Thank You noteWhen was the last time you sat down and wrote a thank you note to a current client or prospect? And no I am not talking about a quick email, I am referring to the old fashion, pen-to-paper thank you note. In today’s high-tech world, the power of a handwritten note is stronger than ever. Follow these 3 guidelines write the ultimate business thank you note.

Written by Morgan Busam, Lead Development Associate

Why do handwritten notes matter in business today? Think about it, a handwritten thank you note takes time, money and effort. Someone had to sit down, carefully write each sentence without the convenience of the delete button, address the envelope, put a stamp on it and then finally place the finished note in a mailbox. Unlike email, handwritten notes have permanence, are more memorable and leave a last impression. People often keep them to display on their desk, refrigerator, in a shoe box, etc. rather than throwing them straight into the trashcan. And most importantly, handwritten notes bring back the personal element in a business world full of impersonal technology. In order to write the ultimate business thank you note, here are 3 guidelines you should follow:

Make It Personal: There are plenty of reasons to extend gratitude to friends, colleagues, prospects, current clients and past clients. It does not have to be for anything big, it could be as small as thanking a colleague for buying your coffee or a quick thanks to a client for taking time to speak on the phone during their busy work week. Remember these do not have to be novels or complex, just a small 2-3 sentences of gratitude.

Be Timely: Most people think you need to wait for the holidays to show appreciation to those you work with or do business work when in reality showing  appreciation is a constant need. Do not put off writing a note until the end of each month. Make it a practice each day to write down a few words of appreciation to coworkers, prospects and customers. This will not only strengthen your professional relationships, but make you stand out among your competition.

Be Sincere: If you are going to take the time to send someone a handwritten card, be sure to convey true appreciation and gratitude. There is nothing worse than opening a card from someone that screams insincerity. Remember thank you notes are meant to show people that you truly care and that you are willing to go the extra mile to personally say thanks.

These guidelines are simple, right?  Remember taking the time to write a handwritten thank you note will take you a notch above your competition. The notes will not only help build customer loyalty, increase referrals, but they will establish great long-term relationship with your clients, colleagues and prospects. So I challenge you to take 10 minutes out of each day to write three thank you notes.