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‘Tis the season for thank you

Q. Our office received a visit and gourmet breakfast treats from a high profile individual as a thank you for work we did for him that he personally brought by our office. Since his gesture was a thank you should it be followed up with another note of thanks?

S. L., Washington, DC

A. ‘Tis the season. Even in these difficult economic times, clients are offering expressions of thanks for work done during the year or on a project. Sometimes these gifts are delivered in person. Other times a delivery company brings them to your office. If the gift had been sent by a delivery company, a thank you note would be required. Not only does it express your appreciation, it also lets the sender know that you received the gift.

If, as in your case, the individual brings the gift personally and he is thanked, etiquette says you have met your obligation–he is both thanked and he knows you have received the gift. That said, a thank you note is still totally appropriate and a good business decision. Not only did he purchase the gift for you, he made the extra effort to deliver it personally. What more considerate way for you to let him know you truly appreciate his gesture than to send him a note in addition to thanking him when he delivered the gift? In addition, consider the thank you note not as an obligation but as a smart business move–one more opportunity to interact positively with him. He’s a high profile person who has influence in your community. By going the extra mile you reinforce the reasons he wants to do business with you.

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Keep it short and simple. “Dear Mike, Your gift of the gourmet breakfast treats was such a pleasant surprise, and it was so nice of you to bring it to us yesterday. I know the staff enjoyed having the opportunity to spend a few minutes talking with you. We’ve very much appreciated being able to work with you and hope to have the opportunity again in the new year. On behalf of the entire staff, thank you again. Jill”

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