You look nice today! Thank you. You did a great job! Thank you. Nice shoes! Thank you. We all love a good compliment and they all deserve the standard ‘Thank You’.
Well how about in the business world? Not just when a co-worker complements a job well done or your outfit, but prospects and clients? You left a meeting with a prospect. An existing client just gave you an hour of their time. A vendor went out of their way to help you pull a big project together. Do you really thank them? And is your "thank you" an intentional part of your personal branding plan?
I think the art of the "thank you" has been lost due to the convenience available in technology. Don’t get me wrong…I love a thank you text, email, or Facebook post. It means something that you took the time to send it and we are all accustomed to getting thanked electronically.
What if I told you there was a way to stand out in today’s competitive world simply with the way you thank someone? A hand written thank you! Yes - hand-written, not texting, not an email, no social media shout out! I know - It is old fashioned. However, in a world where companies spend millions on finding ways to separate themselves from the competition and our phones beep, blink, and vibrate when we get texts, emails, coupons, check-in’s, post notifications, and shared pics of what our friends made for lunch…a handwritten note is a simple and cost effective way to stand out.
Why take the time to do something ‘old fashioned’ when there is an easier way? Exactly – it does take more time and in today’s world that means something. Here are a few more tips to a great ‘thank you’:
• Keep it short. This is a note…not a letter.
• Make it specific. Mention the topic of conversation or the day you met as a reminder.
• Remind them of what they should expect from you moving forward (briefly).
• Keep cards, envelopes and stamps in the car and drop the thank you in the mail when you leave the meeting.
• If you have more than one person in attendance…each should get their own thank you…even if they are from the same company.
• Send one to the gate keeper for helping make it happen. They are the key to future access and appointments.
Something as simple as a "thank you" can make a world of difference when it comes to establishing relationships and separating yourself from the competition.
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Clint Powell is owner of Connect Marketing, a full service advertising agency in Chattanooga. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College. He has spent years in radio advertising sales and management, built and sold a billboard company and works on a contract basis with other ad agencies writing ad copy and helping formulate strategies. Clint has worked with hundreds of local and regional companies over the years and helped them develop advertising campaigns. He frequently leads marketing and advertising seminars and meetings for businesses and network groups. He believes that life is all about connections and spends his time connecting businesses and business owners to solutions. He sits on the board of Y-Cap (YMCA Community Action Program) and helps with several other non-profits. Clint currently resides in East Ridge with his wife and three children.