Why the Handwritten Note Should Be Your First Choice of Written Communication

Writing down goals is a timeless technique to achieving them. Keeping a food diary is a proven way to lose weight. The handwritten note is an excellent tool to build a business. All of these things are tried and true, but yet most people don’t do them. Imagine how many thin, successful business women there’d be if more people picked up a pen and paper.

Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, said, “We’re not in the chicken business, we’re in the people business.” Guess what, you’re not in the chicken business either even if you also sell delicious chicken sandwiches. All of your customers are people. All of your team members are people. If you focus on building relationships, your business will grow.

I was a leader and top producer in 3 different direct sales companies over 15 years. My teams were highly productive. In one company, my team consisted of a third of the field and it produced 60% of the sales. The biggest difference between me and other leaders was that I sent 20 – 30 handwritten notes a month to my team. I still get messages from past team members telling me that those notes had an impact on them. I don’t have any irrefutable statistics, and my surveys might not be the most reliable despite the fact that they were conducted on social media, but I am certain a large part of my success in direct sales was a result of the notes I wrote.

I asked how do you feel when you get a handwritten note. Most people said they felt great, loved, appreciated, etc. One person said, “usually don’t care.” I don't know what happened to her in her childhood, but even the handwritten note can't fix everything.

When I started in the direct sales business way back in the day, not everyone had an email address, so my only option for written gratitude, encouragement and celebration was a handwritten note. As email became more popular, I stayed old school with thank you notes and team recognition. Sure, copying and pasting would have been easier, but I don’t think it would have been as impactful. Besides, I had already built up a big stash of note cards I wanted to use.

It is going to take several blog posts to go over the who, what when, where, how and why of note writing. Let's start with why.

Why should you send handwritten notes?

Here is a quote of a response to a question on the survey: In our world of text, e-mail and instant messaging, communication has evolved to be high tech but low touch. A handwritten note communicates a level of value and importance - that something/someone was worth the time.

The respondents of the survey preferred handwritten notes more than 2:1 to all electronic communication combined. Most respondents did say they also like social media posts and emails as long as the messages are personal and genuine.

When the respondents were asked what forms of communication they saved, 91% said they save handwritten notes, 50% save emails, 41% save texts and 0% save ecards.

I also asked two separate questions:
Q: What percentage of hand-addressed snail mail do you open?
A: All respondents said 100%

Q: What percentage of email do you open?
A: Answers ranged from 20 – 100% with 50% being the most frequent answer.

You have a choice of how to send written communication with your team and customers. If you want what you say to have a lasting impact on them, to make them feel special and appreciated and to be guaranteed they are going to open it, your choice should be the handwritten note.

Some of this is taken from the introduction of The Note Book: How to Use the Handwritten Note to Build a Bigger Business. 

Celebrate every day,

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