When Was the Last Time You Said Thank You?

by Deb Ng

Growing up, my mom used to make us write thank you notes for everything. Even the lamest, last minute five and dime gift from friends of friends we barely even knew. She said regardless of the gift, it’s always the deed that counts. Someone was thoughtful to us and we should be thoughtful in return. That advice stayed with me and I carried it all through my career and also through my life as a mom. My son, much to his chagrin, has to send thank you notes as well.

Saying Thank You Can Get You Noticed

As many people who I freelanced for over the years can attest, I always send a “thank you for the opportunity” note after a job is done and this has presented me with more work on many occasions. Clients appreciate the professionalism, the customer service and the good manners. Every year around this time I also send thank you notes to the woman who spends two and a half hours getting out my gray every six weeks, the people who care for my lawn and anyone else who has done something nice for me – even if I paid them for their service.

As a Community Manager I also send thank you’s to many people who take the time out of their schedule for an interview with us. I just feel it’s the right thing to do. Recently, after sending him a thank you note, I was rewarded with this “Tweet” from social media whiz Chris Brogan. When someone like Chris takes the time out to make note of your work, you know you’re on the right track.

I also send thank yous to people who interview me for jobs, even if I don’t make the cut. Once, even though I didn’t get the job a client remembered my thoughtfulness and professionalism and hired me for a more lucrative project. I also send thank you’s to folks who interview me for their blogs or podcasts. After all, they’re helping to promote me and what I do. They deserve a thanks too.

Why Say Thanks?

Here, in a nutshell, are the reasons I say thank you on a regular basis:

  • Because it’s good manners
  • Because people appreciate the appreciation
  • Because it gets me noticed
  • Because folks remember my name
  • Because it feels good
  • Because it’s good to give credit when it’s due
  • Because a good deed should always be rewarded
  • Because it’s good follow up

Be Thankful, Even When You Get Nothing in Return

It feels good to say thank you, even if you’re getting nothing in return. I thank every cashier for taking the time to ring up my order and every server who brings me food. I thank people who open doors or let me in front of them while driving. I don’t always get a “you’re welcome” in return, but that’s not the point. I do it, because it’s how I was raised, and my mom hasn’t been wrong yet.

Do you take time out to thank clients or the people who do a good job? Who do you show your appreciation to, and how?






6 responses
  1. Robin Avatar

    We just had a 75th birthday party for my mom and even though we said she wouldn’t want gifts, of course, people brought gifts. Someone was thoughtful enough to buy her very nice Crane monogrammed notecards because they knew she would be sending out thank you notes. I thought it was a lovely and useful gift.

    Yes, I was raised to say thank you and write notes, too. And I know I’ve thanked you and Jodee several times for what you do around here, but I’ll say it again – Thank you.

    You know, I’m not really passing it on that well to my sons, though. I’ve taught them to say thank you, but I haven’t been too good about the thank you note part. Think I’ll work on that.

  2. Terreece Avatar

    Great post Deb! This is a great time of the year to do this and if people don’t always do it, it’s a great time to start.

    Do you do electronic thank you notes or always stationary & stamp?

  3. Dawne Avatar

    I never thought about sending little thankyous after the job is done, I’ll have to start doing that! I’ve always tried to make sure from the beginning that the Client or whomever knows I truly appreciate the opportunity or good deed done for my benefit.
    You know.. I never really thought about it and why I say thankyou as much as I do. I imagine it was how I was raised, and that I truly do appreciate every good turn in my life. A thankyou or thanks ends every email, a thanks and smile finishes ever transaction in the Hard Copy world, and I say thankyou to my daughter for handing me stuff even if it’s a handful of broken crayons or soggy cheerios.
    I really do think that if parents would try to teach their children that two simple words ‘thank you’ can make a big difference.. We really would have better ethics teaming our nation.

  4. JulieF Avatar

    I thank editors even when I am turned down on a gig. It’s not really something I do as a ‘just in case’, it’s just how I was raised. Southern hospitality and all. Used to think it was hogwash but it’s so ingrained now.

  5. Adrie Avatar

    Great post and great advice!

    I personally have always been a big fan of the handwritten thank you cards and otherwise which really is appreciated by those who receive them.


  6. Deborah Ng Avatar

    @Robin – I love beautiful handwritten thank you notes. I don’t have a problem with electronic notes but something about a handwritten card is comforting and tells me that person really did appreciate the gift.

    @Terreece – My son likes to make thank you cards for his grandmas but we’re ok with him pecking out thank you’s via email as well. I prefer handwritten, but I’m happy as long as thoughtfulness is acknowledged.

    @Dawne – Whenever I was interviewed for a job in the real world, I always sent a thank you note for the interview. It’s good business practice and I carry it over to the real world. Even if nothing ever comes of it, it’s a nice feeling and a nice gesture.

    @Julie F – Sometimes I wonder if plain good manners are a thing of the past. I hope not!

    @Adrie – Me too! Welcome, by the way!

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