The Lost Art of Handwritten Cards
By Dave Sherman
How many times has this happened to you? You attend a business function where you have the opportunity to meet many people. Over the course of the evening, you pick up a dozen business cards. The next day, you take these dozen business cards out of your pocket and toss them on your desk. My question for you is, “what do you do now?”
A few of you will sit at your computer and send an e-mail to the people you met. Even fewer of you will pick up the phone and call the people you met. Unfortunately, I am willing to assume that the majority of you will do absolutely nothing to follow up with these 12 potential new business relationships.
Well, I have a suggestion for you that could potentially double, or even triple, your business in the next 12 months. If you’re going to get dressed up, drive to one of the thousands of business events held in this Valley, develop enough courage to walk up and introduce yourself to new people, there is no better way to follow up with the people you meet than with a handwritten card.
When was the last time you received a handwritten card from a business associate? It may be that it was too long ago for you to remember. On the other hand, if you have gotten one lately, you know exactly who sent it and when. Handwritten cards have become almost extinct in the business world. So if you are looking for ways to stand from the crowd, and be noticed by your colleagues and clients, try putting pen to paper whenever you have the slightest excuse.
Now, I’m assuming this isn’t the first time that someone has told you that you should write handwritten cards to thank people. The challenge that most of us face is finding the time to write all of these handwritten cards. As we all know, e-mails are easier and faster to send. You just sit down and type, press the “send” key, and they arrive at their destinations in seconds while the memories of the meetings are still fresh. They’re easier to save as part of your in-box, or other file, and much simpler to respond to.
However, Jill Bremer, president of Bremer Communications, says that the impact of a handwritten card is often overlooked in today’s fast-paced “why-write-something-when-I-can-email-it” world. A card written promptly and sincerely is an important ritual of etiquette that is much more effective and appreciated than a phone call or electronic message. Yes, we have a lot of technology at our fingertips, but just because we can do it that way doesn’t mean we should.
Most of our mail each day is filled with advertisements and bills. Handwritten cards and letters are a rarity, which makes them that much more meaningful to the recipient. When you write a card by hand, it shows the other person that you cared enough to pull out the stationery box and choose your words without the conveniences of the grammar tool and spellchecker! Written notes are also permanent, which means they can be saved by the recipient and passed around to share with others.
I know that many of you are reading this article and saying to yourself, “this article makes a lot of sense and I know I should send out handwritten cards but I just don’t have the time.” If that’s what you’re saying, I totally agree with you. Who has the time to go to a stationery store, pick a card that fits your personality, go back to your office, hand write the note, address the envelope, slap on the stamp, and drop it in the nearest mailbox? I know I don’t. That is why I was thrilled when someone turned me on to a brand new service that allows me to enjoy the impact of a handwritten card but with the ease and convenience of sending an e-mail.
With this service, all I have to do is go online, type in the recipient’s address, pick the perfect card from their collection of over 2500 cards, enter my personal message, and hit send. Within 24 hours, a beautiful four-color card is dropped in the mail to the recipient. Do you want to know the best part? The whole process cost me less than $1.00 per card and that’s including the postage.
Now that you no longer have any excuses for not sending out handwritten cards, isn’t it time to reach out to your current clients, your hot prospects, and all those long-lost friends that you haven’t spoken to in a very long time? To find out more information about this incredible service, feel free to call me at 480-860-6100 or e-mail me at [email protected].
Dave Sherman is a nationally recognized connections expert that focuses on the concept of helping people create deeper connections with others. As owner of Connection Pros, a speaking, training and consulting organization, Dave has inspired thousands of people and hundreds of corporate sales teams, associations, and Chambers of Commerce on how to create connections with other more effectively, more comfortably and more successfully. For more information, visit Dave’s website at http://www.ConnectionPros.com.