The Simplest Way to Leave a Lasting Impression

Break out a pad and pen if you want to cut through the e-mail clutter and make a real connection with contacts, customers and colleagues.
Founder, BackPocket COO
October 09, 2012

There’s a new, fascinating trend going around. Young people are taking handwritten notes from loved ones and having them tattooed on their bodies as keepsakes. In many cases, these tattoos pay tribute to moms, dads, brothers or sisters who have passed away. 

There’s no denying it, something about handwriting is extremely personal and memorable. Think about it, if you want to show somebody that you really care, you don’t send an e-mail—you write a note or a card.

Leave a Lasting Impression 

With family, leaving a lasting impression is easy, and you probably don’t need handwritten notes to do it (though it never hurts). But in business, it’s much easier to get lost in the crowd. When you’re networking, at a conference or leaving a meeting, hundreds of cards can be passed around. Even if you’ve had the best conversation with someone, there’s a good chance the person will forget your name, lose your card, or simply neglect to get in touch after a busy day or trip.

So how do you stick out in a crowd? Grandparents are chock full of wisdom, so when you’re thinking about running your business, think about the simplicity of their rules and make sure they’re incorporated into the way you run your business—and the one thing grandparents do well is write meaningful, personalized notes and letters. It’s a lost art but a vital one.

The Most Powerful Form of Communication

Simple, handwritten, thank-you notes go miles. I actually had a bit of a spat with my wife about this the other day because I thought she should write notes to people to say "thank you" (I could get my lazy butt doing it, too, but that’s not the point). Her response was that she calls or e-mails people to say thanks, and I said that it’s just not the same.

Nothing beats a handwritten thank-you note. It’s even more powerful today in our electronic world of fleeting, detached encounters. Getting a handwritten note means you took the time to show your gratitude the right way. And they don’t have to be ones with company logos on them or anything special. As grandmas always say, it’s the thought that counts.

Integrate the Old With the New

Jack Daly, internationally renowned professional sales coach and speaker, takes the handwritten thank-you note philosophy one step further. Jack takes photos of himself with people, often in fun situations. He then uploads those photos to Shutterfly.com, SendOutCards.com, or a similar website where he can quickly type up a personal note to accompany the card. Then, presto, the service mails the card to the person’s address for Jack, and his account gets billed. 

And yeah, you guessed it—those cards don’t get thrown away. Instead, they stay as little marketing reminders to his friends.

In today’s fast-paced business world, e-mails are a dime a dozen. They get lost in in-boxes filled with thousands of other similar-looking e-mails. If you want to build your business, develop lasting impressions and stand out in the crowd, the simple step of handwriting a note is a business strategy you can’t afford to ignore.

Photo: Thinkstock