Thank You Notes

Do your lawyers look for opportunities to say thank you to your clients and prospects? Sending a thank you note is always a lovely gesture – one that parents teach their children. In business we should still make a point of writing thank you notes to express gratitude; meeting business development goals includes using common courtesy and kindness. The simple act of good manners can lead to new and follow-on business. The classic thank you note helps strengthen relations with clients, prospects and referrals while allowing the sender to stand out, be remembered and show appreciation.

Meaningful thank you notes are tailored for the recipient. People always appreciate a sincere and specific thank you; generic messages feel phony and meaningless. Handwritten cards are warmer and more special than other forms of writing. Usually for personal notes it is best to use a greeting card or good quality paper, versus sending a formal business letter. If your note must be emailed, send individual thank you notes rather than mass emailing a group of people.

Thank you notes are an opportunity to communicate and keep your name/firm in the mind of the recipient. Thank you notes can be written for any reason including following a:

  • Firm event,
  • Meal/coffee,
  • Talk you gave,
  • Client interview,
  • Office visit,
  • Closure of a big matter/case or meeting a big milestone, or a
  • Gift from a client.

Thank you notes can also be sent for:

  • Thanksgiving,
  • A referral,
  • Just because you are thinking of your client, or
  • Someone doing something that is helpful.

A thank you note should purely be about the recipient, not about the sender (or the sender's firm). The message should be personalized. Try to send out your notes quickly but even if time has lapsed, it is better to send a late thank you note than not sending one. Take your time when writing the note; illegible notes will not do you much good.

Sample Thank You Notes

Writing thank you notes can be hard. The first sentence should contain the words “thank you”. Next add specific details of the opportunity. Then look ahead and build toward a future connection. For sample thank you note language click here.

 By Helena M. Lawrence, Business Development Manager, Proskauer, for the November/December 2013 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.

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