When “Thank You” Doesn’t Work

I was chatting with someone recently (Let’s call him Michael – not his name) and he had been making a lot of progress in his career outreach and then nothing. We were both puzzled. I asked him to walk me through his communication before, during, and after one of this meetings. The front end looked great – 90% of the people agreed to meet with him and questions during the meeting also were also right on point.

Then we talked about his post meeting thank you email. As he read one to me, he nailed the thank you – “what he gained from the dialogue” (paragraph 1) and “what he planned to do with what he learned” (paragraph 2). Then he read the third paragraph – it was obvious what was going wrong. Mike didn’t demonstrate that he had learned anything about the other person beyond what this person could do for Mike. In fact, his third paragraph about asking for more people, more resources, just more. The preceding “thank you” could have easily been perceived as inauthentic and really only a means to gain more.

So next time you say “thank you”, leave it at that – and save the next ask for another time.

Have a good day,


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