Grab Your Pen and Paper – Show Appreciation for Those Business Gifts

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The holidays are over. The office party is history. The gifts have all been exchanged. The last decorations have been put away or possibly even tossed. You are now celebrating the fact that another holiday season has come and gone, and you are praying that those five pounds you put on will be as easy to lose as they were to gain.

But wait – it may not be over yet. If you haven't written those thank you notes to your business associates, you are not ready to close the book on the 2009 holiday season.

You no doubt received gifts from people with whom you do business. Perhaps you were the recipient of a basket of gourmet foods, a plant for your office or a gift certificate for your favorite restaurant. Vendors are constantly looking for ways to show appreciation to their customers, to let them know that their business is valued and to keep their name in front of customers.

Sadly there is a growing problem on the receiving end of corporate gift giving. People are failing to acknowledge those gifts with so much as a phone call, e-mail or handwritten note.

When someone spends time, money and energy on you, their generosity should definitely be acknowledged. Just because the gift came from a supplier or vendor, too many business people think that it doesn't require a thank you. Being the customer is no excuse for bad manners.

Gifts from vendors should be acknowledged in the same way as the ones you receive from family and friends. (You did write to thank your grandmother for that nice check she sent, didn't you?)

What's more, your appreciation should be made in writing. Phone calls and e-mails do not take the place of a handwritten note.

A handwritten note gives the appearance of extra effort. Do yourself and the generous person who sent the gift a favor – pick up pen and paper without delay. Be sure to mention the gift specifically, how you will use it or have already enjoyed it and how much you appreciate being remembered during the holidays.

You may use the Internet to acknowledge receipt of a gift, but follow up with a written note as soon as possible. E-mail lacks the personal touch that a thoughtful giver deserves.

If a gift comes from "XYZ Company," without an individual's name included, call the company and ask whom you should thank. Don't let ignorance be your excuse for bad manners.

Your thank you note shows your appreciation, your polish and lets the sender know that the item was received.

Happy New Year!

P.S. Want more information on how and when to write thank you notes? Purchase the latest version of Lydia Ramsey's Manners That Sell: Adding The Polish That Builds Profits from our brand new business etiquette store.

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