Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Tardy Thank You Note Trumps No Thank You Note

I enjoy it when I get networking questions from the readers of my blog. I received the below questions from a reader who is an excellent networker, referral source and good friend. It is a question I hear often, and one that I believe is important to those who actively cultivate powerful business relationships:


When is it too late to send one of those follow up thank you notes. While we all agree they should be sent right away, what if you look up a week later (or two weeks later) and realize you have yet to pen the card?
Is it worse to send a really late one or not one at all?

Sending a "Thank You" note when someone does you a favor or makes a referral is important. The best time to do this is right away. The longer you wait, the more likely you will forget to send the card. Additionally, your prompt response shows the other person that you value their graciousness and appreciate their efforts.

However, the facts of real life are that sometimes you forget for a few weeks, or even longer. One day you realize, "Dang-nab-it, I never followed up to show my gratitude to that person!".

I think that it is never too late to say "Thank You". If you believe that too much time has passed to still be fresh, own up to the tardy nature of your note and tell the person that you should have acknowledged them sooner. But even late, remember that the person being thanked will still appreciate your note.

To never say "Thank You" might leave you looking selfish. One pet-peeve that I hear from those who make referrals and introductions is that they never hear back from those whom they have helped. They wonder if how their favor panned out and what was the impact. This limbo of never being thanked makes many folk weary of making future efforts on behalf of those who never respond.

Your best way to get future favors is to say "thank you". Even late, a Thank You Note is amazingly powerful.

Have A Great Day.


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