Thanksgiving seems like a good time to pass along the best advice I have ever received and given and it is simply: to say thanks.
I walked into a client’s office last week and he had a thank you card I had written him from 3 years ago on his desk. Said it still inspired him!! Yup, true story. (On the flip side of that coin I have never gone into a clients office to see an email printed out and tapped to a desk. Just sayin’)
When was the last time a customer, client, or co-worker sent you a hand written thank you note? I hope your desk is just littered with beautiful notes but likely it has been a while and that is why this strategy when applied authentically can set you and your brand apart.
And the truth is we are thankful – we do appreciate what others do for us. We just don’t always know how to say it. So keep it simple. Keep it short. Send it immediately.
Here are some hints if you struggle with what to write:
First, think of person you are writing to, visualize that they are standing right in front of you. Now talk to them like you would speak to them if they were really there. This will insure you get the tone right either formal or casual however you normally converse. Keeping things keeps real and sounding less like the Wal Mart greeter. So grab your pen and think of someone you need to say thank you to and start with:
Line 1: why you are thankful
Line 2: why what they have done for you matters to your business or to you personally
Line 3: a burst of generosity – give some knowledge away
Line 4: a personal line about when you might see them next or something that you both share an interest in.
Here is an example:
Fantastic to connect today – thanks so much for sharing your time and energy with me.
I am completely inspired by the work you are doing – my mind has been blown wide open! Your work is changing lives and it meant a lot to me hear about what your latest project.
You mentioned you were having trouble coming up (insert something you were discussing) and I had an idea flash – (insert your brilliant idea or a link to some helpful information here). If you would like any help fleshing this idea out further reach out anytime.
Hope you pile on the pumpkin pie this weekend and cheer wildly for the Riders.
All the best,
What to write on?
Well preferably a branded thank you note. If you don’t have that – well email me right now here so we can design one for you! 🙂 Or run as fast as you can to Chapters and buy a stockpile of simple, classy looking thank you notes (think Kate Spade) with a blank inside. Then keep them on top of your desk so you can reach for them often. If your thank you is not branded include your business card in the envelope.
If you were just about to pull out the – “but you haven’t seen my handwriting” excuse. Well, think of this as good practice. Honestly, you can manage 4 lines!
Veering towards the ‘nah “I’ll just send an email” – very nice but won’t have a fraction of the impact. Trust me on that. Old school, is the cool school besides.
And I have saved the best for last – science actually proves that saying thanks will make you happier too. Happiness researcher Shawn Achor has shown that when we thank others and look for the positives we start to feel more positive too. “The more opportunities for positivity we see, the more grateful we become.” And the good news just gets better, Achor says “When researches pick random volunteers and train them to be more grateful over a period of a few weeks, they become happier and more optimistic, feel more socially connected, enjoy better quality sleep and even have fewer headaches than control groups.”
Thanks for reading this. It means the world to me that my little thoughts reached yours and maybe started a tsunami of thank you notes being sent around the globe :).