When was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? Thank you card? Mailed out a birthday card? Now, how many? If you had to think about this longer than a minute or two, then you should consider sending out cards more often.
With the technology* we have today, everything is done instantly. That is great for productivity and work, but not so great when it comes to building relationships. If you have read my relationship networking etiquette posts, this post like those help you create and nurture relationships within your network. The single-most effective way that has kept me close to the people in my network is by simply being thankful.
People enjoy the feeling they are appreciated, right? If I could meet for lunch and tell someone I value them I would. We know that our schedules do not always work with us, so why not express my gratitude in a card?
On Twitter, I won a drawing for a free book. When it came in the mail, it felt good to have something tangible in my hand instead of an e-version. The gesture to send a thank you card was easy and so worth the 10 minutes to do it!
After an initial meeting with a potential client, I always send a thank you card. Spending time with someone for an hour discussing how RT Consulting can increase their business is always worth sending a card.
When someone has responded to my e-mail, I thank them.
When someone has shared advice or encouraged me, I thank them.
When someone you know gets a new job or promotion, congratulate them.
Sometimes there doesn’t have to be a specific reason to send a card, but send one anyway.
Now it is your turn to tell your own network and relationships how thankful you are for them. Trust me, your gesture will not return void.
*For the technology driven, here are some apps for your smartphone to help send cards.