The lost art of letter writing

There is a familiar noise that I hear every day in my neighborhood, I believe that noise is replicated many times over in millions of neighborhoods across the country. It is the sound of a Postal service van delivering mail to each house as they have done for years. When I was a kid the Mailman walked on foot, house to house delivering letters in what, then was pretty much outside of the phone the primary communication method between individuals and businesses. My how things have changed.


Today there is a variety of communication methods other than phone and mail that seem to be changing the way people communicate. From texting to e-mail the contact with folks is more instantaneous than ever, and sometimes in a format that our Grandparents would be lost with. For years I was a Volunteer High School Ice Hockey Coach with many players passing through our program. Once upon a time, I received a text from a player before a game that read. " R U gonna B @ rink tonite." I did not respond and at practice later the player asked me. "Coach, I sent you a text earlier, why did you not respond?" I said, I am sorry, I don't speak text, rewrite it in English and I will.


In my selling career, I had lots of fantastic opportunities to work on some very large, household named prospects. Many of these companies had been around for years and were pillars of the American economy and culture. Early in my tenure, I was given guidance by one particular Sales professional. He was coming towards the end of his career and took me under his wing to show me the ropes, how to carry myself, and what it meant to be a sales professional. I would see him in his office working with pen and paper and I would ask him what he was doing. "Writing a letter", he would say. He'd have been working on the letter most of the day and explained to me how important the content was and that he wanted every word to have meaning. It would prove to be invaluable advice.