By Tim Bryant
It may seem a bit “old fashioned”, but, if you really want to stand out in your marketplace take a minute and say Thank You with a handwritten note. People are busy like you. They get hundreds of emails every day – just like you. Their business mailbox, however, is full of bills and “junk mail” from people they don’t know. If you put a handwritten note in that box you will be memorable and you’ll stand out above your competition for sure.
Here are some tips on writing great notes to your friends and customers:
- Make it timely – if you are thanking them for a project you just handled – write that note today and send it. The effectiveness of a good note is diminished with time. If they have to think to remember what you are referring to you may be a bit late.
- Keep it short – I’ve learned to pre-plan my note otherwise my trashcan fills up with several “practice copies” before I finally perfect it. Jot down one or two key points you want to cover then write the note neatly and succinctly.
- Keep it conversational – a handwritten thank you note is meant to be personal, so relax as you write it and use language you would use in a conversation with that person. Keep it thoughtful and sincere.
- Keep it legible – It may be that your handwriting will need some brushing up. Take some time to practice and make sure your notes are neat and legible so your client can pay attention to the message instead of your handwriting. (Don’t let this stop you, however. If you can’t write legible get someone on your staff to handle these – it’s worth the effort!)
- Print Thank You Cards – even though you want to keep it conversational and personal it’s still a good idea to be professional. Have someone design a Thank You note that you can have printed and ready to go with a matching envelope and return address. Make sure your logo is present along with your website and other contact info. This is a small expense, but, you’ll appreciate having these cards at your fingertips – ready when you are to say Thank You!
Let’s face it, our Moms taught us this a long time ago. It was painful then and took some discipline to get them done, but Grandma always noticed and appreciated the effort. They aren’t any easier, today, (which is why you’ll stand out) but, practice still makes perfect, and the message they convey is still worth far more than the effort to write them.
Tim Bryant is the VP of Sales Development for The Daniels Group in Asheville, NC. The Daniels Group is a communications company with the tools and knowledge to help you grow your business. Feel free to start a conversation with Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org