As you may recall, my friend, Eric Morgenstern, from Morningstar Communications, recommends that when someone says, “Hi! How are you?” that you should never, ever respond, “fine.” I couldn’t agree with him more… what a missed opportunity! Instead, respond with “Fabulous!”, “Wonderful!”, “It’s been a great day!”, or whatever other expression is uniquely you, and then tell the person why. I think the same holds true for the way that you close a written communication.
In fact, for several months, I have been kicking around the idea of writing a post about signatures. By signature, I mean more than just writing your name on a piece of paper or on a personal check or on a contract of some sort. Rather, what I mean is more about the complete way that you close any written communication.
A signature says a little bit about your personality and who you are, about how you want to be perceived and about the level of formality of the interaction. For example, I have a couple of favorite letter and email closers:
- Cheers! – Alana
- Best, Alana
- Best Regards, Alana
Others that I admire, but don’t quite fit my personal style are:
- Here’s Luck! – [Name]
- Make it a great day! – [Name]
- With pleasure, [Name]
Whatever, your style, I recommend that you find your favorite closer and begin putting it to use. Additionally, you should include other important information in your signature to make it easier for your recipient to contact you in the future and to refer you to others with whom you should connect. That might include anything from your full name, title, company, address, office phone number, mobile phone number, email address, website url, Linkedin url, Twitter handle, Facebook page, a favorite saying, a link to a great video or article… you get the idea! Make the signature relevant for you and, more importantly, relevant for your recipient.
The notion of signatures has also been on my mind a lot lately related to publishing my book. I have been humbled by the many people who have asked me to personally inscribe their book – I know that I always love getting author signatures in the books I purchase, so it is especially gratifying that people are asking me to do the same. There does seem to be an inherent struggle, though… people who are eBook/Kindle readers often say, “I debated whether to get the Kindle version or a physical book because I want to get your signature.” Well, folks, where there is a will, there is a way! Thanks to Brad Feld’s blog post yesterday, I learned about Kindlegraph – a very cool app that allows authors to personally inscribe Kindle books! Interested? I would be most delighted to do this for you, if you would like. Simply go to Kindlegraph.com, authenticate with Twitter, and search for “Alana Muller” or “Coffee Lunch Coffee” (or click on the preceding links) and follow the instructions from there.
So, don’t forget to infuse a pinch of personality and a bunch of good, useful information into your written communications (emails, handwritten letters, typewritten letters, etc.). By giving over a small piece of yourself, others are more apt to share a bit of themselves with you.
Twitter: @alanamuller #clcConnect