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What’s in a Card?

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Jason Stahl has 28 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 16 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

Who can forget the scene in “American Psycho” when the yuppie businessmen are comparing business cards:

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BATEMAN: “New card. What do you think?”

MCDERMOTT: “Very nice. Look at that.”

BATEMAN: “Picked them up from the printers yesterday.”

VAN PATTEN: “Good coloring.”

BATEMAN: “That’s bone. And the lettering is something called Silian Rail.”

VAN PATTEN: “It’s very cool, Bateman. But that’s nothing. Look at this. Eggshell with Romalian type.”

PRICE: “But wait. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Raised lettering. Pale Nimbus. White.”

BATEMAN: “Impressive. Very nice. Let’s see Paul Allen’s card.”

Bateman gets Allen’s card handed to him, picks it up and starts
trembling. This time, he doesn’t say anything out loud, but makes this
subconscious observation: “Look at the subtle off-white coloring. The
tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God – it even has a watermark.”

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Aside from offering you a little Hollywood entertainment, my point is
that what your business card looks like is important – don’t think it
isn’t!

Okay, maybe the egotistical, posturing business tycoons went a little
overboard in this movie, but there is a lesson to be learned here: the
smallest detail about your business can make the biggest impression.

That little 3.5- by 2-inch piece of paper says a lot about you: are you
classy or tacky? Are you unique, or do you just blend in with the crowd?
Do you have a sense of humor, or do you take yourself too seriously?

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Needless to say, I collect a lot of business cards when I’m on the road,
and most look the same. That’s why I pause when I get one that really
stands out and impresses me – which isn’t often!

I make a point to compliment the person who gave the card to me, and
when I get into a discussion about how it came about, it’s obvious
they’re very proud of it and put great thought into it.

Think about it: a customer who receives such a card could think, “Gee,
if they put that much thought and care into their business card, I’ll
bet they’ll put the same or more into repairing my car!”

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The cards shown above are two of the best I’ve ever seen in the
collision repair industry. The one with the Shar Pei dog – well, what
can I say? Cute, clever and appropriate for the industry when you
consider Concours Collision Centres’ motto: “We take out the wrinkles.”

The other one? Quite possibly the sleekest, coolest card I’ve seen. I
love the gold on black. Plus, it’s not the standard 3.5- by 2-inch size!
Slick. Congrats, Wards Auto Painting & Bodyworks of Savannah, Ga.!

So the next time you order another set of business cards…think about the statement they make about you and your business!

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