The $1,000,000 Thank-You Letter

We’ve all fallen into the trap of wanting to write a thank-you letter for services or actions received but get so caught up in life that we either forget, feel too much time has elapsed, or just don’t do it.

What if you found out that the thank-you letter you didn’t send was worth $1,000,000? Would you wish you’d sent it? We rarely know the effect a thank-you letter has, but you can rest assured it has many ripples in the pond.  Many are sent and most never receive a reply.  But what if one of those personal thank-you letters lead to huge opportunities just because it was sent?

I would like to share my experience with you, so that the next time you’re thinking about sending a thank-you note you will remember the potential value it holds.

In 2012 I was a pitcher on the CBC Dragons’ Den TV show and received a very generous offer from Arlene Dickinson for my invention called The HEFT. When I was home from taping the show, I wrote a personal thank-you letter to each of the Dragons for their time invested in listening to my pitch and for their opinions & thoughts they shared with me to improve The HEFT. It took me less than one-hour to write a personalized note to each of the Dragons. A quick internet search provided the mailing addresses for each of the Dragons, and the thank-you notes were on their way.

A few weeks later, I received an email from one of the Dragons, David Chilton. He is Canada’s best-selling author of The Wealthy Barber books and a much sought after speaker, and was the only Dragon to reply to my thank-you letter.

He replied how rare and appreciated it was to receive a written thank-you note and was interested to know how The HEFT t was fairing. This opened the door to further communication, and six months later when the Dragons’ Den episode was airing on TV, I invited him to our ‘viewing party’. I also brought him up to speed that things weren’t working out as we’d hoped with Arlene Dickinson, and that we were considering severing ties with her team.

It didn’t take Mr. Chilton long to see that The HEFT offered retail consumers a great product unique to Canada; it also offered him a very solid business investment. After several very long and anxiety filled weeks, he finally called to say the two words we’d hoped to hear; “I’m in!” Those magical two words completely changed our lives.

Since that time, Mr. Chilton and his son Scott have spent countless hours putting together a plan to expose The HEFT to some if the biggest “movers and shakers” in the Canadian hardware industry. He has been instrumental in opening the doors to a licensing deal, and we wouldn’t be nearly this far ahead without having him in our corner. His reputation of being a smart, honest and astute business-man also aligned perfectly with our own values of Respect, Integrity, Communication and Honesty. (And what does that spell? RICH!)

To date, the positive attention The HEFT has received, both nationally AND internationally, has reached far beyond our expectations, and we feel so fortunate to be working with such an amazing partner.

Had I not taken the time to write the thank-you note to each of the Dragons, we would likely be awash in the flotsam that many inventors find themselves in struggling to make connections, open doors and negotiate with a major retailer on our own. Tough, if not next to impossible.

Write those thank-you letters! Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now – you never know when the one you write might be worth $1,000,000.