In the midst of holiday insanity, don’t forget to use this time to thank the people around you for their friendship, support and for being loyal clients.
I am a strong believer in regularly sending cards and letters. I believe the way to someone s heart is through the mail, “snail” mail. The handwritten note is still the most intimate way to get your message across. It has become even more impactful because it is rarely used anymore. Even when the mail is used today, much of it is computer generated and very impersonal.
Over the years when asked about the tips and ideas to be more successful, I always mention the power of cards, notes, and letters.
Follow these simple ideas and watch what happens:
- The goal is to be memorable, to leave a lasting impression.
- The tool is a card or letter. Start by stocking up on cards that make you feel good. Always be on the lookout for great cards that send a special message to your recipient.
- Keep the cards wherever you are. Keep some in your car, in your desk, and in your brief case so that you always have them. Do the same with addresses and with stamps and with a favorite pen or two. This will make it all easier for you to implement the handwritten note. I guarantee it will increase the number of cards you write and the positive impression you leave with others.
- Once you are ready to write, think of a theme for your note. Remind the reader of a recent event that you attended together or a time that you saw each other. If it has been a while, let the person know that s/he was in your thoughts. If the connection is business, refresh his/her memory.
- Practice being brief. One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing is to write too much. You don’t have to say everything in one card or letter. State your message with power. Most of the time, less is more. Fewer words result in a bigger impact. Get in the habit of using your words wisely. Be careful of catch words and phrases. Also, be careful of overused words that will make you sound fake or phony.
- Once you’ve completed your note, re-read it as if you were the recipient. The greatest key to writing a direct message is to visualize that person reading it as you write it. Make it real. Envision him or her receiving your note with excitement; see them opening and reading it. Feel the power of your words from the receiver’s eyes.
I once received a letter many years ago from an old friend, Dr. Timmons from the psychology department of LSU. He wrote me a short letter in three parts. He said he did it so I could get the full flavor of who he was. I have never forgotten that and never will. As a matter of fact, I have kept that letter for 23 years and I read it every now and again. It makes me feel good and still puts smile on my face.
So take the time this holiday to write a few notes to those who have been important in your life, to those you feel gratitude, and give them the full flavor of who you are. The late Zig Ziglar coined the phrase, “Have an attitude of gratitude.” According to Zig, “The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” It will make you feel good and it will make them feel good for having been remembered.
Have a safe and happy holiday!