Last year’s birthday was easy for me. As I received birthday gifts, I sat down at my desk and wrote out “thank you” cards. This year…not so easy. Just about all my friends and family are on Facebook and/or Twitter, they all have smartphones, and they all text message….even my Mom and my 10 year old nephew. So sending a “thank you” card just doesn’t cut it anymore. I want to instantly take a picture of the gift and upload it to Facebook with a big “thank you”. I always text, “I love it!” to their phone. I want to mention the gift in a tweet, tag the giver and thank them! I snap a selfie wearing the gift and post it on Instagram. It is fun for me but when it comes to biz, what is the appropriate way to say “thank you”.
My rule is pretty easy to follow. As soon as I feel a “thank you” is in order, I send an email. I thank them in a sentence for their time (referral, advice, interview, etc). I keep it brief and to the point. Within 24 hours, I sit down and hand write a “thank you” note. I go into a little bit more detail to make it more personal. It doesn’t have to be a page long but it should be longer than three sentences. Here is a great example of a note that Tina, a professional closet organizer, wrote to Stacy. Stacy answered some questions about corporations for Tina.
It was great to see you this week. I want you to know how much I appreciate the advice about setting up my corporation. (acknowledge what they did for you) It makes a difference to talk to someone who as actually done it vs. Googling it! (make them feel good about it) I will let you know when my site goes live. (follow up to show them that their advice helped you)
Have a great time at your brother’s graduation this weekend. (saying something personal shows that you were listening to them) Let me know if you ever need help with organizing your closets! (ALWAYS offer to give back)
Easy, right? Here are a few more tips to make your handwritten “thank you” notes stand out.
*Use great stationary! Try not to be too cutesy. Check out Write Robinson for some high quality, personalized note cards.
*Stay away from acronyms, smiley faces and dotting your “i” with a heart.
*Use a GREAT pen. It just feels more professional. Try it and you will see what I mean. I’m loving the handmade wood pens from The Walnut Log.
*Check your spelling! We are so used to spell check on the computer. You will be shocked at the mistakes you make.
People really do remember a great “thank you” note. It is just another way that good BizEtiquette can make you stand out in this super competitive world!