Thank You Cards are Not Dead
When I look around my office, some of my most prized possessions are thank you cards and notes from clients. There is a sense of fulfillment knowing that someone took the time out of their day to handwrite a note to you.
In this fast paced world we live in, we are evolving into a nation that requires instant gratification and real-time results. With this rate of speed and movement toward a digital atmosphere, we tend to forget to extend our human touch and maintain a personal experience with clients and coworkers. At the end of the day, we are all human and desire to connect and know we are heard. Remembering these elementary principals can really set you apart in the business world.
Top 4 Tips to Success to Be More Personal in a Increasingly Digital World
1: Always send a thank you card.
Remember when your parents would sit you down after your birthday with a stack of thank you cards and a present list? Your parents were onto something then and they are onto something now. Taking the extra time to handwrite a thank you card, especially thanking a donor, or sending a personal note to a client goes a long way. This is a simple way to show that you thoughtfully slowed down and took time out of your busy day to think of them. Xeroxed signatures are not the same, show your constituents that they matter, they are heard and that you care about them enough to take the extra step to handwrite your name. This will grow mutual respect and trust.
2: Be on time.
Even in the digital world, we are all on a tight schedule. When you agree to be on a call or in a video chat, be sure to ‘arrive’ no later than five minutes early. How you display your care for someone else’s time says a lot about your character. Being even 5 minutes late can affect the entire meeting and set others back. Have the respect to show up on time and value other people’s schedules, time and boundaries.
3: Put your phone down.
Do you say this to your kids? Take your own advice and put it away during business engagements. It is not acceptable to set the phone on the meeting table ‘just in case’. Simply put your device out of sight and out of mind and show your clients that their time is the most valuable to you right now and everyone else can wait. Pro-tip: your apple watch can be just as distracting and rude. Send the right message and simply turn off notifications.
4. Show eye contact and listen more than you talk.
Everyone wants to know they are being heard and seen. Provide this simple gesture by maintaining eye contact and engaging in the conversation through listening and asking questions. This displays your genuine interest and that you are capable of resisting the lure of distraction and haste, and most importantly, that you want to be there.
In your drive for success, never forget to show professionalism through proper business etiquette. These simple actions of courtesy that we learned as children are helpful reminders in the chaos of adulthood. Remember, it is not the note that is so impactful, it is the feeling of being valued and important that makes it so special. Never forget the human factor of business and remain genuine, and most of all, never forget your stack of thank you cards.