How to Make a Lasting Impression
By: Brittany, MTA, Event Coordinator, Worldwide Speakers Group
Technology has made it so easy to communicate with anyone, anywhere, any time. A simple email can connect people across oceans, time zones and even languages. Often, planners are working with people that they may never meet face to face. The convenience of access has somewhat taken away the requirement for thoughtfulness. As a huge believer that the events industry is still an industry of relationships, I’ve learned that successful relationships require thoughtfulness. Going the extra mile or above and beyond helps planners stand out from the crowd, and more importantly makes a lasting impression on clients and vendors alike. The following tips are a few ways to express the thoughtfulness that is sure to get you noticed and improve your client relationship.
- Send a Handwritten Thank You Note:
While a quick email to say “thank you” is often appropriate, there is nothing like receiving a handwritten thank you note. Some may think snail mail is out of date, or that no one would take the time to read a handwritten note, but I have seen over and over again, how well received this simple act of thoughtfulness is. Take the time to find stationery that is the perfect mix of professionalism and your personality. If your company has printed cards with the logo and address, then use those. Try not to write a novel, and absolutely use your very best handwriting. Often, I will type the card into Microsoft Word to provide a second-level of review/proofreading, then copy by handwriting it on to the card. I guarantee that the gesture will be appreciated and set you apart from those who flippantly sent a mass thank you email.
Similar to sending a handwritten note, speaking to someone on the phone is much more personal than emailing. We are all busy, and have little time to spare, but connecting with through phone call is a great way to build a great working relationship (especially if you have bad news to deliver). I recently learned that in many cultures, receiving an email from someone to whom you’ve never spoken can be quite off-putting. An introduction over the phone will ease discomfort and acquaint two professionals in addition it’s an opportunity to lay the groundwork for successful communications and a strong relationship.
There is no greater example of putting consideration into action than the recent super storm Sandy. New York and New Jersey are major hubs of business and hold millions of workers who communicate worldwide daily. The sudden and widespread loss of power left lots of loose ends. I was working with several event planners in that area, and was forced to simply wait. While frustrating, being considerate of the tragedy they were facing was imperative. Being demanding and harsh is sure to get you nowhere, but considering your colleague’s or customer’s situation will absolutely be remembered. Along these lines, keeping mental notes about the people you’re working with will help you be considerate. If someone mentions their son broke his leg, be sure to inquire about him the next time you speak to them. Be genuine, and your concern will not be forgotten.
- Remember the Little Things:
Whether it’s recognizing someone’s birthday or passing a card around the office for National Boss Day, it’s the little things that count and make a lasting impression. We often spend more time at work than we do at home, so taking a moment to show appreciation or recognition has a huge impact.
At WWSG, when someone makes a sale, a chain of emails erupts with “good job”, “way to go”, and “you’re a star”. These simple accolades build an atmosphere of gratitude and shared success. It’s the little things that can inspire confidence and eagerness amongst your colleagues and clients.
- Use those Old Fashioned Manners:
There is no replacing a “yes ma’am” or a “no sir”. As I mentioned in a previous article “How to address VIP’s,” respect and properness is always appreciated. Of course everyone has a different idea of good manners, but some things are universal. Respect a person’s position or title, say please and thank you, and listen. Practicing good, basic manners will set you apart from those who slip into informalities and unintended disrespect.
Putting a little extra time and thought into your everyday routine will definitely make a huge difference in the way you are perceived and received by colleagues and customers alike. Thoughtfulness will get you a lot of places that rudeness and dismissiveness will not. That behavior is rarely forgotten either.