I am so grateful that I live in an age where technology provides us with so many incredible options for communicating. I share my life on social media through check-in’s, posts and pictures. I can text as fast as my teenagers, and I Skype with friends from across the globe on a regular basis. There are so many fun ways to create connections, and stay connected with people!
…there is something really wonderful about good, old fashioned, hand-written mail that was sent with a stamp on it. Do you remember the way you felt as a kid when a pen pal or grandparent mailed you a letter or post card and you saw it appear in the mailbox? Do you still feel that way when there is one hand-addressed card that stands out from all the junk mail and bills? Do you realize how easy it is for you to create that feeling in someone else? All it takes is a little thought, and a 49-cent stamp.
Sending a little note or card is easy to talk about, but for whatever reason, it is often harder to do on than one would think. We live in a world with so many distractions, we must actually make sending “snail mail” a priority if it is going to happen.
The first thing you need to do to increase your chances of following through and sending someone some real mail is to be prepared. Consider having some custom stationery or cards printed. Or do what I do and buy packages of cute, blank note cards when you see them on sale. Buy a roll of stamps. (Or at least a couple sheets.) Have these most basic things on hand and you will have a few less excuses about why you didn’t send that card.
The second thing is to be proactive. If you are by nature a list-maker and/or a schedule-keeper, carve out a window of time for sending cards and put it on your calendar. Have a set time (and place) where every week you spend 30 minutes writing letters, sending birthday cards, and mailing notes to people you know. For those who are more the “free spirit” type, you need to start training yourself to stop and write (and mail!) the note as soon as you think about. You know that little voice in your head that whispers to you at times? “The chamber representative who hosted this morning’s meeting was great. I should send her a note.” Start listening to that voice. As soon you think about someone, stop and write the note right then. Keep some blank cards and stamps in your purse, briefcase or car to help with this.
Still unsure how to best use snail mail to create connections with people you meet? Thank you cards and/or nice to meet you cards are a great way to start. For people you have known a little longer, birthday and anniversary cards are nice. Casey Eberhart is someone I have seen present several times and he does this very well. One of my favorite tips that I’ve learned from him is to subscribe to magazines about things that your clients and colleagues are interested in and send them articles of interest. What better way to create a positive moment for someone than to provide that warm fuzzy feeling of a hand-addressed envelope than to put something positive and personal inside like a recipe or article that you know they would enjoy?
An excerpt from the new book, Creating Connections, by Vickie Musni & Mitch Taylor (Chapter 6)