One of the least expensive, most powerful tools in a sales person’s toolbox is a note card. Add a pen, 10 minutes and a modicum of thoughtfulness; presto – you have a thank you note.
Yet so few bother. And that’s just plain crazy. Because everyone knows it’s much more expensive to find a new customer than to keep an old one.
It’s hard to defend any rationale behind why the majority fail on this most basic of social interactions. Too hectic? Too lazy? Too convinced that an email is good enough? Worse yet, are we really just too self-absorbed?
Whatever the reason, if this shoe fits, wear it. Customers deserve better. It’s not to suggest that they aren’t receiving whatever goods or services they paid for. It IS to suggest that they don’t receive enough appreciation for choosing us, collaborating with us, risking for us, and forgiving us when we screw up.
I’m not talking about a perfunctory, “thank you for your business” note. Those can be churned out by anyone. I’m talking about taking the time to say “thank you for trusting me / collaborating with me / making this project such a success” – whatever ought be said that makes it personal, meaningful and specific. A message that conveys you value them enough to bother – via a notecard, in ink, by your hand. Believe me, it’s powerful. And, when your competition tries to knock you out of the incumbent’s box, your customer will think, “I care too much about my relationship with ____ to make a move.”
Who deserves your thank you note today? Get cracking. Mine are waiting for tomorrow’s mail. Yes, you need a postage stamp.