Paul Castain's Blog

How A “Thank You” Saved My Rear End!

Posted January 30, 2012

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you should know by now that I’m a big advocate of the handwritten thank you note!

By now you’re probably sick of hearing me say things like . . .

“They help you stand out”

“They help get you back on your prospect’s ‘mental radar’”

And now we get to add . . . “Save your a$$”

Read on . . .

The other day, I submitted a proposal to speak at a sales conference on the west coast.

I immediately sent my handwritten thank you.

Note: I feel I should get extra points for being on my game that day because I was feeling really under the weather. I don’t know who the hell gives out these extra points but I’m just sayin . . .

The card went out on Friday.

Monday I’m off in airports flying out to train jedis in Detroit and low and freakin behold, I have a message waiting for me. Yay Uncle Paul!

Its from the lady I sent the thank you card to on Friday thanking me for my thank you (I love that part of sending thank you’s) but she was confused.

She was confused because we had this nice chat.

She received my lovely thank you (I don’t know if she use the word lovely but I feel this urge to embrace my inner “That’s lovely” side.

But . . .

She never received my quote.

Right away, I’m feeling like an ass.

I’m thinking that maybe,  in some Nyquil induced trance,  perhaps I thought I sent her the proposal. Note: Nyquil  does that to sales people not to mention that for an entire day I once thought I was Conan O’Brien but I’m digressing.

I go to check my email sent box and discover I now have an email from my contact telling me she found my proposal which had been swallowed up by her spam folder.

I believe it was my thank you that made her look for the proposal.

If it weren’t for the thank you she might have thought I just blew off the opportunity and moved on.

Note: I know what you’re thinking. “But if you followed up with her it would have been caught at that point”

It wasn’t time to follow up yet.

Based on our discussion and the things she had on her plate, I was still a good 24-48 hours out from that but . . .

If she had been thinking that I blew off the opportunity . . .

I might already be dead and the opportunity awarded to someone else!

Business has a way of moving that fast!

I think that alone could serve as yet another reason why we must take the time to send these handwritten thank you’s.

Your turn . . .

Are handwritten thank you notes a regular part of your post call action items?

To hire Paul Castain to speak at your next event . . . click here!

  • Ben Fitts

    Yes, I use a service to fire off all my thank yous. They print them and mail them for me. They made a handwriting font from my actual handwriting so the message inside looks handwritten even though it was done on a computer. I get tons of compliments from people who don’t realize how easy technology has made sending thank you cards 😉

    • Thanks Ben!

      I know sendout cards offers this as well. Not sure if this is the company you were referencing. If it isn’t, would you please be kind enough to share so we can give my readers some additional choices.

      Thanks again Ben!

      • Adam

        If you let me know how much is paid for each card sent I can let you know if there is another company in the game…. it could be the next big start-up!

  • Julian

    So did you win the business Paul ?  (Sorry, I just had to ask that !)

    • Don’t know yet Julian . . . Keep your fingers crossed for me 🙂


  • Juan – Human Being

    Hi Paul, I followed your advise of sending some written notes out once in a while, and do it sometimes (less often than I should, by the way). It was this time more than a year ago (or more), when I hand-wrote a few introduction letters for a few chosen potential customers. I made the mistake (I guess) of not writing the names of the companies down, so I do not really keep a file of who I am sending these notes.
    So, a few weeks ago I was visiting a potential customer, introducing myself and the company and …  suddenly the lady showed me the folder with the brochures I sent her more than one year ago, with my hand-written letter upfront, and the folder was right there, on her desk within a pile of other “daily” folders. I like to think that she kept the folder because of the hand-written letter (I had not had any other direct contact with her in all that time… yes, hard to believe, not a good salesman, but it is like that)
    By the way, I forgot to send you a “thank you” note , Paul.
    Have a wonderful Tuesday!

    • No thank is necessary for me Juan . . . I should be thanking you for being a loyal reader!

      That’s an awesome story that you share and yet another testimonial for a personal approach!

      Well done!

  • Rfilar

    Easy to do and easy not to do!

  • Jabba

    No but an excellent idea! I am all for an attitude of gratitude as being courteous to others costs us nothing but gains us everything. Over my life I can think of many special times I have practiced this and came to be happy that I had.

  • Toni Hogan

    “Thank you for the card Toni, nice touch!”  That is the message I had waiting for me this morning.  I love a thank you for a thank you.  Great reminder Paul. 

    • Those are the best Toni . . . Congratulations!

  • Sending a hand written “thank you” to everyone that invites a proposal is a good idea.  Some folks don’t even do that as a follow up after the gig.  I sent a note to everyone who hired me last year, and both of them told me they appreciated it!

  • I wrote Thank You cards to everyone that I worked under during my senior year Internship – and am pretty sure I got a recommendation because of it. People really appreciate the little things – and a thank you does go a long way. 🙂 Great story, and great lesson for all!  

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