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The lost art of the handwritten note

Mike Gulitz
Aug 01, 2010

Your grandmother did it, and probably still does. Tom Hopkins & Brian Buffini built multimillion-dollar Real Estate businesses using them. Even books are written about them! Harvey MacKay, prized author of Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive, writes: "Short, handwritten notes yield long results. In sales, never underestimate the personal gesture, and right at the top of the list of effective personal gestures sits handwritten notes. Always send memorable cards and personal notes when you are reminded of a person." You may be thinking, "This is a generation built on technology. The idea of hand writing notes sounds nice, but I'm busy. I send and receive hundreds of e-mails every day.” And I agree. I too send and receive hundreds of e-mails on a daily basis and have mastered the craft of text messaging. New products built on 3G & 4G networks and CLOUD computing have a regular place in my day-to-day life and search engine optimization has become another ally. Heck, updating my contacts on Facebook and Twitter may as well be another full time job! If I can add handwritten notes to regular contact management solutions, maybe you can too. I'm an evangelist for new technology, especially when it saves time and makes me more efficient. However, I think that we can all agree that there are things that technology cannot replace. I place personal gestures backed by professionalism and courtesy at the very top of that list. A business may be spawned by a great idea, but a business continues to grow from the relationships built throughout the journey. So what's so special about a handwritten note? A person's handwriting is almost as unique as their DNA. It takes more effort to write a note than leave a voicemail or send an email - one of hundreds that they also receive on a regular basis. Only roughly 3% of the postal mail is personal. How close do you stand to the trashcan while sorting mail? Cards & stamps cost money. This is an added value to your time and thoughtful message. Never underestimate the power of an oldie-but-goodie. They say the classics never go out of style. The handwritten note/card is a classic that has been around for thousands of years. How many businesses can say that they remain personal in their contact management? Make yourself one of them.