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I sit here at my desk about to write a thank you note to a business associate. Please note that I did not write "email a thank you note" and there’s a reason for that: It doesn’t have the same impact.

I still experience a frisson of excitement when I reach into the box containing my monogrammed note cards. I search for the perfect pen that matches the monogram and then I compose a short letter. When the letter is finished, I look at my collection of stamps and choose just the right stamp for that person. Details, deliberation, conscious thought are all working in sync to ensure that when my reader receives the envelope in the mail, he or she will appreciate the time and energy that went into the note.

Is there any benefit to all this effort?

If your mantra is like mine to "be different", handwritten notes are going to get you noticed. Hardly anyone does it anymore which is why you’re going to stand out from the crowd. In addition to its attention-grabbing effect, handwritten notes say a lot about the way I feel about good manners. If someone has gone out of their way to do me a favor or offer their support or connect me with someone I need to know, a handwritten note is the least I can do to demonstrate my appreciation.

A handwritten note doesn’t disappear with the stroke of the DELETE button – it hangs around longer which is another great reason to take the time to write them. I save the special ones – I received one about a month ago from a young student who attended one of my seminars. Her appreciation of my effort meant a great deal and I promptly wrote her back. Her simple note of thanks netted a return note of support in her job search. [Pretty nifty, huh?]

Taking the time to let someone know that they’ve made an impact on your life should not be underestimated. If you’re building a network of ardent supporters, you need to go beyond the ordinary to let them know how extraordinary you are.


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