What your mom can teach you about business development

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips May 4, 2015

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

If you’re anything like me, you had a mom who insisted that you send a hand-written thank you note any time you received a gift. Oh how I dreaded sitting down to crank one of those out. It was, simply put, a chore.

Decades later I’m ever-grateful to my mom for having me do something so many times that it’s now easy and comfortable. Why? Because a hand-written note is a striking differentiator in today’s low-touch, technology-driven world.

A handwritten message is also versatile. It’s a great way to:

  • Tell an existing client something you appreciate about them
  • Share with a new acquaintance something that struck you favorably about your first meeting
  • Let a past client know they’re on your mind
  • Brighten the day for someone in a support role.

It’s all the better if you have to make a little extra effort to track down a good snail mail address; they’ll know it really mattered to you that they get your communication.

Here’s an added bonus: The brief time it takes to express yourself is time spent present to gratitude rather than everyday stress. I don’t know anyone who can’t benefit from that.

Make It Real

This week, send three hand-written notes of thanks or appreciation.

Tips: I like to have a stack of assorted stationary on hand in my office. I also tuck a few blank note cards into my travel folder—they’re a great way to fill time during takeoff and landing. And if your mom wasn’t as fervent as mine, I just found some handy tips for how to structure your note online.

Learn More


Learn more about the difference gratitude makes from our friends at Trusted Advisor Associates, or read a story of how a hand-written note sealed a deal in Chapter 11 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook.

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Andrea Howe

Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).

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