Issue 3: Thank You Notes
You may ask, surely they are out of date? No, it is still polite to thank people, not just in your private life eg the day after a dinner party, but also to acknowledge a business benefit. Many thank you notes now occur in email form, which is fine.
It is respectful to acknowledge when someone helps you. A lot of support is comes via business connections, not part of a contract, so no fee is involved. Generally people give without the expectation of reward, but as we value time, it is an indication of respect for you to take the time to acknowledge their gift of time.
As soon as possible after the event. I broke this rule a few weeks ago, and then had to say “My apologies for the delay with this email, but I wanted to thank you for your time on …. .” If you deem it too late, then you can still contact the person and ask to meet them to acknowledge their support. Depends on the seniority and busyness of the person, in any case do say thanks.
Of course, the more you delay the more awkward it is to write a thank you note, unless there is a good reason for the delay such as “I have delayed acknowledging your support until I could report on the results of my contact with …. “.
I have a colleague who often sends a paper postcard with a short thank you note written diagonally across it. Memorable. Emails are fine, along the lines of “thanks for your time/suggestions/recommendations the other day”. You could add “I appreciate your kindness, it is helpful for me to have such good connections with people who can assist my career/business/clients/”. Whatever.
A thank you note also gives you the opportunity to restate the issues discussed and the actions agreed upon. So, if the situation is appropriate you may say “Thank you for your time the other day, I have followed through on your suggestion to …. .” Another situation may be covered by “Thank for listening to my proposal, I know you are very busy, so appreciate your time” “As we arranged, I will follow up with you in 2 weeks.” Or, the following may be appropriate “Thank you for recommending us to …., I appreciate your confidence in us and will work to ensure your trust is honoured”.
If someone has sent you a thank you note, it is kind to acknowledge that.
A Gift Too?
This is an interesting topic, often a gift is not needed, even though the value of the benefit is considerable. Gifts will be covered in the next Issue, Number 4.
(c) Thea Foster – Added Value Corporation.
Thea has been providing professional practice management and marketing facilitating, presentations, and consulting for over 20 years. Thea’s clients are mainly accounting firms or suppliers of products and services to accounting firms. Please visit www.addedvalue.com.au for further information.
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