Kids, One must always take a moment to sincerely thank someone for their time and effort. Always. The 15 minutes it takes does wonders for your own self worth as well as the other persons view of you. Zedo instilled this in me, it takes little time, and SHOCKINGLY very few people of all ages do this!?! (It used to be standard operating procedure). Here are the rules of engagement:
1. If possible, hand write. It shows greater effort and care. This is less important than historically. Email is fine today.
2. GET THE SPELLING OF THE NAMES CORRECT. NOTHING BUGS PEOPLE MORE THAN SLOPPINESS. Next time, As you leave a meeting (assuming they didn’t give you a business card), ask for their details.
3. Be sincere and always reference something from the meeting that stood out AND WILL MAKE THEM REMEMBER THEIR CONVERSATION WITH YOU AND SHOW WHAT THEY SAID MATTERED.
4. Do these thank you notes right away. Each day further away makes it seem like they were less important than whatever else you had going on.
5. You will QUICKLY get so good at crafting these notes you will mentally write them in the elevator on the way out, reducing the pain of doing it.
6. No one likes doing them, but those that do shine extra light on themselves, show greater maturity and just generally are sharper and more considerate.
8. JUST DO IT.
9. PROOF READ IT TWICE, AND USE GRAMMARLY
Here’s an example:
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with (me,us) today. It was an (inspiring, thoughtful, sad) day that you vividly brought to life.
One of the more interesting insights you provided was about the kid who escaped…or the kid who was shunned…or the kid who cut his ears off…
Again, it was a wonderful meeting, very insightful and one we won’t soon forget. We will send you a copy of the (video, paper, smoke signals) we create for school about our day.
With gratitude and warm regards,
Nicholas and Alexander Balog
Now, in the amount of time it took me to write this character defining skill, (the time it took from ordering my eggs… to getting them), you could have completed the note and elevated yourself in the eyes of you audience. Few things have greater upside versus the effort required. Today, tomorrow, and in life. JUST DO IT.
P.S. Zedo got his first job out of college at Merck, in a very tough post war job market, by writing a spectacular thank you note for an interview, FOR WHICH HE DID NOT INITIALLY GET THE JOB! He wrote, in essence, “I really wanted the job I interviewed for and should they not accept, or you are unhappy with his performance, I will join that day.” BINGO!