Home > Advertising > Should salespeople put photos of themselves on business cards?

Should salespeople put photos of themselves on business cards?

Outside of real estate agents not very many business cards that I've seen have a photo of the salesperson. Should salespeople put photos of themselves on business cards? What are the pros and cons in your opinion? - by realtor
Getting personal is good for business and when a company can create an impression that they have heart, they are raising the bar. Think about how radio broadcasters have billboards around so people know what they look like. We find it easier to relate to people we know by face and it makes it much easier to remember someone when we know what they look like.

I recommend that people use a photo of themselves on a business card, stationary, emails because it makes a better impression. If you had a choice between one company and another which one would you choose? Would it be the one that you don't know much about? NO, you would choose the one that you remember by their face on a business card. Why, because the picture made it personal.

You would choose the one that made a more favorable impression. - by Steve Martinez
Very interesting question realtor.

I don't think there's a clear black or white answer. I would say there are five factors to take into account to help decide whether it could work for you:

1) Are your customers very conservative? Would they consider a phtoto on a card to be too self-promotional or vain?

2) Is there a negative association with having your photo on the card? Here in the UK photo's on business cards are not common so would be looked upon as a bit of a novelty with no negative preconceptions. But if photos on cards are stronly associated with a group that you don't want to be pigeonholed with then it might be worth avoiding (not that there's anything wrong with selling real-estate - it just might not be an appropriate mental connection for everyone's profession)

3) Does it fit with your style? Especially if photos on cards are a bit of a novelty - does novelty fit well with your personal style? If you are a very conservative salesperson selling safe conservative products to safe conservative customers then maybe not.

4) Can you get a good photo done?

5) Unfortunately: how attractive are you? Really, honestly. Research has shown that having your photo on a website or literature can be very helpful if you are good looking. As a minimum we feel more of a connection with the person by seeing their face. And the well-known halo effect also means that good looking people are asumed to be more capable and intelligent - so if you've got it, flaunt it. Sadly, the research also showed that if you're not so good looking, then the picture can count against you.

Personally I hve a caricature on the back of my card. It's quirky, it reflects my personality and personal branding as being a little bit different and able to bring something different to the table, and it's always a good conversation starter.

I fully recognise that some potential customers may see it as being unprofessional, or "just not the done thing" - but the chances are that they are not the sort of people who I wolud end up working with anyway. Whereas the people who feel better about me bcause of the caricature could well be my target customers personality-wise.

Ian - by ianbrodie
I saw a card today of an agent in a tennis outfit holding a tennis racket and the slogan said, "Now Serving You!". It was cheesy but I didn't mind it. I'll stick with a head and shoulders. - by realtor
Should salespeople put photos of themselves on business cards?
Absolutely! The more ways that you can personalize yourself, the better. I really don't see any negatives in using a photo on your business card, unless of course you have a third eye in the middle of your forehead. ;bg

Dale King - by Dale King
I would vote for no - in b2b environment it is not necessary because you are trying to build the relationship by creating the value, and not by shoving your smile and fresh-shaved face, right?

Crucial point for many sales guys is that they don't understand their job or position completely - if you don't create the value then you wouldn't be successful. End of story.
If you are just there to give out the pricing list, you become commodity (as your product too) and customers will decide on your price, not on your value to them. So why bother then to have the business card at all? Just fax or email them your price list.

Sales people need to learn how to create the value. Earlier in the sales process is always better - try to understand customer's needs and wants, not how your product can fit in. There is a time for that, but later. - by AlenMajer
I'm not against putting a salesperson's photo on a business card, nor do I think it's mandatory. I do think it's important that your card reflect your company's personality and branding.

If you do include your photo, I would recommend you seek out a quality photographer. There are too many low-quality photos on business cards out there, and I don't think low quality photos on a business card adds any value whatsoever.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
I guess I really have no opinion one way or the other. I often suggest that the client be in their television commercial when they are willing. When they do they become a walking billboard. - by MPrince
We believe that putting a picture on our business card is important for creating a personal bond. The customer has already met us so he knows how hideous we look and this does not matter. We believe a personal picture in brochures is very effective. People like to do business with people.

For B2B, perhaps the size of the picture should not dominate the card and for contractors the picture could be much larger. - by pcplumber
People will feel they know you and feel trust toward you from a picture. But let's face it, this is mostly for B2C not B2B.

An exception is; a sales trainign guru .... he/she might want to promote themselves and have their picture every where (site, card, letters, etc).

Most businesses expect to see an address, company logo, email, website - it simply is not possible to put all that on a card, without making one that is double sided.

I tried it a while back. Every card I handed out had my name, site and phone plus a picture. And almost every business person, if they looked at all, turned it over looking for more. This surprised me.

When I switched cards I got better acceptance in B2B.

If I was in real estate I would do it. If I was in plumbing I would not - I would put something that was recognizable to the industry and build my company around that.

If you follow a trend in my opinions on this branding issue I am saying if you are a one-man-band, yes. If not, no!

And, even though you have an assistant you are really a one person, self employed business. - by Gold Calling
People will feel they know you and feel trust toward you from a picture. But let's face it, this is mostly for B2C not B2B.

An exception is; a sales trainign guru .... he/she might want to promote themselves and have their picture every where (site, card, letters, etc).

Most businesses expect to see an address, company logo, email, website - it simply is not possible to put all that on a card, without making one that is double sided.

I tried it a while back. Every card I handed out had my name, site and phone plus a picture. And almost every business person, if they looked at all, turned it over looking for more. This surprised me.

When I switched cards I got better acceptance in B2B.

If I was in real estate I would do it. If I was in plumbing I would not - I would put something that was recognizable to the industry and build my company around that.

If you follow a trend in my opinions on this branding issue I am saying if you are a one-man-band, yes. If not, no!

And, even though you have an assistant you are really a one person, self employed business.
Actually, we do branding with the employee's picture on our business card.

This card is printed on thick white plastic and it says:

"Marry A Plumber"

"Honest! Reasonable! Reliable! To get the great services I offer, you need to marry a plumber or.....just call Bestline Plumbing"

Our business cards have a picture of our plumber in blue coveralls standing with a girl in a wedding dress. We put the plumber's name on the front, phone, company name, and there is advertising on the back side of the card.

We purchased a machine to print our own cards and each card costs us about 50 cents, but we are proud to hand the cards to customers because the quality is superb. - by pcplumber
Actually, we do branding with the employee's picture on our business card.

This card is printed on thick white plastic and it says:

"Marry A Plumber"

"Honest! Reasonable! Reliable! To get the great services I offer, you need to marry a plumber or.....just call Bestline Plumbing"

Our business cards have a picture of our plumber in blue coveralls standing with a girl in a wedding dress. We put the plumber's name on the front, phone, company name, and there is advertising on the back side of the card.

We purchased a machine to print our own cards and each card costs us about 50 cents, but we are proud to hand the cards to customers because the quality is superb.
That's astonishing.

Seems to me it would work best with just one plumber's picture rather than each plumber, after all, what happens if they leave your company?

Anyway, I may not be understanding ... thanks for sharing that great marketing idea!

IS the girl in the wedding dress holding a plunger???? - by Gold Calling
That's astonishing.

Seems to me it would work best with just one plumber's picture rather than each plumber, after all, what happens if they leave your company?

Anyway, I may not be understanding ... thanks for sharing that great marketing idea!

IS the girl in the wedding dress holding a plunger????
You can go to our web site at Bestline Plumbing and you will see a link that says 'Marry A Plumber'. - by pcplumber
Here in Portugal and in Europe in general I would say; it is self promoted, lack of class, and credibility might be lost. Si it depends on the situation, the market you´re compiting, the culture where you act. Why not 2 cards so you can play as you feel is the best card to give ?! - by Rui Martins Barata
Outside of real estate agents not very many business cards that I've seen have a photo of the salesperson. Should salespeople put photos of themselves on business cards? What are the pros and cons in your opinion?
Wow, it is soooooo cool reading everyone's answers with so many opinions. OK, here comes one more.

First thought.
Eastman Kodak as you know was far many a decade the undisputed, all knowing authority when it came to any aspect of photography. EK was also one of the marketing geniuses for its time. At one point EK started providing business cards to every employee who came face-to-face with a customer and on each card was that person’s picture. I don't remember what the numbers were that they believed contributed to new business or maintaining an existing business but it did wonders for branding (as if EK needed more branding). Customers would keep the cards that had photos but were more apt to loose or discarded cards that didn't. It created pressure for competitors and was an on going pleasant surprise for all that was new with doing business with EK. The marketing gurus of EK believe it is a neccessity if you want to create the reputation that you are better than the rest. The did so in every aspect of their business.

Second thought.
Many oriental countries view the business card as a SERIOUS representation of the person and the employer. Not only does the card represent the employee and the employer but how the card is presented to someone else is equally important. Why is this important? Well, let pretend that you and I just met. I want the product that you are selling but I am going to interview one other person before making up my mind. If I had you my card and you glance at it and then put into you pocket I may think that you aren’t taking me serious. This may or may not make a difference in my decision in itself. However, let say the next person that is selling the same product, at the same price takes my card and admires it for a brief moment. That could be the difference between a deal or no deal if all other factors are the same. In the case of doing business with a Japanese company it will be the difference. You can also turn that around to how someone might treat you and your business card. In the case where you make a presentation of your card with a photo to a Japanese business person and the competition doesn’t you may win on that point alone.

Third thought.
The real-estate business is highly competitive and most of the larger companies do put their photos on their cards. If in your area you are finding this to be true, then you might want to give it some consideration. I do see the card making the sale. What I see the card doing is bringing you a referral because we know from historical information that it is more likely to be kept than a card without a photo. The other aspect of having a photo is it ‘could” give some credence for the one who is referring you. Meaning, if you sold me a house and I was pleased with your service you stand a better chance of me keeping the card if there is a color photo on it. The credence comes into play when I hand the card to a friend as I tell them how great you are. They hear me giving personal testimony (which is the third most effective means of advertising) as they look at your card with the photo. I can understand how this may support the good things that I am sharing.

Last thought.
None of this means squat if you don’t have the budget for it. Nothing can replace excellence in service, following a proven sales process and excellent follow-up. NOTHING I SAY and I do so sober. (smiles)

OK one more consideration.
You might want to consider what will give you the most bank for the buck. For example purposes only let’s say business cards with your COLOR (must be color) photo cost $250.00. You might be able to get 4 or 5 TV spots for that. - by ESISS.com
That's astonishing.

Seems to me it would work best with just one plumber's picture rather than each plumber, after all, what happens if they leave your company?

Anyway, I may not be understanding ... thanks for sharing that great marketing idea!

IS the girl in the wedding dress holding a plunger????

BRAVO, BRAVO, EXCELENTA!
Seriousely, that is the stuff that make business worth doing. WOW, if I would of thought of that I would be strutting my stuff for a month. I have been in marketing and advertising for a long time and those type of marketing plans are exciting. Good job. - by ESISS.com
Speaking of business cards... I don't remember if it was John Savage, Ziglar or Herb True, but one of the tapes or maybe Hopkins seminar... no that wasn't it... Herb True i think... anyway...

Have your card in your shirt pocket facing you with the top of the card facing your body center. The reason, when you pull your card out of your pocket, it is facing your client automatically. This is obviously for someone who gives the card out frequently, as we do. There is nothing as UNPROFESSIONAL as someone digging into their wallet for their card. Have the card clean and discard any card with a bend or fray on it.

As for colors, a colored card is one of the best if you want to make an impression with it. I've never had one because of the cost (we give out a nice pen with each client we meet which cost us several thousand a year... but people use it and for that I'm grateful) but a plastic card to me is the epitome. Sharp, crisp, never fray, get soggy, run, or wrinkle.

As to pictures... I'm not sure I understand all this. Every realtor I know has a picture on the card, some insurance guys too. A guy who branded himself as the 401k guy here in Hawaii also had his picture on cards and ads. For me it didn't strike me one way or another, but I can tell you what does strike me.. my AFLAC card. Has the brand... a big duck... cool.... and all my information crammed into a quarter of the card in 8 point font.... What do you know ... you know my name... large font... the duck... and nothing else without a microscope... at least my pens have a phone number you can read.

I have a new card my son designed online for about $10 for 250 that came out nicely... have what we do, critical illness, disability, life insurance and retirement savings across the top, my name on the left, and addres in readable font down the right bottom quadrant. Simple... has on the back... "Who pays the bills if you can't go to work?" Cheesy... but people comment on it... We'll make a better one someday when the thousand or so I have left get handed out...

Aloha... Tom :cool: - by rattus58
I vote we have a SALES meeting at Tom's house.

Good thoughts Tom. I have had people give me cards that had phone numbers on the back. I may have done it also back when I was young and didn't know better or care.

Look forward to hearing more from ya.

Aloha. - by ESISS.com
Hi ESISS.... sn;

Thank you for the kind words.... but I'm as eager as you are to learn more from this stellar group of contributors. I sent my son a pdf of a blog buried in the resources here about what do you say when someone says "we're satisfied with our current.... " :) Had some excellent stuff, simple and good ideas that you can mix with different situations.

However if you all do show up here you can help me spread some cinder and wash my roof.... :)

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
My card (with a photo of me at my wedding) was so unique it broke the ice on most occasions.....................

Oh, and the same photo is on my email sig..............:) - by PiJiL
Speaking from an advertising, branding point of view it would all depend on how you are branding your business. If you want to brand your business with "you" then there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting your picture on your business card. Especially if you are in your TV commercials and newspaper ads, etc. That is my opinion.

Warmest Regards - by MPrince
Speaking from an advertising, branding point of view it would all depend on how you are branding your business. If you want to brand your business with "you" then there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting your picture on your business card. Especially if you are in your TV commercials and newspaper ads, etc. That is my opinion.

Warmest Regards
I'm going to start a thread on Self Promotion in Sales. Would like to get thoughts from members. - by Ace Coldiron
I know this is not POLITICALLY CORRECT, but honesty is the best policy: generally, if you are attractive, having your picture on a business card will get attention. If you are ugly, it won't and might generate a negative one. Your business card is an extension of your marketing campaign. Attractiveness is a physical advantage to a psychological reaction. - by MrAngelCruz
I don't have my photo on my business card. If I did so I'd choose one from a few years ago and change the aspect ration so I looked a bit thinner...
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Merry Xmas
Mark - by markg
Sadly, the research also showed that if you're not so good looking, then the picture can count against you.

So whatcher saying is that if I've gotta bribe my dog with a pork chop just so he'll let me give him a hug, don't plaster my face all over my business card?

Oh, I am wounded! - by DynamicMentalFitness
Well you at least got a hug right?

Merry Christmas.... :cool: - by rattus58
Depends what you are wanting to achieve, the message you wish to send and who's your target audience. When I worked for Kodak we all had business cards on which was our photograph (makes sense). Often companies will not do it because of the expense involved - photography, printing, staff turnover. Also they want the company promoted, not the individual. Gerald, Market People - by Market People
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