With all the talk about sending and receiving less unnecessary email, it may be challenging to know when to respond with a thank-you. In my post on thank-you emails last week, "Do Email 'Thanks' Please or Provoke You?" I suggested sending only sincere thank-you messages–not just "Thanks" or "Thank you."
But when are sincere thanks appropriate? Below are 10 examples of situations that require–or inspire–a sincere thank-you.
When the other person has:
- Delivered especially good service
- Been particularly creative, prompt, flexible, or efficient
- Gone beyond the job requirements for you
- Been helpful to you in a stressful moment
- Exceeded your expectations
- Given you an opportunity (an interview, a referral, a preview, etc.)
- Given you a gift or treated you to a meal
- Been a special pleasure to work with
- Surprised you with a thoughtful gesture
- Bought your product or service
Of course, a written thank-you note (rather than an email) would also be appropriate for the acts above.
If you do not say thank you for gestures such as those listed, your business friends and acquaintances will not know you appreciate them. For example, two people I know are out of work in fields related to mine. I regularly send them information about job openings I learn about, but neither of them ever sends me a thank-you email. I guess it is silly for me to continue sending them job leads, since it appears they do not appreciate them.
Do you have any thoughts on my list above or on email thank-yous? Please share them.
Sincere thanks to Marcia Yudkin for suggesting I elaborate on this topic.