Why You Shouldn’t Include Your Job Title on Your Business Card
If you have ever received a business card from a person and it displays the title “CEO” to describe a multitude of important roles, be aware that this can be a bit misleading.
This person does everything: crafts emails, engages in critical phone calls and teleconferences, attends business networking events and trade shows to find potential clients, tweets five times a day, posts Facebook updates, and makes investments to keep the business afloat, among other things. This person does absolutely everything!
Isn’t it absurd for such a person to deceive leads with such an inaccurate and pretentious job title?
This person may actually be performing the responsibilities of a CEO, but this may not be the sort of title business contacts expect. This misstep in business card content is damaging the business owner’s credibility in front of prospects and acquaintances that could help grow his or her business.
If you want to avoid making this mistake, the first thing you need to do is remove from your mind the idea that people like and trust you for something you are not. Sooner or later, they will learn about your values.
Take a look at this example of Albert Einstein’s business card:
Einstein was much more than a “professor of physics”, but he did not need to emphasize that on his business card. Why? Because nobody would ever question his understanding of the physical world!
5 Important Concepts about Using an Appropriate Job Title on Your Business Card
- Avoid Self-Deception. If you think of yourself as CEO because you have a small business with a group of people working with you, you may be creating a sense of self-satisfaction that in the future can mislead you and your prospects. If you are humble and honest about your role, working your way to the top will come naturally. Recognize that your position as CEO may be in the distant future, but in the present you need to approach your business with integrity. You will know when to reveal that you are a CEO or high-powered executive.
- Go Incognito. Some company founders and directors prefer to talk to their customers without telling them their real position. They believe that acting as an undercover agent allows them to get honest feedback from their customers; this helps them discover the real weaknesses of a company and the needs of their customers.
- Useful Icebreaker. If you do not reveal your job title or position in the company to your prospects, they may strike up a conversation and ask you. Leaving out your title could work as a conversation starter when you meet someone at a business networking event.
- Good Partnership. If you are a seasoned executive, your colleagues may be critical of the fact that you are bragging about your achievements on your business card. Keep it honest.
- You Are More Than a Title. You may perform a number of responsibilities and there is no true title for your job. In this case, leave out a title. During a conversation with your prospects, you can tell them exactly what you do.
There may be some good reasons too to include your job title on your business card. If you are an executive networking at a large event and other members of your company are present, it may be important to include a title on your business card. At these types of gatherings, attendees and participants are interested in meeting the most important representatives of a company. You can let them know up front on your business card that you are the right person to talk with.
Whether to include a job title on your business card will depend on many factors: your position within the company, the size of the business, the people you are networking with, your business goals, and more. In general, there are more good reasons not to include a title on your business card.
At allBcards, I have seen hundreds of business cards of professionals and business owners who tag themselves with the wrong title. I have learned that for small business owners and solopreneurs, the best option is to leave out the title.
If you believe it is necessary to include a title on your business card, get creative so that you stand out from the competition. Instead of using a title, show what you do for your clients and customers. For example, instead of “Customer Service VP,” try something compelling like “The Customer Satisfaction Guy,” to show your contacts that you are that friendly and helpful businessman they need.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice. Remember to ask yourself: would my prospects care if I included a job title to my business card? Will they understand what I do? Will a title make a good or bad impression on them? Will a title help me as an entrepreneur?
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