Some may argue a thank you is a thank you, is a thank you. I completely disagree. Here’s why.
People do different cool stuff on your behalf. Sometimes, you need to get on the thank you hierarchy and kick it up a notch when people really and truly go to bat for you, stick up for you, or go out of their way for you. This type of behavior calls for a super swell thanks. So, I recently blogged about relating cars to thank yous, so I’ll stick with that theme and try to see if I can come up with a hierarchy of thanks right here for the blogosphere. Ready? Set? Thank:
1. The kudos email (Ford Taurus) – can be random, for cool work people did, for no other reason, other than to tell them, hey, nice job. Doesn’t have to be long, drawn out, or wordy. Think of it as the Ford Taurus of thank yous…dependable, and easy to access.
2. The thanks for making a difference by your presence (Honda Civic): Thank you note sent out to your clients, not hand written, but thanking them for their business or their support. Stable, solid, maybe not original, but you can usually count on it. Better than an email, though, because it is a little more permanent.
3. The handwritten thank you note – you rocked (formerly called it a Benz thank you, but instead maybe a BMW or Lexis thank you here): totally spontaneous hand written thank you note to either someone you don’t know personally but heard speak and made an impact on you, or to a large audience and you happened to be in it. Some might say to not include your business card; I say do. The worst they can do is chuck it, and the best they can do is invite you to keep in touch or meet!
4. The wow – you didn’t have to do that, but I really appreciate you going to bat (in a time crunch) for me thank you (now we’re getting into the Porsche) – Porsches are fast and cool, and people who you can count on to go to bat for you last minute are extra special and extra rare. This calls for something beyond a note of thanks. We’re talking flowers or something tasty delivered to the office with a note. Your social capital can take a big hit when you ask for a last minute favor, so be sure to kick up the favor a notch by Porsching out your thanks.
5. The, thanks for giving me a shot – job interview, for the job that you’ve always wanted (The Benz) – Look, I wouldn’t use this one every day. But in this economy, and because so many people are fighting for the same job, you should pull out all the stops if you’re considering the job of your dreams and are lucky enough to get an interview. The thank you itself can be in the form of a hand written note) – but what makes this the Benz of thank yous is that you personally deliver it. In a timely fashion. You don’t want to come off as a stalker, but if you follow up with either something you discussed at your interview, provided additional information along with your thank you, and personally delivered it, this makes an impression. It says – I want this job, and I will do what it takes to get things done. The action in the delivery is the thing that makes the thank you exceptional.
6. I will conclude with the Avanti of thank yous (Avanti, because it is rare, and hard to find): the customized thank you. If you have a theme in your life, put it into your thank yous. For example, right now I’m in a ‘rock star’ phase. I am lucky to have a lot of rock stars in my life, and I LOVE to give anything with Rockstar all over it – cards, stars, rock star stuff, etc. If you can customize your thank yous, you are doing something off the beaten path, which is a fantastic and unforgettable thing.
So, my good people, get out there and do some thanking! Whether it be from the Ford Taurus, to the Porsche, to the Benz, or even the Avanti of thanks, the brand is irrelevant – just get to thanking, and go from there.