How does he do it?
For starters, his cards are laminated, so they're stronger. The corners are also rounded so they don't get worn and dog-eared. “It will last for years and years,” he says.
The information is printed in an efficient vertical format, so the shorter sides of the rectangular card serve as the top and bottom.
Plain black-and-white cards aren't memorable enough for Anderson. Instead, his cards feature a color photo of Anderson with the dealership he works for in the background. The top half of the photo shows the dealership logo, as well as the vehicle brand logos for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and Pontiac.
And he promotes an important credential right on the card: AFIP certification. Anderson went through the national Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals' training in law and ethics and passed the certification exam. He believes the certification gives him credibility.
In addition to the normal contact information — name and title, phone and fax numbers, e-mail address and postal address — he offers a toll-free number and the address of the dealership's Web site.
Anderson also posts his business motto on the card at the very bottom below his contact information. Like the tag line in an advertisement, it tells customers his general business philosophy. In his case, that's “You Are Special.”
“Everyone has a need to feel special,” Anderson says. “So I tell them they are.”
Made to last
To create a lasting impression, he doesn't hand customers or business contacts his card immediately. He tells them to expect it in the mail.
He buys special window-envelopes at 45 cents apiece. There is a window the size of a business card in the upper left corner of the envelope, so the card is used as the return address. A see-through pocket holds the card in place. A handwritten note accompanies the card.
When he attended a recent conference he intentionally left his cards at home. He collected business cards and sent his new contacts his card in the special envelopes.
“Who will they remember most?” he asks.
Finally, Anderson gives people a reason to save his card by providing a valuable service. He has a tip guide printed on the reverse side. The chart lists pre-calculated 15 and 20 percent tips on amounts from $1 to $100. Customers can slip the card in their wallets for easy reference when they eat out, visit a barber or salon, or even tip the kid who shovels their snow.
Anderson believes that with a little luck, his customers will still have his card handy a few years down the road when they're ready to buy their next car.