When was the last time you hand wrote a thank you card?
I will admit this is one of those tasks - or as I like to describe it "talents" - that I am still working on. Sitting down to write a thank you note in the midst of all of the business development activity I have going on - outreaching to new clients, networking, dinners, lunches, proposals...crap I forgot to write that proposal and send it out ...meetings, follow-up and reaching out to those in my follow-up file....that's often the last thing on my mind.
But writing one is so powerful.
I recently had a meeting where a friend is pitching my proposal to a head executive in his organization. He likes me and wants me to get the business. In my mind, it's a huge opportunity that I don't take for granted. And although he is the type who is always looking out for others, I'm confident he doesn't always get the acknowledgment.
He's getting a thank you card from me.
A client recently gave me feedback on the new updates on my website. She typed out a detailed email that outlined several suggested changes. As she often reviews vendor proposals, her feedback was very helpful. I'll admit some of it was not what I expected but I have the ability to choose what works the best for all of my clients. Nonetheless, she still gave me insight into how key decision makers think.
She's getting a thank you card.
And then there is the easy category - a client who does something nice for you or one who gives you the check at the end of the job. These are no brainers. But I know it's very easy to cash the check and move onto the next client...and forget to thank the current client for their support. After all, they could have chosen another planner but they choose you.
I challenge you this year to double the number of thank you notes you write. Some tips on writing them:
- Buy stationary and stamps in advance. It leaves you with no excuses to write them during your down time.
- Make sure the message is meaningful and from the heart - no one likes to read the same standard message you send to everyone.
- Get a great pen to write with. Even if your handwriting is not the best, a good pen can make your writing legible and will inspire you to write! (Thanks LKE for this advice!!)
Let's see what your relationships and overall business development plan looks like this time next year.