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  • Personal mail is only 1 percent of daily mail, so a handwritten note stands out.
  • Who would be a good recipient for a personal note?
  • The best times to write personal notes.

Nothing in my career took less time, cost less money and produced bigger results than personal notes.

According to the 2012 U.S. Postal Service Household Diary Study, personal mail is only 1 percent of the mail we receive weekly. A handwritten note is sure to stand out from the impersonal mailers and bills.

What better way to set yourself apart from your competition than by expressing your gratitude, care and concern through a thoughtful note? Here are some quick tips to consistently implement this powerful relationship-building strategy into your business today.

Whom should I write a note to?

The short answer: Write a note to anyone and everyone you want to thank or everyone you’d like to build a relationship with. This includes:

Current and past clients
What better way to touch base than with a personal note to check in, express gratitude for their business and remind them that you’re never too busy for their referrals?

Family and friends
Your loved ones and friends have had an impact on your life. Tell them how much they mean to you. They’ll be touched by sentiment, and it’ll grow your relationship.

Your personal service providers
Whether you’ve been using them for years or you’re a brand-new customer, a short note expressing gratitude for the services you received will make their day.

Lenders and agents you do business with
We all enjoy working with people we genuinely like. Build your relationships with these folks by writing them a personal note after you work with them, and say how much you enjoyed working with them and look forward to doing it again in the future.

Business owners you respect
Writing a personal note to business owners that you currently refer or work with allows you to deepen your relationships with them. Similarly, writing to business owners you respect can help you establish the foundation for a lasting relationship.

Someone you’d like to meet
Instead of admiring someone from afar, write them a personal note. Not only will the gesture stand out, it’ll also leave a positive lasting impression on the recipient.

When is the best time to write a note?

Write a note anytime. Make it a habit to write a few every day. Here are a some ideas to get you started:

To follow up
Write a short note after you speak with a client on the phone, deliver a pop-by, meet with them or after you send them your monthly marketing flier.

When you receive a referral
A personal note not only acknowledges the client referred to you, but it also provides you with the opportunity to thank them for doing so.

As a gesture of appreciation
Send a note to say thanks when someone goes above and beyond to help you, whether as a personal favor or excellent service.

Throughout the transaction
Write personal notes to the clients you’re currently working with. If they’re on the fence about buying or selling, write a note to reassure them about the market.

During a transaction
Send a short note to tell them that you’re working hard to help them find the right buyer or find the right home for them to assure them of your expertise.

Once the transaction has closed
Write a note explaining that you enjoyed working with them and look forward to providing them with excellent service, which sets the stage for a lasting relationship.

To reconnect
Although you might try to maintain relationships with all of your clients, sometimes you might lose touch with a few. A note helps you re-establish contact with past clients without sounding like a sales pitch.

To brighten someone’s day
Who doesn’t like to receive personal mail? A personal note with a kind word is sure to put a smile on the recipient’s face and make their day — plain and simple.

Do you need a reason to write a personal note? Download and print our infographic “Top 6 reasons to write personal notes” to give you a spark of inspiration when you need it most. Start harnessing the power of personal notes in your business today.

Brian Buffini is the chairman and founder of Buffini & Company. You can follow Brian and Buffini & Company on Facebook.

Email Brian Buffini.

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