Manners, people. Seriously. This may not be your average PR advice post, but it’s unmistakably good business and public relations advice.
Deep breath; I’m ready to rant.
As a business owner, you come into contact with people every day whom you think could become future customers/clients. You also meet people who may never have a need for your services or product, but who may eventually refer you to a company or person who is looking for someone JUST LIKE YOU!
So, I’m sure you realize the importance of good manners. Right?
Well, apparently there are those who do not; and it never ceases to amaze me.
There are professional, well-educated people out there who do not understand the importance of good manners.
Shocked? I am not, but are you?
Human decency is something we all understand. We know that it’s nice to be kind to your waiter, to your cab driver, to your favorite shop-keeper, to your mother-in-law.
But, do we realize that when we are prospecting for people to help us with our business, every single person and the way we treat them matters.
Not just the ones you think can get you in front of the ‘cool’ kids. Not just the ones you think are smarter than you, or can help advance your career.
If you take up someone’s time by having them drive to your place of business, give you insights and advice about how they can help you grow or brand or position your business, that certain someone deserves a thank you note whether you end up hiring them or not. Period.
If you invite someone to pitch to you about possibly working with you, at any level, here are a few “Miss Manners” type rules to follow.
Type up a quick thank you note within 24 hours of your meeting. It does not have to be long or involved. Here are a few ideas for a good note that will impress.
- Mention something special about that person.
- If they showed up early, mention that you know how valuable their time is and that you appreciated them being so punctual and taking some of that time out of their busy day to meet with you.
- If they were particularly upbeat and charming, point that out in a non-cheesy way. (Your upbeat attitude made my day, thank you!)
- If they were very well-educated about your business and clientele, mention that you appreciate their making an effort to learn about you in advance of your meeting.
- If they pointed out something particularly wonderful about your office, or your logo, or your storefront, tell them how much you appreciate their eye for detail.
The list of ideas is endless, and guess what? It will take about 10 or 15 minutes out of your day to write a quick thank you note, and the kindness will come back to you in FOLDS. (Or, you can make a quick template and use it over and over while inserting a couple of pertinent sentences each time particular to the receiver.)
Please, don’t be one of those people that get talked about over lunch. The ones that are inconsiderate and so full of themselves that they think that they are above thanking people for their time.
Phew. I feel better. And I cross my heart and promise to follow my own advice. PERIOD.