When we designed our first stationery set, we decided on a postcard instead of a compliment slip. it doesn’t cost much more and we thought it would stand out more as something to pop into an envelope with other items than a conventional slip (although for many businesses they certainly have their place).
What we didn’t envisage doing with them was sending them as actual postcards (I know, sounds daft when I say it out loud!). But the more we began to network and the more interesting and useful people we met along the way, the more we wanted a way of getting in touch with people for a variety of reasons. And as much as we love email, twitter and the like, the more new technologies develop, the more we love to get a good old fashioned piece of post – and what could be nicer than a cheery postcard?
Of course it doesn’t have to be a postcard, but a handwritten note or letter will have much more impact than any email or tweet ever could.
So when could a personal note be used? Well whenever you have something to say! But here’s a few examples;
Say thank you – simple but effective and why wouldn’t you? We often send them to the organisers of events we have attended which we enjoyed. It’s amazing how many people forget simple niceties like this. We also thank people for introductions, useful information and of course business leads and referrals. We don’t take this sort of thing for granted. We say thanks for little things too, a contact recently let me use his phone to make an important call when mine ran out of juice – a small favour perhaps but he appreciated the thank you card enough to call and tell me how genuinely touched he was.
Give info – how many times have you met someone who needed some info from you or a contact and you forget then maybe dash off a quick email a few days later – why not just write a quick note the next day and pop in the post? More impactful, more thoughtful. More memorable.
Stay in touch – do clients and old contacts you haven’t seen in a while sometimes pop into your head? Why not just drop a note to say so, maybe ask them how things are going, or give a quick update on you – suggest meeting up? Even better if you have come by some information which might be useful to them.
To congratulate or commiserate – if you hear through the grapevine that someone’s done really well, won an award for example or even that someone’s business has taken a bit of a blow with a bad debt or loss of key staff, a personal note to show you care can further strengthen and enrich relationships and could really make that person’s day.
This is not a cold and calculated sales technique. if you genuinely don’t care about people or can’t be bothered or weren’t delighted to met someone then don’t do it. But at tent we do; for us, running our little business is very important as are the relationships we build with others along the way, because that is what business and life is all about. A big part of us being in business and what we love about it is the genuine warmth and support that we have received and that we hope we give in return.
Spread the love! happy Friday!