An Old-School Thank You Is Still a Brilliant Move

Want to know one of the best ways to get someone’s attention?

Send them a thank you–in the mail.

My team and I are always saying “thank you” in our business. In fact, one of the most successful activities we have done as it relates to business development is to send an initial email about the work we do and if people click into the links for more information, we follow-up with a thank you.

Human nature is often consistent, and the fact of the matter is that people appreciate being thanked for taking a few moments of their time to do what you want them to do.

Old-School Magic

Recently, we were in a meeting with a client with one of our clients in our marketing division, and we spoke about another technique that we use. A thank you in the mail with the personal touch. I’ve written about this in the past, but it works–well–and yet in the digital age, so many people hear that this is an excellent way to communicate with older audiences above the age of 40, which is almost like magic, but they never try it out for themselves.

Job Interview Follow-up

I know that Millennials seem to think that putting pen to paper is one of the worst things they can do; it’s like going to the dentist. Maybe even worse! But, not too long ago, I heard about a Millennial that interviewed with a manager that was in his 50′s. Like any smart interviewee, he knew that he had to follow-up on an excellent interview with an acknowledgment. But, he didn’t send the email as we expect in today’s day and age.

Instead, he penned a note into a professional card and then walked it over to the UPS office and sent it for overnight delivery. The manager received the personalized note card and not too long after–the candidate got the job.

Why did he get the job, aside from the fact that he was a talented candidate?

He got the job, it turns out, when the manager told him later when he was working on staff, that the manager appreciated the receipt of the personalized card. The candidate edged out other talented and qualified candidates because he went a step further and did it creatively.

It demonstrated the job candidate was serious about the job.
The personalized note, which was taken to UPS, set the candidate apart from the rest and showed the manager he was willing to go the extra mile.
Finally, and very importantly, Generation X grew up receiving mail from the postman–not emails. So, the manager told the candidate he hired that it demonstrated he understood what resonated with him. And, since the job was in sales, the candidate proved that he was willing to understand what motivated the other person, and not limit himself to what he preferred.

Biggest Mistake Millennials & Gen Z Make in Business

I’m going to call out Millennials and Generation Z in this article because there is something that I’ve noticed. It’s not limited to their generation and others before them have done it. I’ve seen that often the “thank you” is lost; forget about a note in the post. I can’t tell you the number of times candidates come and meet with my managers and don’t bother to follow-up in any way. It’s such a small act that can make a big difference and it always surprises me that this straightforward thing is often overlooked.

Not too long ago, a successful business professional who was networked to money people happened to meet someone who impressed her. The young Millennial was creating a new business, and the successful professional was fascinated by the young entrepreneur’s platform for university students. The young entrepreneur sensed the senior professional’s excitement and asked for two to three contacts that she could be introduced to and who might consider investing in her business.

After that day, within a few hours, the young Millennial sent the senior executive a quick text. This was the extent of it, “Looking forward to meeting the two people you’d say you’d introduce me to!”

That was it.

The senior professional waited, expecting to hear a simple thank you. One day, two days, a week passed, and there was no other message from the young entrepreneur. The senior professional never did introduce the Millennial business owner.

Why?

The young professional had not mastered the art of a thank you, not to mention going above and beyond with a personalized note, and that didn’t impress the older (and networked) professional. Not in the slightest.

The best business professionals understand that success in business comes with relationship building. Always close with a “thank you,” and if you want to be successful with older professionals, try a little old-school thank you magic if that’s who you happen to be talking to and want to impress.

Surprising Small Home Office Ideas

It doesn’t matter if you are working from home or in an office building, your office is one of the places you will spend huge chunks of your time. It is a space you need to be as practical as possible, and you also have to like it. It is very hard to work in an office you hate. If you dislike it, maybe you have an opportunity to change it. Here are a few ideas.

Small Spaces

If you are trying to create a new study or office space at home and don’t have a designated room for it, don’t despair. You can utilize small spaces or corners of rooms that otherwise are under-utilized and gathering dust. Look around you and see what options your home offers. Very often people overlook places because they have been deemed as too small. However, you can make small spaces look bigger with a couple of simple color changes. Once you have located the spaces you want to create an office – get to work. Check what furniture you can move or rearrange so it fits the space and looks at different possibilities for office furniture.

Color Palette

Look at what kind of colors dominate your office at the moment. Perhaps it’s time to switch it up a little. Go bold. Pick your favorite color and use it as an accent color on different parts in the office. Perhaps the wall behind your desk is extremely boring. Paint it your favorite bold color to make space look not only functional but also stylish. If the wall is out of the question because you use it for shelving, a whiteboard, or something else, consider using colored accents in other things – binders, pen holders, notebooks.

Empty Corners and Light

Do you only have a corner to use? That should not hold you back from creating an office for yourself. Find a desk that fits in or makes one your own by upcycling materials. One of the most important aspects will be how comfortable you are sitting at the desk, so make sure it fits. Make sure that the light is appropriate and doesn’t strain your eyes since corners can be quite dark, especially if the window doesn’t quite provide enough daylight.

Utilize Nooks and Crannies

Perhaps you have an empty corner in your bedroom that could easily become office space? Put a desk against the window and when you get too tired from working -you can easily look outside and rest your eyes. If you have a window behind you – make sure the curtains block out enough light for you to avoid squinting, but make sure it’s not too dark either.

Make sure you your brain will look at a bedroom as a relaxation space so make sure you separate the two areas to separate work and rest. You can have modern office space and use softer tones and textures for your bedding and bedroom furniture. This way you can easily work there, but then separate the two spaces and not worry about insomnia because your brain is still in the fifth gear thinking about work.

Secret Spaces

If you don’t want to spoil the rest of the style around the house, blend different styles and textures together. Find furniture you feel good about and that fits the rest of the style in your house. A classic desk probably will not look very good against a modern interior, so find something that looks good as a whole.

If you are short on space, see what kind of shelving you can create or utilize around you. If you have space under the desk and it’s not in the way – boxes are a good way to store items. Nowadays you can also get different solutions to neatly hide everything away when you are done. For example, hang a curtain in front of your workstation so you can hide it from guests and yourself. Otherwise, it might be glaring at you from its corner.

Your home office will become the place where you spend quite a lot of time so keep it organized. If you need a little bit of mess around you while working – organize everything once you’re done. It will give you the satisfaction of a day well spent and it will not stick out from the rest of the house like a sore thumb.