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How to Make Yourself Memorable
By Eileen O. Brownell   Printer Friendly Version

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated -- William James


A few years ago, a friend gave me a copy of The Harvey Mackay Rolodex Network Builder. Mr. Mackay had given him several copies of the $8.95 book to present at his networking seminars. I promptly wrote Harvey a note to express my appreciation for his generosity and willingness to share knowledge. A letter arrived within a few weeks from Mr. Mackay. Initially I thought it was a form letter until I noticed he alluded to specifics from my note. "WOW," I thought. Here was a multimillionaire, the author of several books, CEO of a major American corporation and a keynote speaker acknowledging my simple handwritten note.

Six months later, a book arrived in the mail. It was a copy of Mr. Mackay's fourth book. He would be presenting at the National Speakers Association (NSA) Convention that summer and wanted all the members to have a copy prior to his speech. Again I promptly sent a thank you card acknowledging his generous gift. Within six weeks, my original thank you came back with a personal note from Mr. Mackay. He expressed appreciation for my note, indicated a willingness to autograph his book at the NSA convention and then complimented me on my handwriting. I was impressed. Here was a very busy man who had made time to again acknowledge my simple handwritten thank you note. No wonder he was a successful multimillionaire! Certainly he had repeatedly made himself memorable.

You may have received a thank you note from a business after you have purchased a product or service. In most instances the acknowledgment is a form letter that starts with "Dear Customer," or it is a computer letter personalized with your name and address. Very few individuals take the five minutes it requires to acknowledge or thank someone with a personal handwritten note of recognition for their patronage. If you truly want to make your customers or potential customers feel appreciated and special, then take the time to write and send a 'making yourself memorable' note. Hand written personal notes have almost become a lost art. It may truly be the one extraordinary customer service step that brings the client back again and again.

Here are a few of the reasons why you want to write personal notes.

The customer feels special. Everyone wants to feel special. Fourteen years ago, I was shopping for a new automobile. I had made the rounds of numerous dealers looking for a particular model and color at a specific price. Most dealers laughed and would not give me the time of day. One particular salesman convinced his boss to sell me my dream car at my offer. The only problem was the dealership did not have it in white. They tried several other local dealers, but the perfect car was just not to be found. I left the dealership disappointed. Two days later, a personal note arrived. The salesman expressed appreciation for my time and was hopeful we would be able to do business in the future. Of the eight to ten dealerships that I had visited over four months, this was the first salesman to write me a personal note. I felt important and believed my business was truly wanted.

The customer feels appreciated. Impressed by salesman's note, I called and asked him to keep my name and number in case they got my dream car. I had not done that with any other dealership. Impressed by his efforts and customer appreciation, ultimately I took my new vehicle to his dealership for service. I would not have done that if I had not felt truly appreciated and wanted.

The customer wants to be acknowledged. Have you ever walked through the door of a store, and nobody said "Hi"? Have you ever purchased a home, a car, or taken an expensive vacation where the salesperson did not say "Thank you," in some special way? We expect a verbal thank you for any of our purchases, but a written response truly indicates the individual believes our business is worthy of a personal written acknowledgment. It is like the icing on the cake. The homemade cake is good without the frosting, but it tastes great and makes it memorable when a little something extra is added.

The customer wants to be thanked. A personally written note is an extension of gratitude and appreciation. It sets you apart from all others, just like the handwritten note from the car salesman set him head and shoulders above all others. It also indicates you know the effort that was expended by the customer when they chose to patronize your business establishment.

A note makes you memorable. Handwritten personal notes are almost a lost art in today's business world. Because they so seldom cross our desks, they make the individual who has taken the time to write it remembered in the mind of the receiver.

It shows proper etiquette and good manners. In our fast-paced business world, people seldom stop to express their gratitude. When an individual has done something to assist you, given of their time, purchased an item or entertained you, a handwritten note is an expression of good manners and proper etiquette.

There are numerous events and acts that deserve to be acknowledge by a personal handwritten note. Some of them include a major purchase from you or your business; the donation of a person's time for your benefit; a job interview; a luncheon meeting; a presentation made to your service club; a lead to a potential prospect; a golf game; a networking opportunity; and a gift.

You can express your appreciation and thanks in a multitude of ways. Some may extend a thank you in an e-mail while others send a facsimile. Facsimiles may not always reach the intended individual. Be careful with an e-mail thank you, especially if you are expressing thanks to more than one person. Recently, I picked a fellow professional up at the local airport, took her to the hotel, waited while she checked in and then took her to dinner with other members of our professional organization. She forwarded an e-mail to eight of us to express her appreciation with a generalized statement, "Thanks for everything. I really appreciated your time." It was a lazy person's way out of acknowledging the efforts of everyone who had made her trip special.

If you feel unable to compose three to four lines expressing your gratitude then try a commercial card. The inside verse may assist you in composing your thoughts. Only use a typewriter if your handwriting is so poor that no one can read it -- not even your assistant. A typed note may indicate it is a standardized form letter you have on your computer, leading the receiver to believe they are not that special in your eyes.

Making yourself memorable notes are easy to compose and create. Begin with the individual's name. Reinforce the gift, purchase or deed they did. Indicate why they are special or how their act was exceptional. Express your appreciation and then ultimately state your thanks. A simple note might look like this:

Dear Joe,
It was great doing business with you.
Thank you again for choosing us as you supplier.
I look forward to serving you in the future.

Or...

Dear Mary,
You were fantastic! All the points were covered
in your presentation. Thanks again for making
the meeting special.

Or...

Dear Harry,
Super order! Thanks for your support and belief
in our product. Let's do lunch soon.

Thank you notes are easy to compose and only require three to four lines to express your gratitude for the act of kindness, gesture, or the purchase of a product or service. Keep a stack of inexpensive note cards and stamps in your office desk drawer, so they are always available and easy to use. You will certainly make yourself memorable and unforgettable.


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