It was ingrained in me at a young age by my parents to always write a thank you note. When you fail to do so, they’d preach, it insults the gift-giver and almost assures you won’t receive another from that person.
I now preach that same lesson to my kids. Two weeks ago, my youngest came home from school with an Easter-themed bag of treats from one of her teachers. Over the holiday weekend we had her write a thank you note to her teacher. Her teacher was very appreciative of the note and said something that shocked me. She claimed that in all her years of teaching, she could count on one hand the number of times a student had written her a thank you note, and my daughter had written two of those.
As communication methods have become more numerous and perhaps more casual, has that changed what many would still consider good manners? Has this changed business manners too?
When was the last professional thank you note you wrote and what was it for? My guess is that most readers can’t remember and the other group of readers will claim it was while job searching following an interview or a meeting. Am I right?
If you think back on the past year, there have probably been many occasions where a quick note of thanks could have been sent but wasn’t. Think about how you feel when you receive a thank you note that’s been customized enough where you get a true sense of the gratitude. You’re more likely to want to repeat the experience again in the future. The goal of most businesses, regardless of industry, is to get repeat business in addition to new business. Doesn’t it seem obvious then that a thank you note can be a powerful business tool?
So my challenge to you is to write a business-related thank you note to a client, customer or vendor this week. Like fertilizer in a Spring garden, see how your business relationship blossoms as a result of a little personalization and display of gratitude. Let me know how it goes!