When Was The Last Time You Wrote a Letter? I mean a real letter using a pen, paper, envelope and stamp? I don’t mean a letter saved in Word and attached to an email message. A lot of my presentations these days include the art of communicating in a business environment and I always try to find a way to work in this lost art. My typical audience response is never more than 10% – 15% when asked who has written a letter within the last six months.
Technology is great and I would be the first to admit that I will embrace any new technology that’s flashed in front of me. But this process has dealt a terrible blow to the wonderful art of letter writing.
Communicating with the people in our lives effectively is so important. Sometimes all it takes is an email. Other times it might require a telephone call [another lost art]. But sometimes it requires a well-crafted letter.
As leaders we need a personal touch more often than we think. Connecting with an employee to say thank you or congratulations is always a good thing. Following up on a deal with a customer to say thank you should be a standard within your sales process. Dropping a line to a new employee to congratulate and welcome them to the team is a nice touch.
Most people will say that you do all of this but admittedly via email. This is too bad.
Today I want you to think about using the handwritten letter in your day-to-day business environment. I guarantee that the receipt of a letter from you will make a world of difference to the current employee, the customer and the new employee. When I mentioned this lost art in my presentations I often hear comments from people who recently received a letter and how much it affected them and how impressed they were. “Out of the ordinary”, “a surprise”, “a breath of fresh air” are all words I hear on a regular basis from people who have received a letter.
The key to getting back to this lost art is accessibility. In order for this to work for you, you need to go out today and purchase basic notepaper and matching envelopes. You need to place the stack of paper and envelopes near your desk so that every time you think of this it’s an easy grab and a quick note from pen to paper. If the keyboard is easier to get to then the stack of paper, you’ll always default to the keyboard. If the stack is close by all the times, you will soon become a regular letter writer. By the way, I always have a role of stamps nearby so that the whole process is simple, easy and quick.
Notepaper and envelope can be custom made with your name and address or you can purchase nice blank stock off the shelf. Both work just as well.
So next time you want to say thank you, congratulations, I’m sorry or anything else to a colleague, customer, vendor or anyone else, pick up the pen, grab your letterhead and write a quick note. I promise you it makes a difference.
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