Follow up has been the key to my success personally and professionally. I’ve been called a “pleasant pest” by my best clients and it has served me well. The key to good follow up is to be gracious and pleasant even in those times when you might be a pest. Each Friday we’ll be sharing tips to make follow up a little easier. These will be little things you can do to be sure you don’t forget to follow up and miss an opportunity to be top of mind.
Today’s tip: Write Thank You’s Every Friday
For the last decade I have written thank you notes every Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. In fact, it’s a reoccurring appointment on my Outlook calendar, reminding me that I can’t wrap up the week until that task is complete. I don’t write any thank you’s during the week, only on Friday afternoons. I review the appointments from the past week, write a thank you to each person I met with and drop them in the mailbox. They all read something like this:
Thank you for taking the time to have lunch with me on Tuesday. It was great to meet you and I’m looking forward to working with you to build a resume you’ll be proud to share with future employers. As promised, I will email the first draft of your resume no later than Friday, September 20. I’ve included my card. Please contact me anytime.
I keep a stack of thank you’s, a pen, and stamps in the top drawer of my desk to avoid any excuses I could possibly find not to write them. It’s important to note that I don’t email or text the thank you no matter how well I know the person. Sending a handwritten thank you note will set you apart from other people they’re doing business with. It also helps build the personal connection and makes people feel important. A hand written thank you says you took the time to write because you value them. People do business with people they like and with people who make them feel important.
So set a recurring appointment on your calendar for the same time each week to write you thank you notes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what a difference this little gesture will make.