Saying thanks or thank you is a great way to show your clients that you appreciate their work and respect their business. I like to thank my clients when the provide meaningful feed back, and most especially reinforce early payments.
Two Special Words that Will Make Your Clients See You Differently
Of course you would…
It almost sounds too good to be true, but guess what? There actually are two words that can help improve your client relations and help you get new clients. What’s more, you’ve probably known about these words since you were in kindergarten.
The words are simple: thank-you.
In this post, I’ll explain how saying thank-you will help improve your relationships with current clients and may even help you get new clients.
Five Times to Thank a Client or Prospective Client
Here are five occasions when you should consider thanking a client or prospective client:
- When they’ve met with you personally. Say something like, “Thank-you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday.”
- When they’ve interviewed you by phone. Say something like, “Thank-you for considering me for this project.”
- When they’ve gone out of their way to provide with support for a project. Say something like, “Thank-you for the help and support that you provided on XYZ project.”
- When you enjoyed the work that you did. Say something like, “Thank-you for giving me the opportunity to work on XYZ project. I really enjoyed it.”
- When you enjoyed dealing with the client as an individual. Say something like, “Thank-you for working with me on XYZ project. I think that we make a good team.”
Of course, the phrases above are just examples of how you might open a thank-you to a client or prospective client. You would then go on to customize your email or letter to your specific situation.
There are times when you may wish to offer a special thanks to certain clients. Here are some of those times:
- Holidays and other special occasions may call for a special thank-you in the form of a promotional or professional item.
- You can opt to provide a steady or particularly large customer with discounted rate.
- Existing clients may also appreciate getting advance notice of sales or special offers.
The bottom line is that, no matter how you go about doing it, saying thank-you is powerful.
Why Saying Thank-You Works
Why should I even bother thanking a client, or prospective client? You might be asking yourself this very thing.
I can think of three really good reasons to say thank-you:
- Saying thank-you acknowledges that you value your client’s time.
- Saying thank-you makes you stand out from your competition.
- Saying thank-you gives you a reason to stay in contact.
First of all, saying thank-you to a client for a meeting or interview shows that client that you understand how busy he or she is. You acknowledge that you know that their time is important.
Second, saying thank-you for a positive experience is the right thing to do. It’s polite, and politeness is something that is disappearing from our society. Chances are that your competition won’t thank a client or prospect, so saying thank-you makes you more memorable.
Finally, saying thank-you gives you an excuse to communicate with the client again. It’s a great follow up note to an interview. A thank-you email also keeps your name in front of the prospect as he or she decides which freelancer to choose for their project.
Saying thank-you can be misused, though. So, it’s important to use it appropriately.
Thank-You Hurdles to Watch Out for
Of course, there are times when it’s inappropriate to say thank-you to a client. Here some thank-you hurdles to avoid:
- The insincere thank-you. Don’t tell the client that you enjoyed working with them or on their project if you both know it’s not true. Most clients can sense when you’re being insincere.
- The inappropriate thank-you. Don’t thank your client for the support they gave you if they didn’t give you any help, and so on.
- The overblown thank-you. A thank-you need not be excessive to be effective. Don’t make your client uncomfortable by fawning on him or her or offering inappropriate gifts.
A Final Word About Thank-Yous
A thank-you also provides you with a great opportunity to ask for the work or for additional projects.
There’s nothing more natural than saying something like, “Thank-you so much for giving me the chance to work on XYZ project. Please let me know if you have anything else you’d like me to handle for you.”
Also, thanking a client for an interview provides the perfect opportunity to reinforce how much you’d like to work on the project.
In fact, if you’re not thanking your clients and prospects when the opportunity arises, you’re probably missing out on some business that could be (and should be) yours.
What About You?
When do you thank your clients? Do you think saying thank-you is important?
Why, or why not?
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August 27th, 2010 at 8:51 am
August 27th, 2010 at 8:56 am
I love the section of Thank-You Hurdles to Watch Out for. Its so true! Saying Thank You is very important, but it has to be sincere! And look at people’s eyes when saying it!
Something I write Thank-You notes to the people I work with too! You can never say enough Thank-You to them…specially if they work very hard along you!
Thank You to everyone at KAI Design & Communication! :)
August 27th, 2010 at 9:37 am
Thanks Jordan and Andrew!
Really, it’s about differentiating yourself. Very few freelancers bother to do this, so when you do you’ll stand out.
Plus, it’s another contact point to get your eyes in front of the client.
Finally, it never hurts to be thankful when it’s appropriate.
August 27th, 2010 at 9:47 am
..hmm.. yeah, it is really important to give and get Thank-You-s :) I wish i get more TY for my worx sometimes.. -.-
anyway, i don’t make trouble of it if i don’t get it always.. hmm.. ;)
August 27th, 2010 at 9:58 am
A thank you is SO important – a show of solidarity and mutual respect.
It’s funny. They are the two words that are the easiest to ignore when spoken, and the most glaring when absent.
Such a simple task, such an important post.
August 27th, 2010 at 10:10 am
This is such a good post; it will be saved on my delicious for sure! Thank yous are important and often overlooked. Sometimes we may assume that our client knows that we are thankful, but it’s good to say it out loud.
I like the “Why Say ‘Thank You’” part of the post… It’s nice to acknowledge that we understand our clients are busy and sincerely thank them for the time they spent meeting with us, taking the phone call, etc.
Thank you for sharing this post! :)
August 27th, 2010 at 10:44 am
It’s amazing how easy it is to forget the simplest things, even those that have been drilled into our brains since we could talk. I completely agree with your point that it can improve your relationship with a client. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and in the end, it’s your client who gave you a project to tackle with your creative skills, and who’s putting money in your bank account.
August 27th, 2010 at 11:41 am
I think manners are important. Depends on the client as to whether it’s important or not though, some are just rude so saying thankyou will go un-noticed.
August 27th, 2010 at 11:55 am
Perfect timing for this post. In yesterday’s mail, I got a handwritten thank you card from the manager of a brick-and-mortar New Balance store. It thanked me for my purchase and asked if I my needs were met. The manager also noted that he hopes to see me again.
Typically I prefer to shop online, but between the service I got while in the store and this thank you note, I think I will be taking another drive (about 20 minutes from my home) the next time I want something from New Balance.
August 27th, 2010 at 1:47 pm
I totally agree with this article. I find a thank you for a pleasant experience or for something someone else has done for you is just a natural response. I might even say it too much but I really appreciate what other people do for me. THANK YOU for sharing ;)
August 27th, 2010 at 3:53 pm
Well written post!
Luckily, I mostly have great clients, so it’s not difficult to express thanks at the end of a project, even if it’s just a friendly email saying that I enjoyed working with them when I send the final invoice.
I also send hand-written holiday cards to those I’ve worked with throughout the year as I know I would appreciate such a gesture (as Amy mentioned), and it’s really such an easy thing to do!
August 27th, 2010 at 6:34 pm
I’m really touched that so many freelancers can relate to this.
I actually know a few people who think thanks are superfluous. Frankly, I expected a few comments along those lines… It’s refreshing (and a sign of the high quality freelancing community we have here) that no one thought saying thank you was a waste.
The trick, of course, is remembering and applying this. It really will set you apart.
August 27th, 2010 at 7:02 pm
Great points Laura! Saying thank you (the sincere way of course) always makes clients warm and fuzzy inside and it won’t take too much of your energy to say so. But you know, this post made me realize that we can also nurture this habit by saying thank you to the people we love and have helped us become the freelancers we are.
“Thank you Mom for always believing in me!”
“Thank you Dad for always supporting me even if we tend to bicker!”
“Thank you my co-freelancers for hearing me out or giving me advice whenever I’m stuck with a freelancing problem!”
“Thank you Freelance Folder and the rest of the community for the knowledge and insights! They’ve all be helpful to me.” :)
August 27th, 2010 at 8:17 pm
Good post! I always make a point of thanking my Clients. Without them the bills wouldn’t get paid. Lately I’ve been thinking about other ways of thanking them I’m going to start simply with cards.
August 28th, 2010 at 2:15 pm
Thank you for a well thought out post. Let’s all band together and start a thank you campaign!
Mordehai GermanAugust 29th, 2010 at 6:20 am
I’m new here. Thanks for the post :-).
August 29th, 2010 at 11:03 pm
lol thank you hurdles are really watchout for never thought in that direction….
October 20th, 2011 at 3:18 am
Heya iâ€™m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.
October 30th, 2011 at 1:00 am
There’s a reason why your parents told you those were the magic words :). Thank you will get you far with people.
April 18th, 2012 at 8:17 am
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