Steps to Networking – Step 73: Always say “thanks”

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 14th, 2010

STEP 73: Always say “thanks”

Whenever some one introduces you, recommends you, endorses you, speaks well of you or helps you in any way, quickly and clearly express your gratitude. Say thanks as soon as possible while you are still enthusiastic and can fully communicated the depths of your feelings.

Thank everyone who has been kind, warm and pleasant or done a good job. Express your appreciation on the spot clearly and let them know how much their assistance means to you.

People remember your thanks; it makes them feel happy that they helped you. When you boil it down, thanking others is recognizing and acknowledging their efforts and, unfortunately, it isn’t expressed often enough. Saying thanks costs absolutely nothing and it takes but seconds to state, but provides a great way to make people happy. And, as a result, they will usually remember and think fondly of you. When you make those who help you feel pleased, they will usually make even greater efforts to assist you again.

Expressing your appreciation is an important part of following up. It opens the door for closer, warmer and frequently more productive interactions.

NETWORKING NUGGET

In August 2002, marketing strategist Robyn Levin attended a networking event in Dallas with 500 other women business owners/entrepreneurs. The event was hosted by eWomenNetwork. Robyn was so impressed with the event that when it was over, she made a point of personally thanking and congratulating Sandra and Kym Yancy, the founders of eWomenNetwork.

Two months later, Robyn was scheduled to attend a wedding in Dallas. So she called Kym to see if they could meet. As a marketing strategist, Robyn is always looking for opportunities to develop strategic alliances to promote products and services for clients and herself. At their meeting, Robyn updated Kym on her ideas to create opportunities for eWomen members and they explored joint marketing ideas including her eBook, Capsules: Top 25 Tips & Creative Remedies for Women and Small Business Owners. Over the next few months, Robyn and Kym kept in touch and before long, he invited her to be the eWomenNetwork’s West Coast Corporate Alliance Representative, which Robyn happily accepted.

The best, most personal way to show your appreciation is by writing a handwritten note. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or on fancy or expensive stationary. Simply expressing your gratitude on a nice note or post card will do fine. People remember, are impressed and touched when you take time from your busy life to thank them. Have you ever received a hand written thank-you note from a powerful person? It makes you feel wonderful, exhilarated and ten-feet tall. It’s a wonderful touch that you never forget!

Phone calls can also be effective and personal. They allow you to articulate the full extent of your gratitude and can extend into warm, pleasant and fun filled exchanges. However, phone calls can run on and it can be hard to cut them off without sounding curt.

Email is less personal than notes and phone calls, but is quick. If well written, email can be just as expressive as notes and phone calls. Often, it’s better to send a quick, thank-you email than to wait and send the perfect handwritten note. Remember, the method you choose for saying thanks is secondary as long as you say it promptly.

Remember, email can read more harshly than intended. So take great pains to word your emails in softer language. To avoid harshness, some folks send their email to themselves first. They read them and, if they set the proper tone, they forward them to the intended recipient . . . but only after they read them first.

To express your thanks for special favors, think about sending a gift. Even old standards like flowers, candy or wine are greatly appreciated, especially when they were not expected. A small gift is a wonderful way to say thanks and be fondly remembered.

In thanking others, as in giving, be generous. Develop the reputation for giving more than is necessary especially of your time and efforts.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)


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