Developing a regular thank-you note habit is one of the most effective ways you can improve your sales process. A thank-you note sent to someone shows that you respect that person and is a concrete way of expressing your appreciation. Such a note can be quite simple; two or three sentences is plenty to convey your meaning in most cases.

You can send thank-you notes via email and even include an e-card, but a thank-you note written in your own handwriting on a physical piece of paper sends a much stronger message. While you probably won't want to hand-write every note, you should certainly think about doing so in special circumstances -- for your biggest customer, or for someone who does you a really significant favor.

One way that you can save time in your writing is to craft templates that will fit a number of common situations. That way, all you have to do is put in a few details and send the note along. Here are a few examples to get you started.

After setting an appointment over the phone:
"Thank you for taking the time to talk with me on the phone yesterday, busy as you are. I look forward to our meeting next [day] at [time] and promise to take only 20 minutes of your time."
After an appointment when the prospect decided not to buy:
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you about my company's product. When you need a new [insert product here], I hope you will keep me in mind so that I will have the chance to provide you with excellent service."
After an appointment when you closed the sale:
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to offer you one of my company's exceptional products. I am certain you will benefit from our new relationship. If you have any questions about your [insert product here], please contact me immediately so that I can provide you with excellent service."
After someone gives you a referral:
"Thank you for referring [insert referral name here] to me yesterday. You can be sure I will provide [him/her] with the highest quality of service possible."
After a prospect tells you he's not interested:
"Thank you for taking the time to consider my company's product. I regret that we were not able to meet your current needs. Please feel free to call me if your situation should change or if you have any questions. I will keep in touch with any updates, as I hope that we will be able to do business together in the future."
After an existing customer buys a new product or service from you:
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to once again serve you. I trust that we have continued to meet our own standards for exceptional service. Should you have any questions about your [insert product here], please contact me immediately so that I can assist you."
On a customer's anniversary:
"I would like to thank you once again for being one of our valued customers. We frequently update our product offerings, so I encourage you to let me know if you have any questions about your [insert product here]. If you would like to know about our newly introduced models, please give me a call."
Wendy Connick
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Connick> all articles
My first sales position was a summer job selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. I continued through a variety of sales jobs ranging from retail sales for a storage company to selling bank products for a Fortune 500 financial institution.

As a small business owner, I now focuses on selling for my own company, Tailored Content, a website content provider. I write on a wide range of topics but my primary focus is sales and how to sell effectively.