Long before the rise of email and social media I was extolling the virtues and value of saying “thank you” with handwritten notes. While certainly not an original idea (whose Mom didn’t make them write thank you notes for gifts?) they remain — in my opinion — one of the best ways to express gratitude and make another person feel genuinely good about themselves and the value they provide.
I’m often asked, “But with email so accessible and so much easier to write than a handwritten, hand-addressed, hand-stamped envelope, isn’t it so much easier to just send emails?”
Absolutely! That’s even one more reason why handwritten, personalized notes are so much more effective. Talk about distinguishing yourself — and your message — from others!
Whether sending a thank you note to a service person, their employer, a customer, your salesperson, a team member, and especially to those people who typically don’t receive acknowledgement, not only do they feel great about themselves, they feel great about you, too! No, that isn’t why you do it — it’s simply the natural result.
When speaking about this during sales and leadership conferences I’ll often hear from successful audience members who do this regularly. One of the most common stories is their discovering that many of those to whom they’ve sent these notes…have kept them!
Yes, people often keep them! Why?
- they’ve been acknowledged;
- they’ve been acknowledged in a powerful and personal way;
- they received something from you they most likely have never received before.
In his excellent book, Creating Magic (highly recommended!!) former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort, Lee Cockerell — an avid note writer — shared a very touching story of a team member who had his note framed…and hung in his home!
While I have a specific format for my personalized notecards, there’s no one correct way.
What’s key is forming the habit of sending them, and sending them often.
Have you experienced something similar either by being on the giving or receiving end of a personalized, handwritten thank you note?
Please feel free to share.