T Nation

Power or good business manners

Power. Manners.

Usually 2 opposites.

Powerful gentleman. Manly nice-guy.

You catch my drift.

In regards with Business, I am stuck.

I recently gave a speech in front of 200 people, which led to me exchange business cards with peers.

Yet, I see 2 conflicting options:

  1. Power. First impression. Call it the jerk-never-calls-me- but-he-left-me-a-good- first-impression syndrome. At these events, you make new contacts. You can reasonably presume they value what you have to say or like you otherwise they wouldnt have exchanged cards with you. You have one foot in the door. You could even say you have closed a sale and have left when everybodys happy.

  2. Manners. I always fall off my chair when I attend an event and the people in charge follow-up the event with thank you notes. It`s a rare business practice nowadays. Costs? Maybe. Anyway. All top salesmen books I have read so far recommend that one does send thank you notes to clients, contacts or peers in the beginning of the newfound relationship and, of course, for important events.

Both options make sense. Option 1) keeps your image and impression intact until your next move, and leaves the other party in awe, doubting or expecting good stuff. Option 2) is good business etiquette but could be likened to the nice-guy-never-gets-any-so-he-follows-up-too- quick-after-the-first-date-and-kills -his-good-first-impression-and -never-gets-any-more-from-that- person which we all know.

My hunch is that no option is better than the other. Its all in thefit`.

If you gave your card to a Power type, he`ll value you for behaving in a manner conform with option 1) and respect you less if you adopt option 2) behavior. And vice-versa for Manners type.

What`s YOUR opinion? All advice is most welcome.


Thanks in advance! ;0)

I don’t see any value whatsoever in option 1, there is too fine a line between “power” and just being an arrogant jackass. If you try to come off as “power” you risk being perceived as the latter.

Respect in business is mutual, and I quickly lose any respect for a guy who thinks he’s exuding “power” but is just another wannabe. I’ll deal with the guy who takes the time to show that my respect is being returned.

My $0.02, for what it’s worth.

Not really sure I understand the question, but will state that handing out business cards is soft marketing.

Meaning they typically yeild results when someone has a need and because of the visual representation, remembers you. Unless you have a specific reason to follow-up, sit tight.

What becomes important is remembering the person’s name if you run across them at a later date. When I get a card, I do my best to remember the face. I will even make notes on the back.

You may get that “deer in the headlights” look when you call them by name, but that’s OK. Reintroduce yourself and ask them something specific that shows you remember them.

My $0.02.

I agree with tme. It had to happen eventually!

Woops! Seems my question got diluted a bit in the text.


New business contacts after my presentation.

Do I follow-up with thank you notes, written along the its has been a pleasure meeting you` lines, or not?

Personally I wouldn’t want to receive a “thank you” letter. If you made a good impression on me I’ll remember you and keep your card.A thank you letter just seems like ass kissin’ to me and I hate that.Most likely I wouldn’t deal with you.Of course, that’s just me and I can’t speak for others.
Maybe it depends on who you’re dealing with. Try to read the person you’re dealing with and make a judgement call on whether to send a letter or not.

Like the others said, just my 2 cents.

Absolutely. Having good business manners in no way weakens you lessens your percieved “power”. It will pay off in the long run.

sure, i think it’s a very nice gesture and it will keep you on their mind. if you can afford it. perhaps at the same time, follow up with a special deal or offer, you could just make the deal/sale/whatever you are selling.

I personally hate getting generic thank you cards/letters. If you are going to send a thank you, make sure that it shows that you took time (i.e., write a letter describing your chat) and that it isn’t merely a formality. This will show genuine interest.