How often do you receive an actual hand-written letter?
I used to get one twice a year – from an elderly aunt who passed away last year. I hand-wrote letters back to her, because it only seemed like the right thing to do. It would have been easier to type a letter, but that would have seemed rude.
Now, everyone I know sends an email or picks up the phone. I live where there is no cell signal, so fortunately I don’t have to try to decipher text messages.
How often do you receive a hand-written thank you note?
Never? Hardly ever?
Sometimes a business will send a thank you note – pre-printed, of course. Sometimes even the signature is printed. The only personal mail I’ve received from a business in the past year was when my dog passed away. Everyone in the Vet clinic wrote a short note on their sympathy card. And yes, I was both touched and impressed.
Because they are so rare, hand-written notes to prospects, clients, past clients, vendors, and anyone else you can think of will make you stand out from your competitors.
It just isn’t done. No one has time – or rather, no one takes time. And isn’t that silly? We all do have time to do something that takes 5 minutes or less.
Tom Hopkins, in his book on how to list and sell real estate, recommends sending 5 thank you notes every day. He says to send them to everyone who lets you do a listing presentation or allows you to show them a home. Send them to Title insurance people, to lenders, and to appraisers. Send them to the grocery store manager who hires friendly employees to brighten your day.
Many top real estate agents, Chris Ann Cleland, agree She wrote a stirring blog post on the subjectRead it and see why she believes her notes are such an important part of marketing.