We all know the power of personal notes. Yes, we all do whether we send them out or not.
Think back to the last time you were sorting thru your pile of junk mail and nestled in the middle of the disarray of fliers (trash), postcard ads(trash), bills(trash)(oops, better keep those), and circulars(trash) and a HAND ADDRESSED envelope with a note or letter to YOU (STOP)!
Maybe it was your birthday or maybe it was just for no particular reason. You STOPPED with an internal dialog maybe something like mine when this happens. (this is all before I even open it.)
WOW! Look at this.All that just for a quick note. Then you open it and IMMEDIATELY go straight to the END to see who signed. I guess that's why Paul and other New Testament writers put the "signature line" right up front. But I digress...
Don't recognize it.
Looks like a card of some kind.
Wonder who it's from.
No return address on the front.
Oooh...>Heres one on the back.
No name, just an address. 5656 Prarie Lane.... OKLAHOMA????
OK, let's check this out.
What an impact! And we know that these notes to our clients, friends and family have a powerful impact their lives, on our business , and on ourselves as we take the time to write them. Do you think they toss these notes with the rest of the JUNK MAIL... NO WAY. They keep them. Sometimes for years.
Doesn't seem to matter what's in the note as long as its handwritten and from someone you know. They're either wishing you HAPPY BIRTHDAY, 'How's it going', 'Congratulations on your recent _____', or 'Just wanted to say HI'.
We all love to receive notes. Maybe you've received one when you needed some encouragement or you'd recently celebrated some milestone. Or maybe you received one from a salesman thanking you for your time. Wouldn't you be more likely to talk to him again.
Maybe even send him a referral! AH-hah... Now I've got your attention.
I know the owner of a print shop. She tells me that she prints lots of personalized thank you notes. It's one of her most popular items. It's the development of relationships that will drive your business forward faster than anything else you can do. The key to richer relationships is becoming a remarkable value to your clients and contacts. Ultimately, effective networking that brings your business to the point of Working By Referral (only!) comes down to how much you give. Networking is all about becoming a PERSON OF VALUE for your network.
But you say, "I just can't write notes. I never know what to say or when to send them and really.... I don't have time for it." Let me encourage you to MAKE TIME for it. It will enrich your life beyond measure. Giving to others is the best 'high' of all!
Think on two levels when you are writing your personal notes.
- First and foremost, you are seeking to enrich the lives of the people to whom you write. (this is the PERSONAL side of your habit) Remember, true networking is about what you can give. Getting comes later...
- Develop a disciplined, systematic method of sending out your notes. Set a goal of 3 per day or 10 per week. (this is the BUSINESS side of your habit) Remember, effective networking brings you a constant stream of new leads and contacts.
So what do you write to them about.
The answer is just about ANYTHING and nothing. Certainly you will write them when a special event happens in their lives -- both good and bad ones. Celebrate with them and mourn with them. Any opportunity you have to encourage or edify them with your notes is golden! Don't miss it. Just go to you local stationery store or Office Depot or Staples and pick up a few packs of blank note cards. Usually what you'll want is a card something with a generic on the front. A nice picture of a landscape, ocean, forest, mountain cabin is perfect. You'll even find some with a nice phrase or generic quote either on the front or on one flap of the inside. That's ok too, but nothing more than that. Remember, the card is about what you write to them. Don't detract from that with too much going on with the card itself.
WHAT DO I WRITE? GREAT question.
Simply write from your heart. Write what you'd like to hear. I know sometimes the words just don't come. In that case, I'd recommend a great little book for you.
This book is a tremendous desktop reference tool. Read it just once and you'll be on your way. Refer to it when you get that occasional Writer's Block. Personal Notes: How to Write from the Heart for Any Occasion
I've learned that notes are so much more than a TOOL TO GET REFERRALS (although it seems to work that way) Notes will bless and enrich the lives of the recipients. They will be possibly that one bright spot in an otherwise ROTTEN DAY.
I've been using this book for about six months now. The author, Sandra E Lamb offers a step by step process to learn to convey the real you in your notes. This process is so helpful when you know what you want to say in your heart but the words just don't come out for you.
This is extremely helpful for me when i need to write a note of condolence and encouragement for a lost loved one, lost job, or onset of serious illness.
I keep it next to my desk now and pull it whenever I have a little WRITERS BLOCK...
Check out the book description page at AMAZON.Personal Notes: How to Write from the Heart for Any Occasion
Dennis Volz Insurance Agency
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