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Thank You

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“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” ~~ Brian Tracy

Consider the simple thank you card.  In the fast-paced business world we inhabit, the handwritten thank you card is a dinosaur…and that is a fantastic opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd of emailers and Facebook-posters.

Let’s consider a few key points:

First, do you appreciate it when someone does a little something extra for you?  Don’t you think you should thank them?  Do you think that they would appreciate your note, too?  I can’t imagine any answer but “yes” to these questions so please post a comment if you disagree and I will either elaborate or rethink my position.

Second, how long do you think it would take to write, hand-address, hand-stamp, and drop off the note in the mail?  Likely, it is far less than you think.  A simple, three-sentence note may take two minutes to write, two minutes to address (if you need to look the address up online,) and two minutes to stamp and walk out to the mailbox.  How the heck can you possibly find all that time?

Let’s start with the last step first.  I imagine you receive your mail now and can probably post outgoing mail in the same trip.  Therefore, if you mail everything once a day this is not an added step at all.

Addressing a card is pretty easy.  Many business cards and websites include a mailing address.  If not, the research using Google™ is not very complicated. Sometimes these options are not available or successful.  In these cases making a simple phone call will solve it.

This brings us to the first part—actually writing the note itself.  There are a few things to consider here.

First, who do you want to send a note to?  You will probably find that there are more people you should send a note to than you do.  If you take a moment and consider this I think you will agree.  Again, please post your disagreements and we will consider that.  For now, though, I will move along with your permission.

Once you know who to thank (and by extension what to thank them for) then the actual words may be difficult to select.  The easiest way to solve this is to go back to the moment and re-experience the feeling you had.  “I was amazed.  Your thoughtfulness made me feel very grateful.  I was lost until you stepped in.”  These words are easy and sincere.

Typically I buy 100 cards at a time and place a little “pull ticket” in when I am down to 75 to remind myself to replenish them.  I used to just get them in twenty-packs at the office supply or department store.  Now, I go online to and am able to create my own for a very reasonable price.  Leave a little delivery time, though (that is why I start when I have twenty-five to go.)

Another good option is  I like this since it creates a “slicker” card and lets me replace my pathetic handwriting with something infinitely more legible.  I created a personal font but it still looks like a ransom note so I prefer to use the “envelope” font (which is generic handwriting.)

I personally use Send Out Cards when sending a lot of the same type (often with different personal messages) to multiple people, like holidays or big events.  I send out at the more unusual holidays, though, like St. Patrick’s Day, Groundhog’s Day, and so on.  This represents about ten percent of my mailing effort.

The handwritten notes are for individual events.  If you have some blank cards handy you will be surprised how often the time opens up.  Bring them along to the next doctor’s waiting room.  Have some ready while waiting to pick up the kids, the car from the repair shop, the ATM machine to open up, etc.

One last point.  There is (almost) never a time to include your business card.  If I promised someone my contact information I will handwrite it.  Email can be complicated (especially with my penmanship) so that is the lone exception.  I write it first, though.

Your action item this week is to go buy some Thank You Cards and commit to send out three in the next week.  Once you break the ice you will find this a valuable exercise that moves your relationships forward, as well.

© 2013 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.


Written by bniguy

April 14, 2013 at 2:12 am

Posted in communication, HowTo

8 Responses

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  5. It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people on this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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      June 16, 2013 at 4:49 am

  6. Years ago I attended a Hank Trissler training. For years afterwords I got a hand written note just keeping in touch with me. Because of that I recommended many people to attend his trainings and purchass his materials.
    A couple of years ago I discovered SendOutCards for my personal use and started using them in my business. Everyone loved them so I became a distributior for the company. Today between my wife and me we send out about 120 cards every month. There is never a wrong time to tell someone you care about them or that you appreciate them.
    Thank you Stephen for the reminder that we all need to show gratitude.

    Frank Marshman

    April 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    • I agree completely, Frank. Even better than a note is a phone call and I make ten of those each week to simply keep in touch. How many time last week did anyone outside your family just call to say hello? When you do this you completely stand out and often make someone’s week.


      April 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm

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