The Power of the Written Word/Shelley Kaehr, Ph.D.

Shelley Kaehr, Ph.D.

by Shelley Kaehr, Ph.D.

Today, I wanted to THANK YOU for something you’ve been teaching for years – the power of the Thank You note.  You always said we should write notes – by hand – and send them out to people.

So here’s what I want to talk about – hand written notes vs. sending a line of thanks on e-mail.  I think this concept is ambiguous in today’s marketplace because so much of our communication is now delivered in electronic format.  Internet based communications have a lot of pros – they’re Green, aka easy on our environment, etc., but yet, electronic media still feels a bit impersonal, don’t you think?

I still send hand written thank you notes to customers and clients, and am continually astonished by their reactions.  I guess they’re surprised I still know how to put pen to paper and lick a stamp!  Many recipients act as if I am the only soul alive who ever sent them a card, or worse, they haven’t received one since the 1980’s, and treat it as some bit of cherished nostalgia.  It’s a sad statement, really.  I believe people should expect more from service professionals.

For that reason, I cannot overemphasize the value of the handwritten thank you note. I believe it’s more important than ever, because so few people do it anymore.

Sales pros who take time to stand out in today’s crowded marketplace are sure to see that effort impact their bottom line.  Thank You notes are the easiest way I know to be seen.

Shelley Kaehr, Ph.D. is a world renowned life coach and author of over thirty books including Sales 101: Simple Solutions for Sales Success, which Tom calls, “Proof that good things come in small packages.” Visit Shelley online at



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  1. Jerry Lohbauer says:

    I agree with you 100%. So few salespeople today ever send Thank You notes, even when they have closed a sale, so when you send hand written notes it is a big surprise and slows the client down; which can be the hardest part. I have been sending notes for many years and have received great results. In our office most of sales reps use email (which is so static) in lieu of hand written notes which I send and they don’t understand how powerful written notes by hand can be.

    One of the most powerful notes you can send is to the prospect that chooses to not purchase from you or who purchased from someone else. When the prospect receives a note from you and does not get one from person they choose to do business with; I can only say “it is powerful.” I have received their future business, phone calls to say thank you, referrals which lead to business, but most of all it separates me from everyone else and I become part of their memory today and in the future.

    Thanks for great article.

  2. Very solid tip here. I will definitely begin the process of sending Thank You notes in the future to new clients, thanking them for their business. I can’t see how this would not be a great way to influence their referrals to me as well.

    The only thing most of us get in the mail are bills and promotions. Once a sales person gets what they want from you, they’re on to the next sale. So it’s truly a stand out, if you were to get a thank you note, hand written.

    Do you ask for referrals in a soft way in this Thank you note? And if so, would you include a couple business cards for the customer to pass along?

    • I do not recommend asking for referrals in your initial Thank You note. You should have already asked for them when you closed the sale (having set that up at the beginning of your presentation. Including 3 cards and suggesting they might give them to friends, relatives or associates who may have the same need as theirs is OK in future notes to clients.

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