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May 16, 2018

Your feedback please: Are ‘thank you notes’ a good idea or a bad idea?

I got into a “passionate” discussion last week with a client about sending handwritten thank you notes, especially at the close of large projects.

I argued for them. I like the personal touch… and think that a handwritten note of sincere gratitude, thanking a client for their business is a good and appropriate thing to do. To my way of thinking, if a client spends $50,000 with you – or even $5,000 – I don’t think it’s asking too much to take five minutes out of your day to write and send a note.

For all the tools, techniques and technologies we employ, I believe we are still in the “people business.” And that well-written thank you notes (something, by the way, that your competitors are unlikely to do) are a real H2H (human-to-human) touch point.

One of my client contacts took the other side of the ‘discussion’… with equal fervor.

Her position was that by sending a note to thank someone for their business – especially those in high standing (they work with several very high-profile law firms, for example) – you are subordinating your position and ostensibly admitting that you are on a lower level. That is, as the CEO/MD/President of your firm, you start out on equal footing with your client – a footing that your clients respect, by the way – but that the sending of a thank you note lowers your status in their eyes.

I would really like to get your thoughts on this… Are handwritten thank you notes a good idea or a bad idea? If they’re a good idea, why don’t more people send them (sorry, but email thank you notes don’t count)? And if they’re a bad idea (whether for the position stated above or for something else altogether), is there any way to properly show your gratitude?

Please share your opinion & thoughts below. Thanks.

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