A while back, I did a blog post about Jeff Hajek’s book, Whaddya Mean I Gotta Be Lean? Jeff sent me an email the day after the post ran, thanking me for my favorable comments about his book. I thought that was great. A couple of days later, I received a handwritten note in my snail mail from Jeff. It read…
I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to review Whaddya Mean on your blog. I am cognizant of the fact that you have gone out of your way to help me, so if there is anything I can ever do to return the favor, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Handwritten notes are not very common these days. I was pleased that Jeff took the time to write one and send it to me. By doing so, he strengthened his relationship with me. If he ever asks for my help, I’ll give it to him. Also, he offered his help to me. I feel I can go to him if I need assistance in his area of expertise. Jeff used a simple technique—a handwritten note—to build his relationship with me.
My post helped Jeff—any exposure helps. But I reviewed his book because I thought it would be useful to readers of this blog. My intent was to provide my blog readers with useful information. So my review was a win/win/win. Good for my readers, good for Jeff, and good for me because I am meeting one of my goals. All of us benefited.
One of the pharma companies where I do a lot of consulting and coaching work has picked up on this idea. They have placed blank fold over thank you notes—with one of their core values on the front of the card—at convenient locations in their offices. Their intent is to get employees to thank one another for good work. And it’s working. People are sending these handwritten notes to their colleagues, strengthening relationships within the company.
I’ve invested in a set of note cards with my name printed at the top and my return address on the back flap of the envelope. I suggest that you do the same—you’ll find yourself writing more thank you notes when you have a card handy.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are good at building relationships. Say “thank you” often—even for little favors. You’ll succeed, build a strong personal brand, and build a legacy of being a nice person. Besides thanking people in person, handwritten notes are a great way of saying thank you. Handwritten thank you notes establish you as someone who is willing to go a little out of your way to build relationships—the hallmark of successful people.