Giving thanks and winning ad agency new business

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make a nice impression. Earlier this week I got a handwritten thank you note. And it blew me away. Here I am, trying to sell someone something – a little bit of time, really. And I’m the one getting the thanks. Go figure!

As you may have read previously on this blog, the events between pitches can make a difference. A thank you note can be one of those touches. The best notes, of course, are the ones that feel unique. Customized to the event or item in question. Brief, personal, reinforces a benefit, etc. Sent right away.

For many years yours truly has admired the brevity of extremely senior people’s personal writing.  You know – one of those one or two-sentence letters that seemingly are sent from editors at high-brow magazines. A “from the desk of Ralph Lauren” type thing. Usually some pithy or cheeky sentence or two. I first saw it when my boss’s boss’s boss (?) scrawled a note across the top of a memo written me and routed it around to the rest of the team. El Jefe wrote, “Nice thinking and great example of a Nielsen report, Steve.” A great way to motivate this particular troop.

The point? It was handwritten. None of this email stuff.

In a new business pitch, when should a thank you note be written? Most folks are going to think right after the final pitch. And sure, this makes some sense. But maybe there’s an opportunity to throw one in earlier in the process. After the first phone call or after an RFP. Not suggesting you send out three in one pitch. But you’re pitching from the moment you have interaction with the prospect. It all counts.

So, happy, uh, thanking!

A bit about pitching between the deliverables.

Little bit o’ related funny: check out Jimmy Fallon’s collection of thank-you notes.