In this age of digital communications and speedy everything, why in the world would you write a handwritten note to a prospect or customer (and then send it via snail mail)? Well, short of scheduling a face-to-face meeting with the person, there’s no better way to show your respect and appreciation which will increase your customer retention marketing.
The right time to write
- When you want to say thank you (for a big sale, for a referral, for a recommendation, for being a loyal customer).
- When you’re trying to win a new account / customer (i.e. “I very much enjoyed our meeting yesterday. Should we earn your business, I can guarantee…”).
- When your company messes up (often, a handwritten note is just the thing to keep a mistake from turning into a lost customer or a messy legal issue).
- When you want to network (i.e. “I enjoyed our conversation at the PRSA meeting last week and would welcome the opportunity to sit down and talk with you more about your company’s fitness goals and how our facility might be able to help”).
- When you want to prove you’re the consummate professional (i.e. “I’m sorry to hear you chose another agent to list your home, but I very much appreciate the opportunity to provide a proposal. I also want you to know that, should you have any questions or concerns, I’d be happy to offer advice”).
The formula for success
- Resist the urge to really hype your products or services. This is a unique opportunity to show you care (which, today, is often the most alluring sales technique of all).
- Don’t fret about your handwriting. Write slowly; or print if that looks better. People will be so thrilled to see you personally wrote, they’ll be more than willing to overlook any penmanship problems.
- Keep it short, but sweet. You don’t want to be curt, but do try to limit your notes to just three to five sentences.
- Use a conversational writing style. In other words, pretend you’re writing a note to a friend, not a cover letter to a prospective employer.
- Add a little something extra to the envelope. While it may be fine to include a business card, think about adding something even friendlier (like a special “President’s Pass” discount card, or a paper bookmark with your favorite quote).
- Try to write one per day. If you write notes in bulk, they’ll come across as staid and forced. But take 10 minutes every workday to write just one or two truly heartfelt notes, and the recipients will never forget it (or you).
Handwritten notes are classy, unique and memorable. Plus, you’ll find the more notes you send, the more you receive in return (together with appreciative phone calls, gifts and good wishes).