people you’ll be meeting with e.g. Cantonese or Mandarin. To impress your new acquaintance, include your name and title and if your company is the largest or oldest, add it to the information. Always give your card first before asking someone else’s.
Exchanging business cards in Japan is quite ceremonial. Business cards in this country are big, so invest in quality cards. Treat both the giving and receiving of business cards with the same degree of respect as you would show the person him or herself. Include your name and title as status is important for the Japanese. Present your card with great ceremony, holding it so the recipient can read it before bowing and saying your name.
Most people in India speak English so there is no need to translate your business card. Aside from putting in your name and title, include any university degree or honors you received as they place a great emphasis on academic achievement. Also use your right hand in proffering and receiving a business card.
The rule of the thumb here is to present your business card with your right hand, never with your left.