On the other hand, if you’ve recently received one, you’ll know precisely who sent it and when. In the business world, handwritten notes have nearly vanished. Therefore, if you’re looking for ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd and be noticed by your colleagues and clients, try putting pen to paper whenever the slightest excuse presents itself.
There are few acts more impressive than handwriting a letter or note to someone you do business with or would like to do business with. The majority of people believe that handwriting notes requires additional time and effort. Ironically, if you do it frequently and follow these tips, it can be quick and painless:
1. Keep writing supplies nearby. Stationery and stamps should be kept in the most convenient location on your desk. When you need to send a note, all you need to do is grab your stationary, scribble a few lines, address the envelope, place the stamp, and mail it.
2. Maintain a succinct message. Because these are notes, you only need to generate three or four sentences. If you attempt to write more than a few lines, writer’s block is likely to strike and you will never progress beyond “start.”
3. Establish a system. Prior to leaving the office for a business meal or function hosted by someone else, address an envelope to the host. When you return, it will be simple to jot down your brief message.
4. Use professional stationary that is appropriate for the situation. Both single-sided correspondence cards and fold-over notes imprinted with the company name or logo are professional in appearance and will reflect well on you and your organization.
5. Poor handwriting is not an excuse unless it is completely illegible. The recipient of your note will appreciate your consideration and will not grade your handwriting. If your handwriting falls short of your expectations, it is never too late to improve. Numerous resources are available at your library or on the Internet to assist you in learning to write legibly.
6. Use any occasion to draw attention to yourself with a note. Several of those instances include the following:
You’ve been given a gift.
You were a houseguest You were invited to a meal
You were the beneficiary of a business favor.
You are responding to an invitation with your condolences.
You wish to express your congratulations.
You owe an apology.
7. Deliver your message on time. Send your note of appreciation, congratulations, or condolences as soon as possible. Within 24 to 48 hours, a thank you note should be sent. However, do not abstain from sending a note simply because you believe too much time has passed. Appreciation does not have a definite statute of limitations.
8. Recognize that e-mail does not replace the personal handwritten message. The Internet is quick, efficient, and accessible from anywhere. If you’re communicating via email immediately following a meeting with a business associate, include an expression of gratitude, but don’t be afraid to send a second message via ground.
Successful people are meticulous in their attention to detail and constantly seek ways to improve their business relationships. When you take the time to send handwritten notes, you will stand out in a good way. Your next big sale or promotion may have occurred as a result of your slightly different approach to business.