As the digital world saturates daily living and handwritten communication becomes a concept more suited for a museum than everyday practice, following a business lunch it remains an etiquette "do" to send a thank you note.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Thank you cards or stationery
- Writing instruments
- Lunch attendees' addresses
Personalise your greeting. Use his or her name in the opening line. When thanking multiple people who attended the lunch, issue each person his own card. For group thank yous, address everyone as a whole, like, "To the Team at Jones Wallace," or for a wittier alternative, "To John and the Dynamic Duo" in your salutation.
Get to the point. Thank you notes are just that: notes. Keep your message short and sweet; it's not a letter. Thank your colleagues for their time or, in the case where they picked up the bill, for the lunch. Mention how you enjoyed meeting with them or how good it was to see them if it has been awhile.
Personalise the experience. Follow your initial thank you line with a reference to the ambience, service, meal or special occurrence during the lunch. Perhaps your guests were impressed by the venue you chose for the luncheon. Mention your delight with them being pleased by the venue. Allow even unexpected happenings to serve as memory-builders to bond you and your lunchmates together. "I'm so glad the flying chicken bites didn't hit you in the head!" is a funny reference you can make for casual luncheons or, "I'm glad you were able to network with your tablemates during lunch," for serious, structured meetings.
Give one more thank you. Wrap up your note with an additional thank you for them scheduling the time for a great meal or just for getting the chance to meet again. Mention the next venture, if any, or now is the time to suggest any additional call to action such as a personal meeting, another lunch or participation in an event.
Sign off on the note with your farewell and signature. It is OK to sign just your first name following a "Sincerely yours, Respectfully yours," or more casual, "Can't wait until the next time." Now that the note is complete, address the envelope formally, add a stamp and drop notes in the mail for delivery.
Send a professional thank you card.
Tips and warnings
- Do not type thank you notes. Keep the concept personal by writing each note by hand. If you have dozens to send, get started promptly so you have time to hand-write each.
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