Stand Out in Business the Write Way
By: Lydia Ramsey
When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a
business associate? It may be that it was too long ago for you to
remember. On the other hand, if you have gotten one lately, you know
exactly who sent it and when. Handwritten notes have become almost extinct
in the business world. So if you are looking for ways to stand from the
crowd, to be noticed by your colleagues and clients, try putting pen to
paper whenever you have the slightest excuse.
There are few acts more impressive than handwriting a letter or a note to
someone with whom you do business or would like to. Most people think that
writing notes by hand requires extra time and effort. Ironically, it can
be quick and painless if you do it frequently and follow these tips:
1. Have writing supplies close at hand. Store stationery and stamps in
the most convenient place in your desk. When you need to send a note, all
you have to do is reach for your stationary, dash off a few lines, address
the envelope, put the stamp in place and mail it.
2. Keep your message brief. These are notes so you only have to come up
with three or four sentences. If you attempt to compose more than a few
lines, writer's block is liable to set in and you will never get past "start."
3. Develop a system. Before you head out of the office to a business meal
or function that someone else is hosting, address an envelop to your
host. It will be a breeze to jot down your short message when you return.
4. Use the appropriate professional stationary. Both single-sided
correspondence cards and fold-over notes with the company name or logo
imprinted on them are business-like and will represent you and your
5. Poor penmanship is no excuse unless your handwriting is totally
illegible. The person who receives your note will appreciate your
thoughtfulness and will not be grading your handwriting. If your
penmanship does not meet your standards, it is never too late to
improve. There are numerous resources at your library or on the Internet
to teach you to write legibly.
6. Use any occasion to get noticed with a note. A few of those instances
You have received a gift
7. Make your message timely. Whether you are sending a note of
appreciation, congratulation or condolence, do it as quickly as possible. A
thank you should go out within 24 to 48 hours. However, don't forgo
sending a note because you think too much time has elapsed. There is no
definite statute of limitations on appreciation.
You were a guest in someone's home
You were hosted to a meal
You received a business favor
You are replying to an invitation
You are sending condolences
You want to offer congratulations
You need to apologize
8. Understand that e-mail is not a substitute for the personal handwritten
message. The Internet is fast, efficient and remote. If you are
corresponding by e-mail immediately following a meeting with a business
associate, include your expression of gratitude, but don't let that stop
you from sending a second message by ground.
Successful people pay attention to the details and look for ways to build
better business relationships. When you take the time to send handwritten
notes, you will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Your
next big sale or job promotion may came about as a result of your doing
business just a little differently.
© 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at email@example.com or visit her web site http://www.mannersthatsell.com