In a tech world where most of our interaction is done via email and video chat do we really need business cards?
In short yes!
Business cards count towards professionalism and permanence. These two factors will tip someone if your favour every time. It will also be an instant turn off if they are poor. I can't tell you how many times I have handed over a business card in an unprofessional situation (In T-Shirt, shorts and Jandels/Thongs in the weekend at the hardware store) and been called back on the presentation of the card alone.
From the opposite side I have been on the brink of commitment and then been handed a home made business card, hand cut, on printer paper. :( Instantly my excitement tanks. I'll politely say I will get back to them and soon as they leave I throw their print paper cut out business card in the bin and forget about them...they are dead to me. (Sorry if this was you or this happened to you, but the truth hurts. Now you know and it's time to fix it)
In the pre-digital age a business card was a tiny snap shot of you and your company. In the digital age a business card is still a snap shot, but it also maybe the only physical snapshot of you and your company! Don't be so foolish to assume physical doesn't matter anymore. That businesses card you liked and kept and that has been floating around on your desk, for the last 3 months, has a much better chance of getting a call or email than someone remembering their web address.
Supporting my argument of business permanence and credibility. Clients like an under dog, but when it comes to risking their dollars they will always go for the more successful and stable option. This is because people generally don't like risking their money even when it's just a small amount. A quality business card with a logo and layout that display obvious investment in design, branding and quality of production support success and permanence. Why because good design, logo and quality cost money, time and take a level of care for detail. All qualities you want from your purchase. You'll find the bigger and more successful a company and the higher the position of the person your dealing with the better their business cards will be. All for the same reasons above. You'll never meet a banker with a bad card.
Such is the authority and credibility held in a simple business card that a bad conman will have poor cards and a Bernie Madoff type conman will have the best, because it goes towards instant unconscious credibility. Back in my working for others days I would get my own cards printed purposely better than anyone else. Guess who got the most call backs and had people refusing to talk to the manager because they wanted to talk to the other manager me...when I wasn't one ...yet!
To be successful show people you are though your business cards. Enjoy this scene from one of my favourite movies illustrating the horror of discovering your business card is a dog.