In Part I of this article, I explained why handwritten notes are...well...just so darned super. All kidding aside, they really are. Here's Part I. Part II is below:
Here's some quick tips for writing notes:
* Card shops and stationery stores sell supplies for personal notes. You don't need anything overly complex or flowery. Pick a card (or a box of cards) that matches your personality.
* Buy cards that are smaller, but not too small. You're only writing a short personal note, not War and Peace.
* Stay away from cards provided by your company that has the corporate logo on them. A person receiving your card may think they're getting a direct mail piece from your company, rather than an attempt by you to connect with them on a personal basis.
* Use blue ink when writing cards, because it stands out more on white paper (assuming the writing area in your note cards is white). Plus, I think blue ink is more "personable" than what I call "business-black" ink.
If you're like me and you like to send clippings of newspaper or magazine articles to people you think might benefit from them, put a quick handwritten note on one of your cards, too. And if you're really into forwarding such articles via e-mail, consider printing some of them out -- maybe the more important ones -- and sending them via good ol' snail mail.
One more note: While you may be thinking, "I'll only write notes to people who can give me business," I'd like to point out a truism about people. The father of the waitress who served you lunch may be a big-wig at a huge local company, and is looking to sell their current home and buy a new (bigger!) one. Or the brother of the contractor you hired to fix your bathroom knows a lot of people getting ready to move, because, well, why do you think they're fixing their bathrooms?
When you're writing notes, think far and wide. When you reach out and touch someone via the written word, you never know who they'll know.