I have been teaching a class for new and expectant fathers through our local hospital for the past ten years. Twice a month I sit these daddies-to-be around a table and teach them how to change a diaper, swaddle a baby, and take care of the mother. Our two-hour time together is one of my favorite moments each month.
Today I got a Thank You Card in the mail from one of the dads along with a birth announcement. It totally made my day. In the card he told me which tip he found to be the most helpful (it was about keeping more than one diaper bag packed and being responsible for packing them daily, so that his wife could leave the house multiple times.) It was easily my favorite moment of the day.
In fact, it changed the entire outlook of my day. And today was a heck of a day. Mistakes on the cash registers, money shortages, a visit from the police (no, I didn't do anything wrong), employee issues, scheduling conflicts. All that faded into the background because of this one note.
Yes, thank you cards can be that powerful. Which reminds me that I need to write more of them.
I need to thank my top customers, my big spenders. And I should also thank some of the medium spenders and see if I can turn them into big spenders.
I need to thank my best sales reps and let them know how much I appreciate the time they put into working with me. They work long hours, spend a lot of time on the road, and have to put up with a lot of crap. Yet the best ones still have my best interests at heart.
I need to thank my vendors. After all, without them I don't have the largest selection of toys under one roof. They are not my suppliers, they are my partners. Some of them bend over backwards to help me, sending samples for display and prizes for giveaways. They deserve to be appreciated for inventing and producing the great toys that make me money.
If I can feel this good about getting a thank you in the mail, imagine how good your customers will feel about you when you write them a personal, hand-written note. Imagine how much more your reps will want to help your account when you acknowledge all the hard work they do. Imagine how pleasantly surprised your supplier will be when he receives a thank you in the mail. Yes, he will look at your account more favorably.
Frankly, I will admit that I am bad at writing these kinds of notes. But today was a stark reminder to me how powerful they can be and why I need to write more. And now I've reminded you, too. If I could just find a pen...
PS A friend of mine keeps a stack of blank note cards and envelopes on her desk. She starts out every morning by writing notes and getting them in the mail. She says not only does it help her stay on top of the thank you's she needs to write, it also puts her in a good mood to start the day by being grateful to all those who have helped her. (I also imagine her desk is a lot less cluttered than mine - but it is a worthy goal to aspire.)