Do you want to stand out and get noticed? If so, do what people have been doing for centuries. Send a hand written note. Yes, I know, with technology, sending note cards can seem obsolete, but think about it. How many emails do you get every day vs. snail mail? How many emails do you just delete, delete, delete just to clean up your inbox?
Now, think about how many hand written notes you get in your regular snail mail box? When you get them, what do you do? If you are like most of people, when it’s hand written envelope, you pay attention. You feel like it might be a special piece of mail. And you probably open it and read it!
Now, can you say that with every email you get? My guess is probably not.
If you are inclined to open a handwritten note, how do you think the person you send one to will feel when they receive one from you? It’s a powerful tool that will help differentiate you from the crowd and if you aren’t already writing and sending them, it’s something you might want to consider starting.
I know your time is valuable and you have a lot of podcasts to choose from so we hope you’ll find value in today’s episode where today we talk about handwritten personal note cards.
This is a two part episode…yes, I know what you are thinking, is there really that much to say about handwritten personal notes. Well, actually there is.
- Part 1, this episode, will hopefully is to inspire you and share all the different ways you can use a personal hand written note
- Part 2 includes
- Ideas on how how you can actually get your personal handwritten notes done from what type of paper to what to say.
- A special gift to help you get your personal notes completed. Basically paper to scripts.
- Provides FAQ’s for writing notes so make sure to listen to that one as well.
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Select Business Team brings business owners of service professions together to discuss the back office issues of running a business. We interview our members who are business owners and they share their real life experiences of running a business. (when talking to business owners: The ideas we share with you in this episode are valuable to any business owner. ) If you would like to join a Team or start one of your own, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a conversation.
I’m a big fan of hand written notes, and I have been for as long as I’ve been in the business world. When I first started selling, I made it a habit to send hand written notes. I studied a lot about sales and went to a lot of Tom Peters programs. He frequently talked about hand written notes.
Thanking people makes them more likely to continue a relationship, which has the potential to lead to more opportunities for you. Except for the cost of paper and a stamp, showing gratitude is free. Showing gratitude helps us treasure good experiences, deal with conflict and build better relationships.
Over the years I’ve also been inspired by Brian Buffini for sending note cards. If you aren’t familiar with Brian, he’s built a real estate coaching business. While I’ve never been in real estate, I’ve attended several of his events over the years because he’s very motivational and his system is simple…and it works. He teaches his clients to send 5 note cards a day. A lot of people find that task overwhelming, but think about it. If you can send 25 a week, think about how many people you are touching, how many people will remember you.
In my opinion, if you aren’t sending any personal handwritten notes today and think this is a good strategy for you, shoot for one a day and build up to 5, or at least create a system where you are sending them on a consistent basis.
Now, before I get too far into this episode, I want to be clear that I am a big fan of email marketing and what I’m talking about here is not intended to replace any email marketing campaigns you might send. But handwritten notes have a place and that’s what we are focusing on in this episode.
As someone that has done a lot of networking over the years, sending handwritten notes to all the people I’ve met has been essential. I’ve received many comments when I see someone again that they received my note and they’ve always been very appreciative.
Basically, they remembered me and that’s what I wanted to accomplish.
In my company, I generally send more of a thank you type of personal note and they are broken into three different categories. I send thank you notes to:
- Guests that attend our meetings,
- Our members that invite guests (or at least I try to most of the time) and
- Members when they renew their membership.
As I work on building out more efficient systems, sending them to members who have been on the team for a certain number of years wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
So here’s a little true confessions from me but it is also something that I sometimes have to do from an efficiency perspective. There have been times when I have my assistant write up a batch of note cards and all I have to do is grab one and an envelope and boom, I done. As much as I like them to be personal, in my world, it isn’t uncommon for me to meet 5-10 new people every day and with everything else I do, sometimes customizing them takes time. But if you are thinking that you don’t have time to write note cards all the time, this is one strategy that can be used to keep the note cards going.
I will admit that occasionally I send an email instead of a note just because I’m short on time, but I get mad at myself every time I do. As I prepared the notes for this episode, I was thinking about how I send an email to the people interview on this podcast thanking them and it includes different ways that they can use this podcast for their own promotional purposes. It’s a long email so I’m not sure sending it as a handwritten note is appropriate, but sending out a separate handwritten note might not be a bad idea!
For those listening and aren’t sure what we do at Select Business Team, we have weekly meetings where we talk about different issues that help to grow your business. Sometimes during the meetings that I facilitate, I’ll bring in a stack of note cards and hand them out and ask everyone on the Team to send a note to someone. I give them the note card and I pay for the postage. Then a week or two later members talk about the response they received from the notes that they sent. It’s always inspiring to hear the good feedback they received.
A hand written note is intended to be a personal note. They often come across as more thoughtful because in most cases you had to carefully consider what you were going to say before writing it down.
A personal handwritten note can be a thank you note or it can be a note of gratitude. While it might sound the same, I look at the note of gratitude when your words focus on something good to the person – maybe you were remembering a good time that you had together or just thinking about them and wanted to make them feel special.
Ideally, you want them to be positive, to show that you care and most importantly to be memorable.
Let’s talk about different reasons for sending handwritten personal notes:
- From a business perspective, which is what I’m focusing on in this episode, hand written personal notes show that you truly care and that you want to go the extra mile to personally say thanks. It’s important to be genuine and specific and avoid the back handed comments or funny stuff
- One of the keys to a sincere thank you note is to be thinking about the other person while you are writing the note and focusing on what they did for you as part of the conversation. For example if you met someone at a networking event, you could bring up something you both discussed like an upcoming holiday or vacation in the note.
- A personal note could be a short but effective follow up letter for a recent sales call. For example, if you meet with a prospect for the first time, you could send a thank you note showing your appreciation for the time the person gave up from their own life and business to spend with you.
- You could send a handwritten personal note to a client thanking them for doing business with you or for their continued business. Let’s say you are a realtor, you might send a note to a buyer that just went to settlement and say : thank you for allowing me to help you purchase your home of your dreams. If you were an insurance agent and someone just purchased life insurance from you, you might say “ thank you for having the confidence in me and my company to provide the insurance protection for your business.”
- Send notes to people you meet at networking functions and let them know that you enjoyed meeting them. Here’s a tip to make yourself more efficient when sending them after a networking event. Before the event, pre-write 10 notes, make it generic like, it was great to meet you at the chamber event. I look forward to connecting with you and continuing the conversation. While this might not be as personalized as indicating what you talked about, it’s efficient and it is effective so for this purpose, I think it’s ok. As a general rule, I’d say try to personalize it as I mentioned earlier, but that isn’t always possible, especially following a networking event where you have met a lot of people and have a lot of note cards to send.
- Write your 10 notes before then event and take them, envelopes, stamps and a pen with you to the event, but leave them in your car. After the event is over, go to your car, address the envelopes, add the stamp and place them in the closest mailbox you can find. Boom….you are done! It’s a tip I learned a long time ago and trust me, it’s a great tip for being productive. Because what often happens is that we go back to the office the next day, get focused on a different project and then we run out of time to write the notes. So if the networking event is from 5-7, leave at 6:30, sit in your car for 30 minutes (or less) to get the envelopes addressed and you won’t need to worry about it!
- Another idea for a personal note is thanking someone for doing something nice for you. This is how you show gratitude. This is truly what sets you apart when you start sending these!For example, one of the thank you notes I recently received was for inviting someone to a networking event with me. It was someone that was shy and didn’t want to go on their own, so I had them come as my guest. She was very appreciative and let me know via a handwritten note.
- Thanking someone for a referral is important. It shows that you really care about the fact that they think enough of what you do to put their trust in you to refer someone they know to you. It’s powerful and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
- If you are an employer, consider sending a hand written note to your employees to show your gratitude for their work or you could send a note to a colleague to congratulate them on a recent promotion. If you are applying for a position, send a note to the person that interviewed you.
- Have you ever fallen out of contact with people? You get busy and don’t reconnect? I find that the holidays is a good reason to get the conversation going again…and it doesn’t have to be the holidays in November and December, but think about reconnecting during the rest of the year – 4th of July, St. Patty’s Day and Halloween are three examples. You could send a note that said something like:
It’s been awhile since we’ve connected but things have been really crazy for us. Before any more time slips away, I wanted to let you know I was thinking about you and hope you have a great ‘4th of July’ celebration.
I’ll try to connect in a week or so to see if we can coordinate our calendars and see if we can create some business opportunities together. I look forward to catching up.
Before I end this episode
I wanted to share something that was inspiring to me as I did the research for this episode. There is a judge Los Angeles named John Kralik who wrote a book about how showing gratitude changed his life. He has written a book called A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life Before he became a judge, he had a law practice and he made a commitment one year to send a note a day for the entire year. The end result for him was that the practice improved his outlook, repaired broken relationships and turned his struggling law firm around.
He didn’t know how his project of sending 365 note cards would turn out, but when he sent them tmo clients that paid their bills, he found that more clients paid their bills earlier and it strengthened their relationship; when he sent a note to someone and told them how much he appreciated them, they’d write back and tell him what they appreciated about him. thank you notes to didn’t
He found that sending note cards changed his attitude and impacted his emotional and financial well being.
So if you are thinking you don’t want to send personal note cards to others, think about what sending them might do for you if you are consistent at sending them.
That wraps up part one of our episode on note cards.
I hope you’ve been inspired and have a few people in mind that you want to send a hand written note to.
Watch for part 2, where I’ll share with you the HOW: what type of paper to consider; what to say and how to actually address the note.
If you are listening on iTunes, please subscribe so you’ll be notified when the next episode is released. My plan is to release one a week but I fell behind so I’m building my reserve of episodes to get myself back on track. Also, if you like the topic, please leave a review in iTunes and you can find out how to do this in the resources section of this show notes – selectbizteam.com/notes.
I’m sure some of you listening have never sent a note since you’ve grown up with email and texting, so I hope you’ll use this strategy to help you get noticed as you build your business. But most importantly, remember to be genuine and sincere with every note you send!
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