On a Personal Note
A couple of months ago I wrote a short congratulatory note to Chris Lakin, a sharp direct marketer under the age of 30 whose job title is Social Media Advisor. Chris was recently named the Kansas City DMA's 2011 Young Direct Marketer of the Year. Chris responded to my note with a handwritten note of his own and a P.S. that said, "I was so inspired by your note, I got some fancy stationery of my own. Handwritten notes are the best." And this comes from someone whose job is focused on the likes of texting, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and FourSquare.
Here's the really neat part: I know for a fact Chris has been putting that stationery to use. After a recent meeting that took a flurry of emails to schedule, Chris followed up after the meeting with a handwritten note thanking me for my time and ideas. And I assume I'm not the only person hearing from Chris.
What about you? When was the last time you thanked a friend, colleague, customer or family member?
It's a way to set yourself — and your company — apart.
And while you're at it, consider the value of writing a letter to (1) a prospective client whose business YOU DIDN'T LAND thanking her for the opportunity, (2) a disappointed customer whose order was filled incorrectly, (3) the accounts payable person who promptly follows up whenever you call about an unpaid invoice, (4) the colleague OR COMPETITOR who just received an award and has the potential of referring you business, or (5) the former boss who taught you to look for solutions instead of whining about problems — a skill that has served you well as you built your career.
I'll close with a challenge. Take 15 minutes within the 24 hours to write and mail a short note to a client gone dormant or a mentor you've never thanked. I can almost guarantee good things will come of it.