I usually try to put a thank you in the transition leading to the conclusion – that way I make my personal thanks known (and signal the audience.
The most common mistake made by people assigned to thank a speaker is to repeat portions of the talk. That’s totally unnecessary, is boring at best, and empties the hall at worst.
If you’re going to be thanking the speaker you should make a point of introducing yourself to the speaker before the event begins and ensure you have the proper pronunciation of their name. Tell the speaker you’ll be thanking him or her and chat for a moment or two, all the while listening for any points that you might be able to use in your thank-you speech. Perhaps the speaker had to cut short a trip to keep the engagement. Maybe the speaker came a very great distance to give the talk. Usually there isn’t, but if there happens to be anything worthy of note, be sure to mention it. But stay away from clichés such as “taking time out from your busy schedule” or “honouring us with your presence”.
You’ll need to listen intently to the speech and make notes that will help you choose an appropriate adjective or two with which to describe it. You should also note any surprises the speech held, such as an unexpected revelation or a particularly valuable piece of advice.
You can never go wrong by opening your-thank you speech with the simple words “Thank you very much Ms. Speaker for a (insert an appropriate adjective) presentation.” Then mention one or two (but no more) worthy points from the speech, such as the surprising revelation or the valuable advice referred to earlier. If you did pick up any tidbit worthy of mention about any particular sacrifice or special effort the speaker had to make to be there, be sure to mention it.
If you’re presenting a gift, call the speaker back to the lectern and present the gift with an appropriate short statement. If the speaker wishes to say a few words of thanks, that’s fine. But never pressure a speaker to do so. If you’re also the master of ceremonies you should then get on with the program; or if it’s finished, state that fact, make any closing announcements, thank the people for coming and move away from the lectern. If you’re not the master of ceremonies, just go and sit down.
Here’s an example of an appropriate and effective thank-you speech:
Thank you Ms. McPherson for an enlightening and entertaining presentation on the right way to apply for a bank loan; we appreciate having this mysterious area clarified. Your advice to always present an annual budget document to the loan officer showing how we intend to use the loan proceeds and how we’ll be able to service the loan is especially useful. The audience may not know this, Ms. McPherson, but we owe you a special vote of thanks for being here because I happened to find out that you delayed your annual golf trip a couple of days so that you could make it. We really appreciate that. I have a small token of our appreciation here for you, Ms. McPherson. Please accept it with our sincere thanks.”
Remember, when introducing or thanking a speaker, you are not the star.
Source: Lyman MacInnis, https://lymanmacinnis.squarespace.com/journal/2010/1/17/introducing-and-thanking-speakers.html
You and the members of your organization enjoyed listening to an inspiring presentation. The speaker may have delivered a keynote address.
You nurtured the relationship, you cold called your dream client and made an appointment, you diagnosed their needs, you built the relationships, and you built a shared vision of a better outcome.
And now you made your big boardroom presentation. You used everything that you learned to make it a great presentation, you performed well, and you answered all of the questions.
Now, the whole thing is out of your hands and you must simply await the buying team’s decision, right? Wrong!
You don’t stop selling until the decision is made (and even then, should you not be awarded the business, you move your dream client right back on to your nurture list and keep selling . . . they’re still a dream client, after all).
After your big presentation, you need to send a thank you letter. But saying thank you could be so much more, if you let it.
You certainly want to send personal card to each person to whom you presented. Fine. But that isn’t enough and it isn’t selling. You need to send a formal thank you letter that continues to sell your message.
You have a solution that will help them generate better results. You had some dialogue with them during the presentation that clarified their vision, and you heard the challenges that they made to your solution in the form of questions.
Your follow up letter needs to reinforce your ability to generate the result that you and your solution will provide. It needs to spell out how the conversation you had has strengthened your proposal. It needs to outline the changes to your plan and to your solution based on the buying team’s questions and what you have learned.
More than anything else, you have to reiterate and reinforce your differentiation. Your dream client may have seen only you, or you might have been one of ten presentations. Your follow up letter is your chance to sell, and it is your chance to remind your dream client of the differences that will make the difference.
You had solutions. Your competitor had solutions. Both seemed pretty reasonable. Your follow up letter has to say more than thank you; it is has to say that your solution is right, that it will produce the results that your dream client needs, and that you are committed to helping them achieve that result.
If you are super sharp, and if you have a great team, you will have taken exceptional notes, including who asked what questions and who made what comments. Your letter will include a list of the questions that were asked with written answers reiterating and expanding on what you said when your time was limited to the presentation and the follow up—now you time is no longer limited.
The fact that you bothered to take notes, to remember what was important to each buying team member, and that you felt it was important enough to require a written response, demonstrates that you are detail-oriented, professional, caring, and concerned with the implementation and execution after you make the sales. It proves that you are listening.
This alone will differentiate you from your competitors, most of whom will send a thank you, and many of whom will do so by email only.
The closing of your letter needs again to ask for your dream client’s business. You need to say, “We very much look forward to working with you on this project, we will achieve the results that we discussed and presented, and we ask you to give us the opportunity to be part of your team.”
If you are a long time reader of this blog (and if you have taken action on what you read), you didn’t leave your presentation without scheduling a follow up appointment of some kind. I know your dream client’s buying team told you that they would be contacting you, but waiting is not an option; you must continue to sell until the final decision is made.
Your dream client has to know that you want the business more than your competitors. They have to know that you are more serious about producing the results—results that are better than your largest and fiercest competitors—and that you will act as part of their team.
Your thank you card isn’t enough.
Your follow up letter needs to sell in your absence. It needs to differentiate you and your offering. You can say thank you, or you can say something real—like how passionately committed you are to helping your dream client produce better results.
Take the time to write the follow up sales letter. Say thank you. And make it rock!
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"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."
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.
Sending a thank-you note may be considered old-fashioned today, but it's one and Presentation Tips|Referrals|Sales Tools and Sample Documents.
Thank You for the Opportunity to Speak at Meeting
Guidelines and Alternate Phrases
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State Zip
City, State Zip
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to your group this week about relationship selling. I always look at such meetings as a learning experience for myself when I leave with so many true stories that underscore the validity of the concepts presented.
The group members seemed very receptive to the ideas. They asked some particularly thought-provoking questions that make me think they plan to use the information right away to their benefit. After you have had time to talk with others in the group, I’d also appreciate a note summing up their reactions to the ideas and the meeting. This feedback gives me invaluable direction for any follow-up sessions at other branches.
For those in the group who left their business cards with me, I’ll be mailing further information. If you have later inquiries, please direct them to my office.
All in all, I was thrilled about the potential of your group to change the way our industry does business.
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr. Kruger:
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my ideas on making the most of committee work. Knowing how to operate effectively in a group, I feel, is the key to a successful business. Obviously your employees felt that way—they asked specific questions which indicated they were seriously evaluating my ideas and methods.
I especially enjoyed the role-playing portion of the presentation. I often feel as if I learn more than the participants do. They always come up with a novel approach to a problem I had not considered. I guess that further validates the idea of working together! If at all possible, I would be interested in hearing your employees’ feedback concerning the presentation. Their comments are important to me, because if they disagreed or failed to understand a part of the presentation, then I need to adjust accordingly.
Thank you for your kind offer to pass my card along to other colleagues with a letter of recommendation for my presentation. I realize that you are extremely busy and appreciate the time you are taking to do so.
You have a group of bright, motivated employees. It was a pleasure to work with them.
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak to your marketing class last week. I have often wondered how college professors manage to stand up at the front of the room and lead a group discussion—I initially found it more intimidating than giving a presentation to the Board of Directors!
Fortunately, your students soon set me at ease. I enjoyed hearing their perceptions of the world of marketing almost as much as they seemed to enjoy hearing about it from someone who is “in the trenches.” They asked excellent questions—ones that made me stop and consider certain marketing practices that are taken purely as a matter of course. Having to explain these practices gave me new awareness of my own field.
I have enclosed the bio and picture that you requested for your department newsletter. Thank you for the honor of including me in it!
I would also like to ask if your department may be interested in arranging some marketing internships with my company. If all your students are as perceptive and motivated as the ones I met in your advanced class, I’m sure it would be a worthwhile project.
On behalf of the (chapter name) of RMA, we wanted to express our appreciation to you for the seminar (or, as our speaker) on (topic name). It was extremely.