INSPIRED BIZ NEWS October, 2014 Issue #136

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Promotion of the Month
  • Inspired Quote for This Issue
  • Is the Handwritten Thank You Note a Lost Art?
  • See Things As You Want Them to Be
  • Who Hates Hype – and Should You Care?
  • A Touch of Humor: Appreciated

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INSPIRING QUOTE FOR THIS ISSUE:

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them “” every day begin the task anew.” “” Saint Francis de Sales


IS THE HANDWRITTEN THANK YOU NOTE A LOST ART?
By Lydia Ramsey

When was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? I venture to say that you can clearly recall the moment. Why is that? Because the thank you note is becoming a lost art and stands out like a neon sign.

Very few people take the time to pick up pen and paper to express their gratitude. Technology is killing the personal touch. Most people would rather text or email to convey their thanks. While it is fast and efficient, technology lacks any sort of personal connection.

The handwritten note is an especially important means of communication in both the personal and professional world.  If you want to build and maintain relationships, not to mention profit in the business world, you need to understand the value of writing notes by hand.

If your goal is to stand out from your competition, be noticed and be remembered, the simple act of writing a note to your potential or current client or to a business colleague will help you to accomplish just that.

When should you write a thank you note?

  • Whenever someone takes more than fifteen minutes to do something for you. You may simply receive the gift of someone’s time, their advice, a helping hand or an online mention. Whenever another person does something thoughtful, return the favor with a small gift of your time by writing a note.   Many people tell me that they save personally written notes.
  • Whenever you receive a gift, a handwritten thank you is the only acceptable response. Sending an email or texting is not enough.Old-fashioned as it may sound, mail a personal acknowledgement.
  • Whenever you receive an introduction to a potential client, a handwritten thank you note is in order.
  • Whenever someone gives you the gift of their time to meet with you, send a personal note.
  • Always write to thank the person who has treated you to a meal.

What are the rules for sending a proper handwritten thank you note?

  • Be brief. That is probably the good news. It need not take all day. A handwritten thank you does not need to be lengthy. If that’s what is holding you back, get over it. Your note does not need to exceed three or four sentences.
  • Use appropriate stationary that reflects your brand. A single-sided correspondence card works as well as a fold-over note. If you are writing a note to a business client or associate, use a card or note that reflects your personal brand.  For example, my business note cards are imprinted with my logo for Manners That Sell.
  • Write your note by hand. At this point, most people use the excuse that their handwriting is awful or just plain illegible. It doesn’t matter. People do not judge you by your penmanship, but by your personal effort.

What is a simple formula to help you create a handwritten thank you note?

  • Use an appropriate greeting.  Begin with “Dear Mr. Jones” if this is your first time corresponding. Never use a client’s first name until you have permission. If you know the person well and are on a first name basis,  you can start with “Dear John,” “Hi John,” or Hello John.” Always begin with a greeting – preferably “dear”  – followed by the person’s name or title and name.
  • Acknowledge the gift or the event specifically.  Say, “Thank you for the book,” or “Thank you for lunch.”
  • Mention how you will use the gift or remember the event. “I will enjoy reading the book and am sure I will find it useful.” For lunch or dinner, you might say how much you enjoyed the particular restaurant – calling it by name – and describing a specific aspect of the meal or conversation.
  • Close with another thank you. Don’t feel you are overdoing it to repeat your appreciation. You are reinforcing your gratitude.
  • Use an appropriate closing. Depending upon your relationship, use the words, “Regards,” “Sincerely,” “All the best,” or whatever feels comfortable for the situation.

Two final tips:

  1. Keep your fold-over notes or correspondence cards close at hand along with stamps. That will make it easy for you to return to your office and dash off a thank you without delay.
  2. Do not hesitate to thank the other person three times: once in person, again with a quick email and finally with that unforgettable handwritten note.

The polished professional does not hesitate to do all that it takes to impress a client or colleague. Attention to basic business etiquette can go a long way toward building your professional image and causing you to be remembered when it’s time to discuss that next business deal.

© 2014, Lydia Ramsey.  All rights reserved.

Author Profile: Lydia Ramsey is America’s leading authority on business etiquette. She is a professional speaker and author of Manners That Sell. She travels the globe, offering keynotes and seminars on business etiquette, professional conduct and customer service to individuals and organizations. To read more articles and receive free business etiquette advice register for her newsletter at http://lydiaramsey.com/newsletter-sign/.  For more information on her products and services or via her website at http://www.lydiaramsey.com.


SEE THINGS AS YOU WANT THEM TO BE
By Mentor Max

How can you make your dream come true, if you don’t have one?
Visualize your goals and your subconscious will begin to work
toward making your mental pictures come true.

You’ll gradually grow into any condition you desire,
provided you adjust your mental attitude to mirror
the person who corresponds to those conditions.

If you advance with confidence in the direction of your dreams,
and begin to live the life you imagine,
you’ll meet with success beyond your wildest imagination.

The only way to discover your limits of the possible
is to go beyond them into the impossible.

You’re the one who can stretch your horizon.


WHO HATES HYPE ­ AND SHOULD YOU CARE?
By Marcia Yudkin

For more than a decade, I’ve had a listening post up on this topic, observing wailing and head-scratching on both sides. On the one hand, many marketers model and advise weird, emotion-soaked headlines, fast-talking superlatives, hard-to-believe claims and a tone of carnival-barker excitement. Anything goes, as long as it converts. Indeed, for this crowd, response data rules, and they’re genuinely bewildered why anyone would take issue with what works.

On the other side are organizations who refuse to post content with that tone, experts who deploy hype but confess their embarrassment with it and clients who email me,  “Please, can you write something I won’t be ashamed to use?”

To be clear, we’re talking about headlines like these (with text that continues in that tone):

  • Who Else Wants a Tsunami of Traffic?
  • Killer Blogging Tips from the Genius Who Slays Doubters for Breakfast
  • Annihilate the Competition with These Seven Game-Changing Social Media Moves

Four types of people tend to recoil from that approach.

  1. Ex-academics and highly educated folks who subscribe to The New Yorker and listen to public radio. These sophisticates feel the hypey style of marketing is low class and not worthy of them. In their minds, using it would be like shaking hands with a reporter from the National Enquirer. Also included here are many Europeans brought up to admire restraint who find this style overwrought and overly American.
  2. Introverts. Self-reliant men and women who hang back from showing off in front of others and who don’t strive to outdo the Joneses dislike hot air and hoopla in behavior and in prose. No matter how much you tell them it works, they can’t bring themselves to embrace hype.
  3. Socially conscious and heart-centered entrepreneurs. Touchy-feely types who wear environmentalism, compassion, political activism or spirituality on their sleeves shudder at the aggressiveness of hype and prefer a softer, gentler approach. Writing in a voice that fits their values matters greatly to this group.
  4. Organizations with a sedate image to maintain. Direct-response writers moan about these kinds of clients, who may refuse even to test copy that seems undignified or smarmy. Organizations whose credibility lies in a somewhat conservative persona may be right to put their image first.According to James Hale Sr., a marketing director at the Mayo Clinic, his hospital experimented with  “sensational, shout-out copy” but found it lowered response, because it clashed with what the public expected from an A-list medical institution.

Are any of the above categories of people your target market? If so, you may find more success in the lower-key approach the Mayo Clinic kept to after its experimentation. If not, then you may be better off studying the masters of hype and adopting their techniques.

Don’t be a mindless copycat. Don’t be intimidated by successful people who insist you can find your audience and cash in only by following their lead. Find the tone you can live with and that makes the cash register ring because your customers enjoy it.

Author Profile: Marcia Yudkin is a copywriting and branding expert and the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, along with 15 other books.   Her ebook No-Hype Copywriting: The Keys to Lively, Appealing and Truthful Sales Writing, is available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords.   Follow her on Twitter (@marciasmantras) or learn more about no-hype copywriting at http://www.yudkin.com/nohypesummit.htm.


A TOUCH OF HUMOR: APPRECIATED

Appreciated

The workers in a large office were making secret plans to stage a big office party for the 70-year old cleaning woman who had spent the better part of her life with the company.

Somehow the secret leaked out and the woman got wind of it. Much perturbed, she rushed to the office manager. “Please sir,” she cried,

“Do not let them do it! Do not let them do it!”

“Oh, come now, Mrs. Smith, you must not be so modest. After all, they simply want to show how much you are appreciated.”

“Appreciated, my foot,” exclaimed the woman. “I am NOT going to clean up after a mess like that!”

————–

College Future

A mother and father were chatting with their eight-year-old son about his future. The youngster said he’d like to attend Cornell, as his parents and other members of the family had.

Pleased with his response, they pressed on. “What would you like to take when you attend college?” they asked the little boy.

After giving it some thought and glancing around the kitchen, he replied, “The refrigerator, if you can get along without it.”


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