Express appreciation when someone offers ideas, business leads, information, support or any of the other many wonderful things that are available when networking. When you are networking, and receive a business lead, stop! Relax. You got what you were after; a business lead. It’s time now to change your focus. Focus on saying “thank you!” Take a few minutes from your busy schedule and offer thanks!
When you say “Thank you” tell the person specifically what it is you appreciate and why you appreciate it. Jot them a quick ‘thank you’ the next day. “I don’t have time to do things like this!” If you are in sales to stay, you don’t have time not to! Only an amateur networker neglects to send a thank you note!
You may want to say it this way. “I appreciate the business referral you gave me at our networking luncheon yesterday. I am grateful for your confidence in me. I’ll let you know how it goes! Thank you!” Make it short and sweet! Remember to keep your word about letting them know how it goes. Follow-up!
Remember to offer thanks when a business lead doesn’t work out. Tell them you appreciate their thoughtfulness and confidence in you. If the business lead didn’t work out because the person wasn’t right for your product or service, look at this as an opportunity to continue the conversation with the person who gave you the referral about what you do and what kind of business leads you are looking for. Be specific. Make sure your friends know precisely what kind of business leads would be most useful to you.
The necessity of sending out thank you notes is something most of us understand, but few of us are very good at. One of my favorite things to do is to offer thanks to someone when they least expect it!
Buy a special card; not your typical pre-printed company business ‘thank you’ card, and in your own handwriting, write them a note they won’t soon forget. Sometimes the sentiments found within pre-printed cards just do not say it right and are perceived to be canned or something you send to everyone. The traditional way of a hand-written note is always impressive. It give your “thank you” a personal touch. Make yours special. Perhaps a “thank you” in another language might be appropriate.
Personal thank you notes must be handwritten! The address on the outside of the envelope should also be handwritten. This includes the return address. Choose your thank you words carefully. Don’t get wordy! Brief is better!
Always write your thank you notes with a high quality fountain pen. There is ink and there is ink. The ink from a fountain pen is special. It commands attention! It will add a touch of class to your correspondence. Anyone can grab a ball point or felt tip pen and write a note. Writing with a fountain pen says that you value the time honored tradition of taking a little extra time to make your correspondence special. It is an impressive way to communicate.
Instead of using the postage meter, stock a colorful supply of stamps. Since I speak on the subject of relationships, I always have a supply of “Love” stamps available. This all demonstrates your attention to detail. They will know you had to have shifted into ‘extra effort’ to accomplish this and will appreciate your note even more.
A sincere thank you to a receptionist or a secretary can make or break a sales appointment! Many of them are trained to screen out people the boss doesn’t want to see. Also make it a priority to know and remember their name. Make a note of it. A person remembered will remember you.
You can say thank you in many different ways. We speak “thank you’s!” We write “thanks you’s!” We have “thank you’s!” delivered. The third party “thank you” is one of the most effective. That’s when you express your gratitude to someone who you know will mention it to the person to whom you are grateful.
Have a gift basket service create a special, customized basket for one of your friends or customers and have it delivered to their office for all to see. Not only will they be the center of attention when it arrives, so will you! Everyone will want to know who sent it and why! Include a brief handwritten thank you note!
Place an unexpected phone call just to say “Thank you.” Connecting verbally adds warmth to your appreciation even if you reach voice-mail.
People like being appreciated, and if they feel you actually notice the nice things they do for you, they’re more likely to give an encore performance.
Say something nice about the recipient of your thanks to someone else when the person you appreciate can overhear you. Don’t make it too obvious. This is especially powerful at a networking event.
Saying thank you for a business lead does not have to be a note. An invitation to lunch, dinner or coffee is always an option.
While there are certainly situations when you will want to keep the referral between you and your client, sometimes going public is a good option. Tweet about the referral, add the client to a page on your Website, send a message out to your e-mail list, or offer a reciprocal link on your Website. This not only increases the visibility of your client, but shows other clients how much you appreciate referrals.
Express appreciation. Acknowledge others for their contribution to you. Be creative with your gratitude!
Always remember to offer a sincere “thank you.” It goes a long way. However you decide to thank your friends for their referrals, make sure you do it right away. Be prompt! After three days you are tardy. If you do get behind, the three day rule doesn’t mean you should forget it. Send it anyway with no apology and without calling attention to your lateness.
Never let a “thank you” get lost in the shuffle of everyday business! Too busy to stop and say “Thank you!” or write a thank you note is too busy!
Be thankful! The key to receptivity is gratitude. To receive more, be thankful for what you have! Give thanks for everything in your life. Express your gratitude! Stop worrying about what you don’t have and be thankful for what you do have!
Remember, “Thank you!” is a gift to the giver! It allows the giver to see the value in what was given and encourages future generosity.
As my Momma always used to say, “Remember to say, ‘Thank you!’ Larry!”
Post a “Thank You” message for the world to see. “A World of Thanks” was inspired by, and pays tribute to everyone who understands the importance of recognizing and celebrating those who are taking positive action to make the world a better place. No matter who you are or where you live, it is free for anyone to include their message of gratitude on this thank you card. In sharing these messages, we not only inspire others to take action, but we provide them with a wide range of ideas and information to help them create their own positive change in the world.
Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Adapted from the book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!
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