It’s ok to say it. Really. It’s not that hard at all.
Can you remember the last time you received a thank you note from someone that you do business with?
I regularly get a mass-printed corporate looking thank you postcard with the business person’s picture on it. It’s laser printed, including the guy’s signature. I figure that he knows I got his card, but he was involved in paying the bill to have the card mailed and that’s about it.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and place for those kinds of cards – marketing and random, fun customer touches. However, THANK YOUs are NOT the time and place for that kind of card.
I understand he may think he has better things to do than write cards, but let’s talk about it, then you can decide.
Do I think this guy appreciates my business? I think he probably does, but that’s because I know him from elsewhere. He’s in a price-shopped industry that isn’t known for “I stand out in a crowd”. He could stand out easily with some effort, but in his industry, the “industry norm” (ie: what the sheep do and say) is that you will eat beans and rice for 5 years as you grow your customer base, and after 5 years, you are pretty well set for life.
Does the card show his appreciation? Not even close. Maybe the laser printed signature gave it away.
People tend to be annoyed with the guys that sell what he sells. We assume they are impersonal, distant and generally don’t give a crap….just because of what they do. It’s easy to clear that assumption away with a hand-written note.
Does this card tell me “That’s not true about me, I really care!!”
Does this card tell me “It’s my job to take care of your business and keep your out of harm’s way”
Do I think this guy is a friend because I get laser printed cards from him?
Friends don’t send friends thank you cards with laser printed signatures.
Can you remember the last pre-printed thank you note you got from a friend? I’m guessing you don’t.
You get hand written cards from friends. Sometimes cards picked out just for you. Sometimes, cards from a set they bought or had printed. Sometimes, cards they made by hand. Think about the “map” that the leading man in the movie Elizabethtown received to lead him from his father’s little town back to the big city. Do you think her card showed that she cared? No question about it. Who wouldn’t want to get a map like that?
Can you remember the last hand written thank you note you got from an insurance agent, the lady at the dry cleaners, your financial planner or the nice guy at the oil change place?
Can you remember the last time you sent a thank you card or note to a customer – and that card or note wasn’t pre-printed? When you’re at home watching The Apprentice (and I hope you are, we’ll talk about that sometime), why can’t you address and write a brief note on a few cards?
Isn’t my business worth 10 or 15 words, 39 cents and a card? Don’t you want me thinking about your business when I open my mail, rather than thinking about the businesses who I *do* get mail from?
Now back to my original question. Can you remember the last time you received a thank you note from someone that you do business with?