I remember I was flying out of LA on a Friday after a brutal week of meetings and sales calls. I nodded to the guy sitting next to me like you do. He smiled and we both went back to our lap-tops, me working on those ever present damn emails, he I suppose doing the same.
After a while he pulled out a stack of thank you cards with matching envelopes like you see in a Hallmark store.
He started writing little notes. Then he stuffed the envelopes, addressed then and put a stamp on them. And started on the next…
He was writing letters….
He noticed me watching. “Just writing thank you notes for my customer’s kindness”, he said. He had a soft southern accent. “I usually send ‘em an email too, but my Momma would of skinned me alive if I didn’t send a little thank you note.”
He was writing letters … When’s the last time you got a letter?
I’ve been writing a lot about selling and customer relationships lately. And it was good to remember this guy.
It’s such a little thing.
I spent some years as a buyer/purchasing agent. I sat in hundreds of sales calls. Most vendors came in made their pitch and went away. Most didn’t even bother to send an email recapitulating our meeting to outline next steps. Most took the order (if they received one), dumped it back to their company and went on to other calls. Some even remembered to check back to see if everything was ok.
Most vendors were awful at sales.
That guy I met on that Friday night would have stood out. He had a “brand” that was completely apart from the company he worked for.
And I guarantee I would have talked about his sales calls.
A real letter for God’s sake….