How do you feel when you get that real kind of hold in your hand invitation addressed especially to you?
Now imagine how you’d feel opening a handwritten Thank You note. Honoured? Special?
Have you noticed that the Thank You note, once a well practiced element of social etiquette accepted as standard in our communication tool box, is often missing from our current correspondence?
The very human desire to be appreciated and acknowledged has not diminished despite the buzz and busy-ness of modern times. That’s why it makes both social and business sense not to forget this simple, yet significant act.
These tips will guide you in reviving the lost art of showing your appreciation in a memorable way. Your authenticity will enhance those all important big two words whether you deliver your message in:
o A hand written letter
o A voice exchange in person or by phone
o An email
In a world where we send and receive 1000s of messages every day via posts, email, letters and the advertisements that flash at us from every angle, surely, one line or two would be lost or quickly forgotten. So, why bother?
Yet, acknowledging gratitude for someone spending their time with you, or money in your business is an opportunity to better the bond with your customers in a civil and profitable way. Even friendships with their every day contact can benefit from a moment taken to express gratitude. Appreciation is a two-way experience.
When in doubt of the difference your gesture might make, consider this statement: ‘Yes, people will forget the words you used in a social or business interaction, but they will never forget how you made them feel’.
Frame your expression of thanks with this most basic, yet effective structure. Feel free to infuse it with your personality and natural way of expressing yourself!
Greet your reader.
This is a gentle warm up to your message. Your choice of salutation shows the relationship you have to the reader. Is it a formal Dear Mr., a nickname, a shared casual greeting word?
Express your thanks specifically.
You are praising the effort and intent, not necessarily the result. Choose the detail you want to show gratitude for. Was it a recommendation? A loan given selflessly? A conversation that made a difference or perhaps one particular moment at an event?
Find the emotion and touch on what it means to you (it might be right to mention past support or future hopes).
Close in the same tone as your opening greeting.
Know that the thanks you are conveying are opening a deeper relationship.
How will you send your next thank you?
Will the personal touch of a hand written and delivered note suit your intention? Do you think the casual yet quick response of an email or post in social media will represent your message authentically?
VIP. The Very Important Personalized note this time is sent out to the readers of Communication Culture. One in particular, and you know who you are, A.H., is the inspiration of this public moment. Thank you for your support of the Afro News through a subscription and your occasional comments, encouragement and gentle admonishment when I depart from the very conventions I write about and when I lose clarity or focus.
The VIP message is for all of us to just do it and share the gratitude. You may be surprised by the dividends you reap.
Next time: How to turn trouble into referrals and revenue, or healing a relationship. The value of the apology letter.