Have you ever been utterly irritated at the way someone handed you their business card? I typically don’t send out information more than once a month … but I am compelled to address the issue of business card protocol. My husband, Rick and I have been to several events over the past few days and whoa! … there is a desperate need for enlightenment in the area of business card etiquette! I don’t mean to sound all sassy about it, but something has to be done! People are killing their chance of doing business and have no idea why. We can’t adjust what we are unaware of, so after today you will be ‘in the know’. No more excuses!

Think about how you feel when the person shows up who says, “Want my card, here … you want my card … hey, here’s my card” and shoves it at you with no concern for your answer to their question. Where do those cards end up? You are correct. File 13 … right to the trashcan! This is tragic because the poor person has no idea that the very thing they are trying to do – connect with people and gain their business – is exactly what will never happen. The increase they so desperately desire will not happen  because they are so obnoxious … or at best ignorant!

So here are a few of the basics:
  • Always carry your cards in a case, or you may place them in a pocket close to your heart
  • Hand out your card when you are asked for it … or
  • ASK “May I give you my card”
  • Do not assume everyone will want your card
  • When you hand a card to someone be sure it is facing them (not you or sideways)
  • When you receive a card take a moment to look at it
  • Ask for additional information while looking at the other person’s card … preferably using their name in a sentence or question
  • Put their card in a safe place such as in your business card holder, portfolio or a pocket by your heart
  • Ladies, do not drop their card into your purse. Place it somewhere intentionally.
  • Do not write on someone’s business card while you are in their presence unless you ask their permission. It is disrespectful.

The Critical Nugget

Gentlemen: Please do not ever carry your cards in your billfold. I do not want something you pulled out of your rear-end put in my hand. And please don’t put my card in there. That is not where I belong either!

Networking events are not a Las Vegas Casino. If you want to deal cards, your lucky place is Vegas!

When networking, you must polish up your business card practices if you want to be the big winner.

Good luck!


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The Civility System©

Professional Business Etiquette – How to Present Yourself with Power


“Civility training is non-negotiable if your business is to succeed” Jan Goss


Sometimes I feel like the slowest student in the class of life. That is one of the reasons I surround myself with brilliant people. I had a rather profound light bulb experience a couple of years ago that I thought would be great to pass on. This “Aha moment” withstood the test of time. It was one of those moments when I thought… “I knew that”… however, I wasn’t implementing “that” …  it was a blind spot in my business. Changing this one little thing … this one idea revolutionized my thought processes and the way I conduct my business. Implementing this one idea has led to more product creation and greater customer satisfaction than ever before in the history of Civility Consulting. It has given me rave reviews!

I will ask you as I was asked: “Jan, who writes your business plan”?

If you are like me you will answer “I do”.

Again: “Who writes your business plan”? “Ummm… I am pretty sure that was me sitting at that computer in December … I do!”.

Again: “Jan, who should write your business plan”? The light bulb turned on!!!

Have you ever known someone who had absolutely amazing products or services, and yet their business was not sustainable? I have known plenty. It is heartbreaking. Our success is not based on whether or not we have the latest, greatest, best amazing product or service. Of course we must deliver a product or service that meets a need, and we should deliver it well. But, who writes the plan? This was my light bulb moment. I could see it! I saw my clients asking for very specific things and simply planned around serving them with excellence. Viola! The business plan was written.

What do people ask you for? Not what do you think is the best thing you have to offer! What is the public, or your tribe asking for?

Our clients, customers, and patients … they are the ones who write the plan … You didn’t know??? Now you do!


Need a little help getting started?     How may we add to your success? 

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