Thank-You Notes: One Champion’s Secret to Sales

I got a lot of favorable responses to last week’s blog post about the best (worst) prospecting email I’ve ever received. Thanks for all the love, readers. That errant message brings me to a kind of writing on the opposite end of the spectrum … one that is sure to generate sales. As I learned this past weekend, this amazing piece of writing is (drumroll, please) … the thank-you note.

thank-you note

Before you accuse me of being a syrupy New-Ager, consider that Tom Hopkins, renowned sales coach and author of How To Master the Art of Selling, writes 5-10 thank-you notes a day, generating him a significant boost in yearly sales. (Some of his students report getting one sale for every 10 thank-you notes.)

Per his book, when does he advise to write thank-you notes for sales purposes? Basically, all the time: After client referrals, to strangers you chat with who express interest in your product, to people who go above and beyond for you in any service situation. These are all great occasions to follow up with a personal, handwritten expression of gratitude … plus, there are 4 other distinct situations (see the book). He argues people are more likely to remember you and respond positively when you take the time to immediately send a meaningful note. They’ll also be more likely to contact you if/when they’re ready to buy (or refer their friends who are in the market for what you offer).

Another obvious reason I think thank-you notes work: They’re real. You can hold them in your hand. You can decorate your desk with them. Something tangible is going to be instantly memorable in a world of digital ephemera. And who doesn’t like to be thanked?

So, if you want to make more sales for your company—in whatever role you have—write thank-you notes. By taking a little time to show class, you never know how much you might be able to shape a sale. It definitely beats sending careless prospecting emails.

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