‘It’s funny – thank you cards seem to swell in the post’
That’s the response from Wendii over at Manager-Tools.com’s blog to someone who mentioned that he delayed writing thank you cards because he couldn’t find the right words with which to express himself.
She meant that the impact of the card was much greater to the recipient than to the sender (and for those of you not familiar with Britspeak, substitute the word “mail” for her word “post”).
Even in this day of social media, many times the humble thank you note is the best way to enhance a relationship. Sure, it’s faster to send an e-mail, tweet, poke, etc. but how many of those do you get a day? Now, how many handwritten thank you notes do you get in a year?
William Sturtevant, in his book, The Art of Giving, writes about a fund-raiser who, after visiting potential donors, “never turned on his car’s engine until he finished writing the thank you note.”
I didn’t take it that far, but when I would travel to another city to visit prospects, I would try to write and mail the thank you card before I left town that day. That meant the recipient usually received it the next day. Think about the powerful impact receiving a thank you note the next day makes. I’ll bet your competition isn’t doing that.
I carry cards, envelopes, and forever stamps in a Ziploc bag in my briefcase. I take time at lunch or between appointments to write the notes and I do my best to mail them from the same city on the same day. If your handwriting is bad, first write a draft on a legal pad or your computer, then copy it onto the note writing slowly to make your handwriting neat.
If you’re still not confident of your ability to compose a proper note, check out the Manager-Tools.com podcast on thank you notes. One point that everyone agrees with is that you should never ask for something in the note. The note is for thanking only, not for asking.
Set a goal of writing one to each of the customers you visit or a minimum of two per week to your co-workers or people with whom you network.
I believe you’ll find thank you notes give you a great ROI.
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