Receiving questions online is fun for me. A recent question inspired this post: “Knowing how important it is to be positive and to reach out, I’m wondering if I should consider business thank-you notes differently than personal thank-you notes?”
The attitude expressed in the sender’s question is telling of the importance of sending thank-you notes. It demonstrates a positive and optimistic mindset.
Thank-you notes represent your finest human ability of expressing gratitude and welcoming the next moment with arms wide open. What thank-you note ever closes on a downer?
Like personal thank-yous, business thank-you notes are appropriate whenever you want to express gratitude and leave the door open to the future. In both, one person writes to another person. The words “thank you” and the precise, specific mention of what you’re thankful for are necessary. They also directly or implicitly indicate the benefit you’ve received.
Sincerity is always a must. Exuberance is not required, and exaggeration should be avoided. Grammar and spelling are essential in both personal and professional thank-you responses. A hand-written note is always better, but a printed letter on your company's letterhead is also appropriate.
After a contract is signed or a successful transaction has occurred, it’s very appropriate to respond right away with a note of appreciation via email. Even as you simultaneously follow up with your hand-written thank-you note or letter of appreciation within twenty-four hours. If you send an email, avoid mentioning the written note to follow. It will be pleasantly received when it does arrive.
It’s true that business is often conducted in social settings and any communication you send will be friendly and personal. Your note should leave its recipient feeling glad they’ve worked with you and upbeat about your interactions.
Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ms. Micha Rivers
896 Lakeside Pkwy
Lake Vista, MN 78496
Mr. Nathan Slate, Senior Manager
and Vivaldi Project Team
Astrid Allied, Inc.
543 Pryor Street
Orchid Valley, CA 98320
It is always best to send a note of gratitude immediately or within a day or two of the event for which you are thankful. But life - and business - happens, and time can slip away from you.
Using tardiness as an excuse for not sending a thank-you note is easy to do, but I advise you to send one anyway. A late thank-you is better than no thank-you!
In constructing a late note or letter, remember to:
Occasions for writing a business thank-you note are practically endless. The bottom line is that you will never regret sending one.
One piece of advice: Never “feel you should” write a thank-you note. Get a drink of water or go for a walk to make yourself available for your own sentiment of gratitude to show up!