Business Cards

Business cards are generally exchanged at the beginning of or at the end of an initial meeting. Unlike in North America or Europe where the business card only offers a convenient form of capturing essential personal details, in other parts of the world the business card plays a critical role in determining one's first impression. Business cards are viewed as a representation of the owner and proper business etiquette demands one treats business cards with respect and honor. Invest in quality cards and always keep your business cards in pristine condition. Never write on someone else's business card unless otherwise directed.

Include your professional title on your business card, as the main point of exchanging business cards is to determine who will be the key decision-makers. Likewise, people are generally expected to enter the meeting room in hierarchical order: juniors follow senior ranking business professionals. When in doubt, focus on elder business meeting participants.

Present the card so the recipient's language is face up and business cards are always received with two hands. Make a point of studying each business card, commenting and clarifying information before stowing. Failing to read a business card that has been presented to you and then stuffing it directly into your back pocket is a breach of protocol. During meetings, place business cards on the table in front of you in the order people are seated and when the meeting ends, place all business cards in a business card case or a high quality professional-looking portfolio.