Do you know what the most powerful words in any languageare after “I love you”? Here’s a hint: just like the words “I love you”,they are not said often enough but they carry a very powerful punch when they are said with real sincerity. The answer is “Thank you”.
Sending thank you notes should be a part of both your professional strategy and your personal agenda. An attitude of gratitude is a mind set that opens doors, creates opportunities and attracts them to you. The thank you note reminds the recipient who you are as it makes them feel good about something they did for you. This positive reinforcement puts you ahead of your competition since most people don’t make the extra effort. By making a habit of automatically sending thank you notes, you are putting your name out there over and over again–people will remember you. Creating goodwill towards yourself often leads to opportunities.
As a feng shui practitioner, I recommend that you be in a constant state of gratitude in order to attract the right clientele to you and get the word out about your service. However, the thank you note applies to all careers and social situations. No matter what position you are in — boss or busboy — it’s always a good idea to send thank you notes. In business, most employers are seeking applicants who are detail oriented, have great people skills, and are excellent communicators. Sending out thank you notes at appropriate moments proves that you have all those qualities. It’s also the first step in building your network of relationships with people you are sure to meet further up or down that business ladder. In one-to-one client relationships, thank you notes create abundant good will. Yours is the service the client will be happy to refer others to.
Thank you notes need not be fancy or long. Many people stress over what to say. A simple “Thank you for your time and consideration.” is enough. You might add that it was a pleasure to meet them if the situation calls for it. Keep it short and to the point. But always keep it handwritten. A well done thank you note should convey that you are sincere. Handwritten notes make an impression and tell your recipient that this is personal and heartfelt.
Recently, I met an entrepreneur in Los Angeles who’s building her own internet based business selling health insurance from her web site. Most of her client leads are sent to her directly from the insurance companies she represents. But occasionally, someone she knows will send her a referral. When that happens, she sends out a personal thank you note to them but takes it a step further by enclosing a gift card good for one free coffee drink. Her handwritten message?: “Thanks a latte!”
Timeliness is key. It only takes a minute to write a simple thank you if you do it as the same day that the transaction deserving one is completed. Human nature says the longer you put it off, the less likely it is to get done. Make saying thank you an integral part of your strategy for career success. Plan ahead so you are always prepared to send out a thank you note. Keeping a supply of postage stamps and elegant note cards available at all times will give you the edge and allow you to write your thank you note–and mail it!– immediately. Avoid using humorous greeting cards that could be offensive to your business contacts. Plain quality stationary works for all occasions. You might also use personalized letterhead or printed note cards with blank interiors.