Every day we are inundated with messages. How can you set yourself apart from everyone else in communicating with your client or customer? How can you send a powerful message that distinguishes you from all others and that will be thought about long after it is read? A handwritten note is a simple yet powerful tool that sets you apart as a professional with an appreciation for the importance of this old school method of communication. It also provides the reader with a sense of appreciation and gratitude and best of all is a fast, easy and effective way to communicate with those around us.
I have used this method of communication in my law practice and find it to be highly effective. There are a certain number of things that you can do to heighten this experience for the reader of your handwritten note that are worthy of mention, that include at least the following:
- Purchase engraved stationery-you may be amazed to find out how relatively inexpensive engraved stationery is that includes your name, initials, business name and/or company logo. The additional cost of making this very bold statement is well worth the added expense and is certain to make a dramatic impact upon the recipient;
- Come up with a sincere reason to send the card as there are many opportunities to send a preprinted card to an individual. A thank you for some gift, special service, a business lunch or dinner, or an acknowledgment of some type of act or deed. You could also forward some article that you have read about the individual, their company or family with a brief note acknowledging the article and congratulating the individual about the contents of the story;
- Make the message personal and not commercial. Do not send a handwritten card or note in an effort to acquire business from the recipient. This is not the reason for sending a handwritten note and it detracts from the message. Do not talk about your business, include your business cards, or make it seem like you are attempting to send this note for reasons other than personal knowledge meant and appreciation; and
- Keep stamps in your office-it is always much better to place a stamp on the outside of the envelope rather than a metered one. You should hand write out the recipient's name and address on the outside of the envelope as it makes it personal.
In writing a personal note to a friend, business associates or client start by using a greeting along with the person's name. You should thank the individual for the deed, gift or gesture that you are acknowledging and indicate how this has made a positive impact upon you. You could also include an article or story that you have enclosed and indicate how you were happy to read about that individual's news worthy information. You should include some call to action at the end of your note such as meeting for coffee, lunch, a drink or some other activity and later follow-up with the individual about scheduling something. You should end the note with some familiar salutation and then sign your name. A "P.S." at the end of the note is a very powerful way to leave a message that the recipient will read before looking at the text of your note.
If you start to use this powerful technique on a regular basis you will find that you will be receiving calls from the recipients of these notes who will be quite appreciative of the fact that you took time out of your busy schedule to actually write out a note. It is important to mention that although penmanship is not a great consideration it is important that your handwriting be legible. If you employ this little used technique, which brings people back to days gone by, you will become memorable and will stand out from those around you.
Try it, you will be surprised by the responses that you receive!