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The lost art of thank you

In business today, the most precious commodity is time.  Everywhere you look there are time-saving measures, even for basic communications – email, evites, texts and even automated systems that send greeting cards.  Unfortunately this has depersonalized even the most basic forms of communications from invitations to thank you notes.

There is a silver lining in this scenario and it’s a huge opportunity for businesses and professionals to stand out from the crowd and get immediately noticed in a positive way.  It can be described in five simple words.

Write a thank you note.

If time is one of the most precious commodities we have, it speaks volumes that you would take time to sit down, pick up a pen and hand-write a personal thank you note.

True story:  I sent a handwritten note to a colleague after a networking meeting, thanking them for their time. The recipient was so pleasantly surprised to receive a personal (non-automated) note that he called me to thank me for the thank you note!


Hand written notes let your customers, colleagues, and new associates know you value them, their business, their expertise and their time.  And, they are more effective than any impersonal, electronic, or automate correspondence and reinforcing your message in a pleasing, memorable way.

Not sure where to start?  Follow these simple tips.

  • Try to send the notes within 24 hours of the reason for the note (meeting, new business, etc.)
  • Start with a greeting and use the individual’s name.
  • If addressing more than one person, always address the female first.
  • Start with a line thanking the recipient(s). Specifically mention the reason for the thank you (business, referral, meeting, etc.)
  • Next, mention the importance of the business or gesture.
  • Recap any action items, follow up or future meeting dates.
  • Close with a kind, but professional sentiment and, if appropriate, let the recipient(s) know you will follow up (then be sure to do so).
  • Include either “Sincerely” or “Best regards” and then sign your name.
  • Always assume your recipient(s) may have several business associates with the same first name as yours and sign both your first and last name.
  • Be sure to mail your notes as soon as they are finished.

To make things easier, keep your supplies handy – stationary, notecards with your company logo, or pre-printed thank you cards; envelopes and a supply of postage stamps.

Don’t worry about your handwriting.  A handwritten note is always much more effective and appreciated than an impersonal missive, or not sending anything at all.

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