As I exited my Rotary meeting early this morning, I heard a deep sigh from behind. It reminded me of Erma Bombeck’s reason for taking up jogging. She said she wanted to hear the sound of heavy breathing. That is not why I joined Rotary, but the sigh caught my attention. I turned to the woman who was following me and asked the obvious, “Is it the holidays?” Her reply was, “Too much going on. I can’t wait for this all to be over.”
I am sure we can all relate. From Thanksgiving on, we move from one event or task to another in our professional and personal lives. We decorate offices and homes; we shop for corporate gifts and family presents; we bake for the office party and cook for family and friends. There are presents to be wrapped and delivered. In between the shopping, ordering, cooking and planning, there are the endless parties. Some, like the office party are obligatory; others are purely personal pleasure.
For many of us there is the stress of the trip to the relatives’ house for the holidays, enduring the unfriendly skies or navigating the over-crowded highways. Could be it’s the stress of the relatives coming to visit you.
So the cry goes out, “I can’t wait for this all to be over.” If you think when the decorations come down and are stored away for another year, when the last of the sugar cookies and fruit cake are gone, the holiday wrapping paper, boxes and other trash are hauled off, the parties are over and the family visits are completed, that you can say, “Whew, that’s over for another year;” you’re wrong. As Yogi said, “It ain’t over till its over.” And it’s not over until the last thank you note has been sent.
Business notes are every bit as important as personal notes. They differ in only a few ways:
- More may be at stake—a client relationship and future business.
- You and your note are a representation of your company.
- The thank you note is a golden opportunity for building goodwill.
- Every note has the potential for increasing profits.
How can you create a well-crafted and impressive business thank you note?
- Personalize your note. Use personal pronouns such as “I” and “you.”
- Let the contents indicate that the note is written only for the recipient.
- Be conversational and friendly without going overboard.
- Check your spelling and grammar. Your personal pen does not come with a spell checker. When in doubt, enlist the aide of a colleague to proof your note.
- Handwrite your note, particularly when you are thanking business clients and associates for holiday gifts or events. Penmanship is not an issue unless yours is totally illegible.
- Send it while your clients, customer and vendors (yes, your vendors) can still remember the holidays, the occasion or the gift.
You can never over-estimate the value of the handwritten thank you note.
Enjoy the fun, festivities and the chaos of the holiday season!
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.