take the time to make it personal


Over the past four days I have had the specific opportunity to meet a variety of new people who may or may not again come across my professional radar. That’s a really long sentence to describe networking but I could tell your brain needed the workout; no extra charge.

When I decide these folks I have met are database worthy (and if one is not database worthy, he or she is still likely an excellent person mind you), I do two things:

1. I enter them in my database (duh!)
2. I send them a handwritten note

I have thereby doubled my workload. Now I have to do twice as much as I would if I just entered them into my database. And let me tell you, creating hand written notes with my writing sometimes requires a retake or three. That’s a lot of extra time or about 90 minutes yesterday.

And it was the most worthwhile 90 minutes I could ever spend. Recognizing people, acknowledging success, thanking them is memorable. All the Facebooks and Twitters of the world can never have the same personal impact.

Personalization takes time, writing by hand takes even more time and a computer program works faster and more efficiently…but not as effectively.

4 Responses to “take the time to make it personal”

  1. Great point, Peter. I know how I feel when I receive a hand written letter!

  2. […] I always gain something of value when I learn from him, and yesterday’s blog post “Take the time to make it personal” is well worth a couple of minutes of your time. It will be worth even more if you take his […]

  3. Hi Brian:

    It DOES kind of feel like being a kid on Christmas morning when you open up a hand written note. I have a phony aunt (the kind that’s not really blood but she’s in anyway) who writes wonderful notes all the time with lovely special drawings…made more special because she is a well loved artist. She’s old school and I can’t think of a good reason why we all shouldn’t be.

    Maybe if our Governors would all just write personal notes on our tax bills every year we would…nah, never mind. That wouldn’t change a thing! 🙂

    Best always,
    – Peter

  4. As a middle-aged guy, one possible competitive advantage I might have over the younger generation is that hand-written notes are not quite so foreign to me. As much as I love and embrace e-mail and social marketing, nothing beats a personal note or card sent by snail mail. 15 years ago, mailboxes overflowed with this kind of stuff; nowadays I wonder if it is considered a novelty?