Brittney Schwertly: We all know the importance of saying thank you. Join us today as we discuss the lost art of thank you cards in the business world.
Narrator: Welcome to the Presentation Mentor Podcast where we uncover the secret ingredients presenters used to woo their audiences and wow their listeners. Whether in a boardroom or a ballroom. You’ll learn how to achieve presentation greatness!
So, prepare yourself for standing ovations.
Here are your hosts, Scott and Brittney Schwertly.
Scott Schwertly: Hey guys, welcome to the show! I’m Scott.
Brittney Schwertly: I’m Brittney!
Scott: And today, we’re gonna be talking about the lost art of thank you cards, specifically we want to address really three strategies that you should be embracing for thank you cards to sort of bring this back to life. And, you know, obviously, living in the digital world that we live in. Its truly is a lost art and I think a lot of people today, really neglect out and miss out on the opportunity to say thank you. Not only to say thank you but also to say thank you via the medium of actual, physical cards and notes and so forth.
So, one objective in this conversation is we want to stress the importance of saying thank you and saying thank you more often.
But, more specifically if you’re gonna say thank you and you’re gonna utilize old fashion, sort of old school thank you cards or thank you notes. Really, the three best strategies that you should utilize to make that happen so, obviously, this podcast, is dedicated to presenting, in public speaking,so this is a little bit of switching gears here but really at the end of the day your always presenting yourself. And one-way to present yourself is kinda that last impression. How you actually utilize something like thank you cards.
So, really excited to get into this.Ahhh! Kinda a some new subject matter for us but I think you gonna find a lot of value from it. So…
Brittney: Yeah! I think that so true. Last podcast, we talked about, you know, how to present yourself physically and what you’re wearing or how you dress and we all worry about the first impression but we often times forget about the last impression.
And, in the business sector, I really do think that thank you cards are a lost art. And, I think it’s a lost art in our personal lives as well and most people think about thank you cards, you know, sending them to your grandparents when you got that, you know, present for Christmas or your birthday. Your parents always makes you sit down and write out that thank you note.
But we forget about just how meaning they are in our lives whether personal or business. And, I think that is why thank you notes are so important whether its a note or a gift. I think their important because it does make the other person feel special and anytime you help someone, of course that makes you feel good when that help has been acknowledged.
And so, I just think that it’s a great thing to do in the business world. Because, it’s something, not only, ah! Is it, is it the right, is it a right thing to do to thank someone for their help but, but also it’s gonna make you memorable.
Scott: Yeah! And on that note, especially the memorability thing, is it’s, it’s so rarely done that you truly will stand out and it’s interesting sort of a case study when even like in a Ethos3, the company that I run. I’ve had this company now for twelve (12) years and when I started it, back in 2006. You know, around 2008-2009, I started getting to the point, when I actually start hiring my first employees and let’s just say if I had, you know, a collection of ten interviews over the course of a year. I would say, probably four of those ten, I would actually get a thank you card. Particularly if somebody made it to the second round or the third round of the interview process.
And I thought that was pretty this small, really only, you know, ten people came in for interviews at a serious level and only four took the time to the actually write a thank you card. Well, that was like, again 2008-2009. Around 2014, 2015, and it actually drop down to probably two. And now, when I look at 2018, 2017, no more thank you cards.
What I get now are still only about four out of ten but they’re thank you emails.
Scott: And that’s ridiculous! Like you’re completely…
Brittney: And this is coming from someone who loves anything digital. I want you guys to know, Scott loves anything digital. If there’s anyway to make our lives digital or tech-based, Scott’s all about it. So, ahhmm? I think this is, you know, just again some point. You know, there’s something about a handwritten note or someone’s writing that is just personal. And, I will and I am that hoarder, that saves every card because its the handwriting to me that is personal and what I cherished. So, if there’s any note written on the card, I will save it. (Laughing).
To me, it’s like, its there something so personal about that. So, I totally think that’s true but its crazy how much its fallen away from just regular life.
Scott: Yeah! So, hopefully for inspiring you, motivating you, winning you over on….
Scott: Maybe, you know, reviving this old school technique. What we want to do now is again, and if you’ve hopefully haven’t won over, we wanna talk specifically here about three strategies that you can deploy to take advantage of this opportunity.
So, we gonna start with the, with the first one here about really just making sure you have a personal touch.
Brittney: Yes! For me, adding a personal touch can be different, ahm, variations. So, it can be a personal touch in the actual card that you send. If you work for a corporation or a company, I would really cautioned you to stay away from using the corporate stationery and find something that represents you.
I don’t know that I would go so far as to get gimmicky as like to send your favorite superhero character on a card. But, you know, whether, its a personalized card that has your initials or your name or its just something that it kinda represents you. Like for me, Scott knows, hehehe!
I also hoard Kate Spade mail cards. Uhmm? I have like sixteen boxes of them. He’s like; “What are you doing of all these?” I was like “ I might have need them.” But then, I’m like also very choosy about who I send them too. Hahaha! (Laughing)
So, if anyone knowing me gets a Kate Spade card, I think a lot of you. But, it’s just, its,my friends know that it’s kinda something that represents me. It’s like a corky, classy style, uhm, but I would also suggest to making sure that you pick a good paper.
Crane company makes great cards, just the paper is thick and its nice. And when they emboss the card with any type of style or graphic. It’s just nicely done. So, make sure you are getting personalized cards that you pick them nice and the weight of the paper feels good and thick in your hand. People notice things like that.
So, it maybe might have cost you five dollars extra but I promise you it’s worth it. So personalizing in the form of the card or if your sending a gift. Uhmm? Personalizing in the form of a gift. And this is something that I know Ethos3 has done before.
Wouldn’t you talk a little bit about that?
Scott: Yeah! The whole idea of customization is absolutely important to us. I know, when thinking about client gifts and thank you notes and things like that, that we actually sent out to clients. You know, a lot of the clients that we worked with are not based in National Tennessee where we’re headquartered. So, we actually kinda go out our way to actually customize things with a national flare. So, we’ll have a national Starbucks mug to Goo Goo Cluster which is a national based sort of chocolate company, uhm, to other items.
So we really big believers in making sure that things have that custom feel that we’re actually thinking about the person who’s receiving it. Most people probably have not ever been to National before and so we wanna give them a taste of what the city is all about. What these regions about and again finding those things that are specific to this part of this country.
And, so, not only we do that but again,we have thank you cards. Their Ethos3 branded, we try to send these out at the end of every project. Again, just thanking the time, making the effort to just show that we appreciate our clients and that we know they have a choice and vendors that they can work with. And it’s always an honor and privilege to be given that opportunity. And we wanna make sure that its loud and clear when wrapping up any sort of projects.
So, super important!
Brittney: Yeah! I think those are great! I mean, I’ve, I think the whole idea of sending something from where you’re from, uhm, is great. Like if I were working with a company in from Chicago, if they sent me gear as popcorn, I would be over the moon.
Scott: (Laughing) That’s good stuff too.
Brittney: So, (Laughing) no, its my favorite. But yeah, adding that personal touches is important. So, we’ll go ahead and take a break and come back with the meaty potatoes of how to really sit down and write a thank you note .
Scott: Popcorn? Meaty potatoes? It’s making me hungry, right now.
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Scott: See you guys on the other side.
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Scott: Welcome back, guys! Alright, so at this point we talked about the importance of having a personal touch when putting together your thank you cards or your thank you notes.
And so, what we want to do now is transition the point number two (2) which is really talking about the importance of having the right format. And I know this is something you’re super passionate about.So I’ll let you kinda kickstart this section for us.
Brittney: Yeah! We’ll I think if you’ve listened to even two minutes of this podcast, you’d probably figured out that I grew up in the South and I think growing up in the South, we, as children learned about thank you notes and how to format a thank you note.
In my adult life, I have found a lot of my friend are uncomfortable writing thank you notes because they’re not just sure what to say. And, I think in any card, they’re not sure of what to say. But thank you note specially just really has a simple formula to writing a thank you note.
Uhm? And you can probably Google it and find the same formula.
But when it comes to business, here’s how I would format a thank you note;
First, obviously, it will start with a greeting, dear, so and so. And then, your first sentence, you wanna say, thank you for and whatever the thoughtful action was that they helped you with. Whether it was agreeing to interview you, taking the time out of their day to meet you, introducing you to someone, partnering with you in business or having you into their company headquarters for presentations to their employees.
Whatever it is that they helped you with, say thank you for that exact thing. And your second sentence, you want to say, how that thoughtful action helped you. Uhm, and so, you know, whatever, their thoughtful action did for you. How much that meant to you and your third sentence is you wanna mention something about the future. You know, meeting with them in your future endeavor or you look forward to seeing them at the meeting again or a conference again and whatever it might be.
And then, you wanna simply just close it. You know, best regards, ,Brittney.
And so here’s what this might look like if you were writing this out. So, something , I would say would be:
I wanted to let you know that all of your help with getting Ethos3 off the ground is very much appreciated. Your support and efforts for our new venture certainly contributed to our success. And I want to thank you for your time.
Good luck in all of your endeavors.
Keep in touch,
It’s really that simple! All you wanna keep in mind is that you’re telling someone exactly how their thoughtful action made you feel. And that is it! And, I promise you, just so three or four simple sentences will go a long way.
Scott: Yeah! And the beautiful thing here. It’s a very simple template and that’s exactly what it is and you can pretty much keep the same thing. So again, kinda quick recap, it’s the greeting, followed by a thank you, followed by how they helped, followed by the future and then into the close.
So if you think about, let’s say something like to job interview which you kinda briefly mentioned. Pretty much all that can stay in place. The only thing that you wanna switch out is the how they helped, switch that out with, reminding them of why you’re best suited or best qualified for the position.
So, as a reminder, you’re looking for this and this and this and I can bring this to the table, this to the table, this to the table. Or, I’m skilled at this, this, this and this. It’s just that little section where again you’re remind them of why you’re the best candidate.
So, you can kinda take this template, whether again you’re thanking someone for the job interview or taking them for babysitting your kid. It works in all formats. So, or all situations, so it’s a great template, easy to implement, easy to deploy and you should hopefully see the result from it.
Brittney: Yeah! I think it’s super easy and if you ever have trouble finding the words to say, I found a book a few of years ago in a gift shop. And it’s literally, the book is literally titled “When you need the right words – What to say and How to say it”. If you in an any online store, mass store like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, I’m sure you could find a very similar book of, you know, it’s just, it’s varied by occasions, whether its birthday, anniversary, someone had a new baby, someone got married, how to say thank you, how to express sympathy. There are pages and pages of, little brief things to write or say that will help inspire you to get started.
So, because sometimes even I, I’m in a lost of words.
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Brittney: I know it’s hard to believe.
But our last tip, in regards to thank you notes is timeliness.
Scott: Since we’re talking about timeliness, actually, someone close to you. They actually just recently sent you a thank you card in actually very timely fashioned. Did they not?
Brittney: They did, in my full-time job in the healthcare profession. I’m a physician assistant and I’m often have students who will shadow me for a different links of time. If they shadow me a lot, they will ask me to write a recommendation letter for them when they’re applying for the Master’s program in Physician’s assistant studies.
And this young lady who shadowed me for a little over a year, sent me a request for a recommendation letter. I was really proud of myself that I did it on the day which she asked me to do it. And so, did I sent her response back like “Yeah! Yeah! I did it! I got it on the first dayI”.
So, she said, wii you have me your address so I can send you a thoughtful or proper thank you card and it was very thoughtful of her. She sent me a card and a gift card to target which, you know, what girl does not love of a gift card to target. So, it was very thoughtful and I was very impressed that it was two days, literally after I texted her our address.
So, timeliness is huge when it comes to thank you notes because it shows that you care. That you care enough to sit down in the moment and say thank you.
So when it comes that soon, I think it’s really, like that extra special touch.
Scott: And kinda, just on that same topic, like just whole idea of timeliness. One thing I’ll never forget is ,ahh, several years ago I actually had a privilege of being mentored by Michael Hyatt and I was with the group of seven other guys. And, I have the honor and privilege of being under his wing for about two years and I remember, one of the guys asked him, you know, what he thought, was one of his keys to success.
And his answer was “RESPONSIVENESS”. And your ability to respond whether its few things like thank you card or emails. And being timely, or being really just like over communicating. And having that skill of responsiveness which really is kind of lacking today in our business culture.
You would think with texting and sort of the, how do call it is , the drive-through culture that we have, everything is so fast and speedy. It’s amazing still how many were not very responsive. So just being timely and taking responsibility for that, I think, really goes a long way.
Brittney: Uhm! It’s, it’s all thank you notes is all about making someone feel appreciated and special. So if you can do that, with the personal touch and you can actually sat down and hand write out, you know, how thankful you are for how they helped you and how that made you feel. And then make it timely, you’re golden.
Scott: Definitely! So that’s that what we wanted to cover today guys! Hope you enjoy this episode. We’ll see you next week with episode six.
Narrator: Thanks for joining Scott and Brittney on another episode of The Presentation Mentor Podcast.
If you are looking to improve your presentation skills, be sure to check out The Presentation Mentor Online Course at presentationmentor.com.
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