Sending thank-you notes is one of the greatest business relationship strategies of all.
In this world of being bombarded by digital messages, the hand-written note has become the most cherished of all things we receive.
I know you’ve experienced that little blip of excitement when you see that personal envelope arrive -shrouded in a sea of generic correspondences.
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You go for it first.
So does your clients, your supporters, your staff, your peers, and your prospects.
While sending thank-you notes should definitely become part of your weekly ritual, there are a few special times of the year when expressions of gratitude mean a lot.
As you begin to review your year in detail (use whatever calendars, reports, and correspondences you have available), make a list of every person that’s played a role in your business success for the last six months.
- Which new and returning clients brought in critical revenues that contributed to your success?
- How did each staff member give a unique contribution to your success?
- Who went out on a limb for you with referrals, testimonials, and recommendations?
- Who did you turn to when you needed sound advice, a fresh perspective, or a good kick in the pants?
- Who were the new people that came into your life this year who could potentially become great clients, supporters, or referrers?
- Which professional services providers went above-and-beyond to help you meet that insane deadline or keep you on-track, in compliance, or in any way allowed you to be freed up to do what you do best?
Now that you’ve got a great list, prioritize it. You want to make sure you get the most important ones done first.
[bctt tweet=”Know that your words will always mean the most of all.”]
Pick your day (the three work days between Christmas and New Years are especially good) and make sure you have all your supplies already on hand.
- Purchase a nice stamp series that is relevant for the occasion.
- Have addresses compiled and ready.
- Purchase your cards. Whether you choose to have some custom-made or buy them off-the-shelf, remember that the more personal to each recipient, the more meaningful.
- Bonus points: Can you think of some special personal insert? Maybe a picture, a news clipping, an article, a gift certificate, just something whimsical. Plan ahead for those things, too, keeping each insert as personal as possible to that particular recipient. Don’t stress this part. If it’s easy, do it. Otherwise, forget it. Know that your words will always mean the most of all.
On this special “Thank You Day”, aim to send out at least 25 cards if you possibly can.
Pour yourself a nice cup of coffee and start writing.
The more specific your note to each person, the more meaningful it will be. Give them a specific example or two of how they helped you make the year a success.
Finish those first 25 and treat yourself to a little celebration. You’ve earned it.
Expressing gratitude is a total win-win. Not only is the recipient moved by your thoughtfulness but, with each note you write, you are reminded just how blessed you are to have so many people supporting you and believing in you. What could be better than that?
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Do you have other ways of expressing gratitude to your business supporters? What other end-of-year activities do you find worthwhile? I welcome your comments!