As part of a recent election campaign, a local candidate’s wife sent out what appeared to be a handwritten note, urging readers to vote for her husband. She commented on their life together, his fit for the position and the years of experience he had which qualified him for the office.
Responses to the note were varied, and in large part depended on the age of the reader. Older people expressed appreciation for the note, indicating how nice it was to receive personal correspondence. Younger voters indicated that it was hard to read the swirling, scripted note and they felt as though the candidate was trying too hard to be personable.
Regardless of the person’s response, the note succeeded in gaining attention for the candidate, simply because it was out of the ordinary.
In today’s technology driven world, a written note can almost seem prehistoric. Even thank you notes can seem outdated and seem to only be used in social circles after a wedding.
However, a thank you note is still a relevant and effective communication tool when used correctly.
Job applicants are typically given the advice to collect business cards from those with whom they interview so they can follow up with a thank you card. There is a two-fold purpose. They express gratitude for the consideration for the position, and it is a way to indicate their continued interest in the position.
Where do written thank you notes fit in the corporate world?
Building relationships with customers can be enhanced through the power of a written thank you note. The simple act of taking the time to write a note thanking them for their business can not only convey gratitude, it leaves a lasting impression with the customer. Recognizing the business they do with your company is an excellent ‘excuse’ to write a thank you note.
A written note to business associates can be an effective way to communicate your appreciation for their help. With millions of email messages being sent daily, a routine “Thanks for your help!” at the bottom of a message is easily overlooked. A handwritten note can help to cement your business relationship, show gratitude and set you apart.
The Secret to a Well-Written Thank You
Be sincere. Customers recognize when you are being genuine. Offer your heart-felt gratitude for their efforts.
Detail exactly what they did that you appreciate. It shows that you noticed their work, and it solidifies the exact reason you’re grateful.
Use the thank you card as an opportunity to mention future opportunities. Mention future collaboration events or the possibility of future work.
Whenever possible, send a thank you note immediately after an event. Sending a card to a regular customer? Send it after you’ve received another order. Sending one to a business associate? Use an upcoming trade show, for example, as the impetus to thank them for your growing work relationship.
The next time you’re grateful for someone’s efforts on your behalf, take the opportunity to let them know – in writing. You never know the power a few simple words can have.
The My Big Idea™ program includes a dedicated section on gratitude and provides an effective framework to craft the ideal thank you note appropriate for any situation.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.