job-thank-you-note-1A unique way for you to follow up with someone after an initial contact is to send him or her a handwritten note…even if the meeting doesn’t go well, and even if you don’t have a follow up meeting.

Send that person a handwritten note.

I talk about this in my latest book, Business Relationships That Last, about how this small act of writing a personal note leaves a lasting impression.

A Personal Perspective

What do you usually receive in the mail? Now days, most of us receive bills, junk mail, and catalogues or advertising materials.

When you open up the mailbox and pull out an envelope addressed by hand, to you – what goes through your mind?

Most people respond to that with, “Wow, this person took CursiveThankYouthe time to think about what they wanted to say, to write the note, to address it, to put it in an envelope and put a stamp on it, to address it and to put it in the mailbox.”

When you really think about it, it takes just as long to compose an email as it does to write a handwritten note.

The distinguishing difference? It’s visual – and personal.

The email looks just like every other email on the recipient’s screen. With a handwritten note, you create more of a personal contact; you make more of an impression on someone because they are touching something that you created with your hands and sent specifically to them.

It’s a kinetic experience, and in today’s world of digital media, it creates a deeply personal connection.

Many of my students are doing this now, and even my clients are doing this on stationary that they’ve created and personalized. These are large corporations with great track records, yet they have begun using handwritten notes to follow up after meetings, and even to “ask for the sale.”

pen-to-paper_sidebarIt doesn’t matter what level you are at in your career …

A handwritten note may seem like a little thing – but like so often in life – it’s the littlest things that make the most powerful impressions.

Ed Wallace

Credibility: It’s All In How You Ask

gpsIn Business Relationships That Last, I discuss how the secret to success in advancing a business relationship is through understanding a client’s Relational GPS™ – their Goals, Passions, and Struggles.

And how do we follow the course of a client’s GPS?

We ask questions. We understand what drives our clients by asking really good questions.

How do we “get good” at asking “good” questions? What can we do to sharpen our acumen?

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Try this exercise. It will help you sharpen your “asking good questions” skills.

  1. Sit down with a young person, someone between 5-10 years old (a niece or nephew, son or daughter, granddaughter or grandson) and observe what he or she is doing. They might be playing with a favorite toy or reading a book, or maybe playing game.
  2. Ask the child questions about whatever it is he or she is doing for the next five minutes. You’ll see how challenging it gets to move beyond the initial question into second and third questions.
  3. Remember, you’re not offering a whole lot of ideas. You’re more or less just asking questions to show the child that you are interested and to keep his or her curiosity in why you’re interested, and to demonstrate that you are sincere, truly interested, and confident.

How far do you get?

Try this exercise. I guarantee you it will help you when you are trying to advance your adult relationships – all through the power of talking with a child. windows server .

Ed Wallace

Your Perpetual Audition

300px-AuditionsRelationalLadderIt’s only natural – as we advance up the relational ladder, we find a comfort zone with our colleagues, our business partners, our clients and vendors.

What happens though, is that as we get into that comfort zone, it becomes increasingly difficult to advance the relationship any further.

The whole idea behind continuously advancing that relationship is so that we can achieve our mutual goals together – so that we can continue to be aware of where we can offer and ask for help.

Be aware that no matter how established the business relationship is, each business relationship is always in a state of a perpetual audition.

Trust can fluctuate up or down depending on how we handle each interaction. We may be very comfortable with a business partner; however, when we want to advance the business relationship, we need to proactively move the relationship beyond this state.

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Be aware that business relationships are a dynamic process, in which we are in a state of perpetual auditioning – auditioning for our business partners’ time, their interest, their ability to help us, and ultimately, their desire to deepen their relationship with us. expired sites whois directory

Ed Wallace

Relational Capital Begins Within

What can you begin doing today to build a culture of worthy intent within your organization?

Over the weekend, I got a phone call from the admin of one of our clients. Nancy called on a Saturday morning at 11:15a because she had gone into the office specifically to make sure that some packages containing training materials I had mailed earlier in the week had arrived. She went out of her way to provide discretionary service. Nancy’s above and beyond service is an example of relational capital beginning within.

The Power of Worthy Intention

When your company has worthy intentions towards you (the employee) and has worked to establish a great relationship through it’s leadership and culture, then you will (generally) go out of your way to provide discretionary performance back to your company’s clients and vendors – just like Nancy did for me. This above and beyond service is relational capital.

Peace of Mind

Nancy knew that if those packages didn’t arrive, I would have to spend my weekend running around getting the materials collated and printed for Monday morning. In part, due to the culture of worthy intent created by the leaders of the company Nancy works for, she extended to me the service of going into the office on her day off and checking for those packages, and then calling me to let me know they had arrived. Quisforexasex She extended the relational capital of “peace of mind” that allowed me to have a stress-free weekend.

Would your employee have done the same for one of your vendors?

What can you begin doing today to build a culture of worthy intent within your organization?