Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Power of Thank-You Notes

Thank-you notes can be a powerful business tool. The sad thing is these notes are a lost art in today’s hectic, technology-driven environment. Let’s put it this way, the more thank-you notes you send, the more people you’ll have eating out of your hand.
Think about it. Positive reinforcement goes a long way; and most people don’t give (or get) much of it.
On his lecture tour, management guru Tom Peters told the story of a retired 3M executive who was a stickler for expressing his appreciation. He described to Peters his retirement party. “Several people came up to me, one or two with tears in their eyes, and thanked me for a thank-you note, sometimes one I’d written 10 or 15 years before!”
People don’t forget kindness. Who can you send thank-you notes to? Anyone and everyone. Employees, clients, prospective clients, anyone you appreciate.
What about a phone call or e-mail? Too easy. Writing a note demonstrates a level of effort, and it is permanent. And these letters must be handwritten. A two-line, largely unreadable scrawl beats a page and a half spit out by the laser printer or even an email message.
It’s often said that the little things in business often separate the successful entrepreneur from the rest of the pack. If that’s true, you’ve just read one of the most important components to business success.


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