By Bill Hellkamp
While attending a presentation, the speaker polled the audience regarding the number of emails they received daily. It turns out the most of us are sent 75 to 100 emails every day. That comes out to over 500 per week and around 25,000 per year! Whit that much volume we are forced to use filters to get rid of much of the clutter, then scan through the remainder to determine which are important enough to deal with. In essence, email has lost its impact. While this has been happening, the art of personal correspondence has been lost. Consider how exciting and unique it is to receive a hand-written note in the mail. The deluge of emails has returned the power and prestige to the personal note, power and prestige that you can employ as part of your leadership, influence and communication strategies.
Not only does a personal note break through the clutter of electronic communication, but it also conveys other important messages to the recipient. Because it is more unique, a note tells the other person that they are special and somehow more important. It says that you made an extra effort to communicate with them at a deeper, more personal level. And it says that they are worth the time and effort it took to write to them directly.
5 Opportunities for Writing
Thanks – Others do good deeds for us all the time and while a verbal “thank you” is often sufficient, they are especially gratified to get a note from you. This shows that you truly recognize the service they have performed or the gift they have given you. My wife drilled into our three sons the importance of Thank You notes since they were very young and it sets them apart from other young people who don’t take the time.
Recognition – People are proud of their achievements, but often those accomplishments go unnoticed by all except a close few. Even in those cases it is usually a cursory “well done” or a “like” on LinkedIn. Make the promotion, new job, or other endeavor special by sending them a hand-written congratulation. To make it even more special, write about a strength they have that you feel has been instrumental in their success.
Personal Event – Recognizing events such as birthdays, anniversaries or the birth of a child with a personal note can strengthen your relationship with co-workers and clients. Remembering others on these special days says that you see them as personal friends, not just business relationships.
Information – As you read books, articles, newsletters etc. you will often come across information that is pertinent to a friend or business associate. In these cases, make a copy of the item and send it along with a note to the person. It shows that you know enough about their needs or interests to make the connection for them.
Motivation – We could all use a positive boost every once in a while, especially when we least expect it. Write a note to let someone know that they are important to you or that you admire them. It might be the only time that week that someone has given them some encouragement.
Part of Your Daily Process
If you read our last newsletter, you will remember the article, Selling Success: From Accidental to Habitual. In it we discussed the importance of developing a list of activities that are crucial to the success of your job or business. You might decide that you want to include the writing of personal notes in this list. As with any valuable task, you must make it part of your ongoing habits. Why don’t you start right now! Who is someone with whom you want to develop a deeper relationship? Find a card and send them a personal note right now. Both of you will be glad you did.