There is one business tactic that most of you have not put into your daily practice and could easily put you directly in front of your competition.
It is a hand written, self-stamped THANK YOU NOTE!
Not a quick email, meaningful tweet or facebook post, but a sincere old-fashioned pleasantry. That’s right, sending a thank you note has become a lost art.
Some would say building relationships has become easier with the aforementioned social networks. This may be true in quantity but unfortunately not always in quality. I like these social networks as much as the next guy but we have lost the importance of “personal touch.”
Sending a meaningful thank you note will set you apart from your competition and make you stand out in this fast-paced, busy world. Be creative, be specific and include details to show you truly care.
The easiest and most cost-efficient way is to get a stack of postcards with your logo on them. The postcard above is one I created for my husband (yep, he's in sales too). You can use these as reminders, follow-ups and thank you notes. Have these sitting on the corner of your desk to help make this a daily practice.
There are three simple rules:
·Be Timely – best if you send these within 24 hours. (Just get it done.)
·Be Brief – no need to make writing these (or reading them) a chore.Keep it simple.
·Be Sincere – don’t use standard clichés. Just be honest and affirm your gratitude.
Always remember to proofread. You don’t want to appear sloppy and unprofessional.
H.J. Heinz, of the Heinz 57 empire, has been deemed one of the founders of what we know today as public relations. His unique branding, ability to keep his company in the public eye and the beginning of corporate give-aways with his signature “Pickle Pin” are only a few reasons why his company has stayed on top for over a century.
During the 1853 World’s Fair in Chicago, H.J. Heinz was disappointed with his company’s poor location and the unbearable heat did not help. Heinz hired half a dozen boys to scatter specialty printed tags across the fair grounds.
When patrons bent down to pick up a tag it simply said, “Come to the second floor of the agricultural building to get a FREE prize.” In 1953 the word “FREE” was not nearly as over used as it is today, there were no gimmicks or conditions, free was free and patrons flocked to the Heinz location to get their prize. What was the prize? It was a lapel pin in the shape of a pickle. The pickle pin was born.
That week the Heinz company gave away 1 million pickle pins and 50 million in the first year. The pickle pin has been continuously offered for over a century making it one of the longest running and most successful promotions in history.
What’s your company’s signature? Is it in the hands of your customers?