The last thing you want to do is intimidate a prospect on a sales call, but whip out a business card with CEO or president printed on it, and that's just what's liable to happen, says Phil Pachulski, CEO of Prime Technology Inc., a $33-million distributor of machine tools based in Grand Rapids. So Pachulski keeps titleless cards on hand for just such occasions.
"If hands-on plant managers and shop engineers see my title, they don't see me as their equal anymore," says Pachulski. "They think I'm a big-shot office guy who doesn't know what's going on in the marketplace."
But when calling on big-company employees to whom organizational charts are important, Pachulski presents a business card with his title, and voilà, instant rapport.
"Meeting with a CEO makes them feel more important," he says. Such thoughtfulness has helped place Prime Technology on the INC. 500 list twice since its founding in 1982.