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Business Methodology of Thank You Notes

Saturday, April 14, 2012 by Slaughter Development

Though some would argue that writing thank you notes is a thing of the past, we at Slaughter Development disagree. And, according to a recent blog post from the Managing Editor of Business Insider, this type of process methodology is a vital part of achieving success.

Both Slaughter Development and Jessica Liebman of the Business Insider share the same viewpoint on just how important the process methodology of thank you notes truly is.  In a follow-up to her original blog post on the matter, Liebman admitted that when she doesn’t receive a note from a prospective employee (post-interview), it means only one thing:

If I don’t get a thank you note, I assume the person doesn’t want the job, is disorganized, and I’ll likely forget about them.

This holds true for just about any prospective opportunity. Speaking from a small business perspective, writing a note to a potential client to thank them for their time, excitement and/or interest in our services is a crucial step in growing our company. Not only is it a great chance to follow-up, but it also conveys the message that we care and value their enthusiasm for our mission of increasing productivity and overall business process improvement. Likewise, thank you notes are also an influential factor in maintaining both positive communication and confidence in our current clients. Sending a quick note of appreciation reinforces our dedication to both the business relationship as well as the goals set forth by the agreed interaction.

And in case your goal for 2012 is to expand your growing company, keep in mind that thank you notes are one of the greatest tools in networking! Here’s why: they are the perfect reason for genuine follow-up. Writing a quick note to say thanks for taking the time to talk is both sincere and productive at the same time.

And while Slaughter Development agrees with Liebman’s passion in regards to the business process methodology of thank you notes, we slightly disagree on her caution towards handwritten ones. She continues:

Dangers of the handwritten thank you:

  • There’s a delay. I’m a firm believer in following up with a thank you note less than 24 hours after the interview, while you’re still fresh in the interviewer’s mind.
  • The letter might never get to your interviewer. It could get lost in the mail, the secretary could throw it out, it could end up in a pile of envelopes that don’t get opened for months.
  • It feels old. It’s 2012. Sending a handwritten note just feels ancient to me. Especially if you’re up for a job in the Internet industry. Be current.
  • The chances of the interviewer writing back to you are less. The letter feels more final.

When it comes to following up after an interview, we agree that a punctual note can have a lasting impact. Yet, we must remember that email overload is becoming a more dominant source of contention in the workplace. Despite our best efforts, electronic messages can just as easily get lost or deleted in a cluttered inbox. So although an email may reach the interviewer quicker, it doesn’t guarantee the impact is better.

To say that the art of handwritten notes is ancient is, in our opinion, quite a statement. In a world where fast-paced communication dominates our everyday (and often times interrupts workflow), it seems to us that a thank you note arriving alongside a pile of nonsense junk would actually have a bigger impact on the recipient for two reasons:

  1. It stands out against its lesser competitors.
  2. It demonstrates a valuable effort by the sender.

If you’re thinking right now: I’d love to write a few notes—if only I had the time, don’t worry. It’s only natural to assume the minutes are fleeting for this type of task. But in our opinion speaking to you as productivity consultants, we can honestly say that it’s certainly time well spent. Never underestimate the impact of saying thanks!

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4 Responses to “Business Methodology of Thank You Notes”

  1. Bryan Hart Says:

    On that note: Thank you!

    Your writing has been a great encouragement to me over the past 7 months.

  2. Robby Slaughter Says:

    Thanks for your support and kind words, Bryan!

  3. Starla West Says:

    Excellent post! For anyone who is still “on the fence” regarding the value of handwritten thank you notes, I encourage them to write a few this month and pay close attention the feedback they receive. It is an easy and professional way to polish your professional presence and set yourself apart from others.

  4. Robby Slaughter Says:

    Thank you for the kind words as well, Starla!

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