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The Importance of the Handwritten Note May 1, 2008

The Importance of the Handwritten Note

When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a business associate? It may be that it was too long ago for you to remember. On the other hand, if you have gotten one lately, you know exactly who sent it and when. Handwritten notes have become almost extinct in the business world. So if you are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed by your colleagues and clients, try putting pen to paper whenever you have the slightest excuse.

There are few acts more impressive than handwriting a letter or a note to someone with whom you do business or would like to. Most people think that writing notes by hand requires extra time and effort. Ironically, it can be quick and painless if you do it frequently and follow these tips:

1. Have writing supplies close at hand.
Store stationery and stamps in the most convenient place in your desk. When you need to send a note, all you have to do is reach for your stationery, dash off a few lines, address the envelope, put the stamp in place and mail it.

2. Keep your message brief.
These are notes so you only have to come up with three or four sentences. If you attempt to compose more than a few lines, writer’s block is liable to set in and you will never get past “start.”

3. Develop a system.
Before you head out of the office to a business meal or function that someone else is hosting, address an envelope to your host. It will be a breeze to jot down your short message when you return.

4. Use the appropriate professional stationery.
Both single-sided correspondence cards and fold-over notes with the company name or logo imprinted on them are business-like and will represent you and your organization well.

5. Poor penmanship is no excuse unless your handwriting is totally illegible.
The person who receives your note will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will not be grading your handwriting. If your penmanship does not meet your standards, it is never too late to improve. There are numerous resources at your library or on the Internet to teach you to write legibly.

6. Use any occasion to get noticed with a note.
A few of those instances are when…

  • You have received a gift
  • You were a guest in someones home
  • You were treated to a meal
  • You received a business favor
  • You are replying to an invitation
  • You are sending condolences
  • You want to offer congratulations
  • You need to apologize

 

7. Make your message timely.
Whether you are sending a note of appreciation, congratulation or condolence, do it as quickly as possible. A thank you should go out within 24 to 48 hours. However, don’t forgo sending a note because you think too much time has elapsed. There is no definite statute of limitations on appreciation.

8. Understand that e-mail is not a substitute for the personal handwritten message.
The Internet is fast, efficient and remote. If you are corresponding by e-mail immediately following a meeting with a business associate, include your expression of gratitude, but don’t let that stop you from sending a second message by ground.

Successful people pay attention to the details and look for ways to build better business relationships. When you take the time to send handwritten notes, you will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Your next big sale or job promotion may came about as a result of your doing business just a little differently.

-Taken from an article written by Lydia Ramsey of Manners that Sell

I personally have seen a huge benefit, both personally and professionally of being a “note writer”.  I became a note writer because, quite frankly, my parents made me.  While my friends could get by with a quick call to the grandparents to say “thanks”, I was made to sit and write a note.  The act of note writing later became a habit and I am so glad that it did.  I now own and operate a small stationery store, and, I am a first-class note writer….if I do say so myself!

I belong to several organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and a local women in business group.  When I meet someone I will always ask for a business card…every time…and follow up either that day or the next with a handwritten note.  I have gotten extremely favorable responses from note writing. I recently received a call from a very prominent local CEO after having sent a note following his speech at a breakfast meeting that I had attended. I also write a note to EVERY new customer who provides me with an address.  It is so important to show appreciation to your clients.

-Becky