Thank you. Gracias. Merci. Danke.
July 10, 2013
When I was a kid, my mom had a rule about thank-you notes. Any gift my brother and I received had to be acknowledged with a hand-written note to the giver within a week. If that task went undone, we lost the privilege of
using the gift until the note was written.
This rule has stuck with me, and I now keep a stash of notes handy, both for myself and for my children.
Thank-you notes should always be sent for life-event gifts – graduation, a wedding, a baby, to acknowledge condolences, etc. But they are equally important in the business world. I was reminded of the importance of hand-written correspondence by two excellent blog posts on the subject, one by fellow PRSA Counselors Academy member Eric Morgenstern and the other by MP&F friend Cindy Wall.
Here are some business occasions that I think require a hand-written note:
- After a job interview – This is a must. Don’t get lazy and send an email instead.
- Following a meeting with a prospective client – “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me last week. I look forward to discussing the needs of your company in more detail in the weeks to come.”
- A networking meeting – “Thanks for meeting me for coffee. I enjoyed hearing about your plans for the cupcake/wine bar. Hope to see you again soon.”
- After attending a conference where a meaningful connection was made – “It was a pleasure talking with you at the Counselors Academy meeting. Please call me if I can be of assistance as you transition to your new billing system.”
- To your mentor – “Thanks for meeting with me last week. I value your guidance and advice, and I look forward to our next meeting. Coffee is on me next month.”
Your note doesn’t have to be a novel. Keep it short. Use clean, simple stationery (Target has a great selection that won’t break the bank) or your company’s notecards. Think of this as a good chance to practice your handwriting. While technology and digital communications are a boon for our industry and make it easier than ever to tweet, pin and more, going back to the basics may make more of an impression.