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If you’re in a position to write a thank you note to an associate or business contact, congratulations!
Writing a note is a gracious way to say thank you, and it's likely to make a good impression.
Some things to consider:
1) Be sure to get the person’s name right, first and last. Is it Smith or Smyth?
Start with Dear _________,
Just remember, Mark could be Marc and Smith could be Smyth—don't make any assumptions.
Take a look at the person's business card if you have one, go online to check, or if you must, call the office and tell them you’re writing a note (I've made the call because in the end the call is far less embarrassing or potentially harmful than spelling someone's name wrong).
2) Start with a draft.
A draft will help you organize your thoughts. You’ll be editing as you go along and it would be a shame to waste good paper.
Start by talking about them. Refer to something specific about your meeting, interview, or encounter, and use details ("It was good to learn more about your __________ ," or "Your __________ is _________"), and keep it positive.
Then state what you’re writing about: are you thanking them for their time, a lead, helping you meet a deadline?
If you’re feeling stuck, make a list of the points you want to cover. Then, try saying what you want to say—out loud. Say it again and write it down. Read what you have, edit, and edit again. Avoid using words you’d never say in conversation, and keep it brief—two or three sentences will do.
Then close with what’s next. Do you want another meeting, are you looking forward to talking with them again or seeing them at an event? Ask or say what you want to happen.
3) Use personalized stationery or a simple note card.
Hand write your note, preferably with blue or black ink, use classic stationery (white or cream paper), with matching envelope, or a simple note card.
Finally, end your note with something simple like, “Sincerely,” or “All the best,” and sign your name.
Though starting and composing a note can be awkward, the good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets.