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I am often contacted by people seeking advice, and in most cases, I am more than willing to provide a few words of feedback to help with a particular problem. In some situations, I will also ask someone in my network to provide insight, especially if it is a problem outside my area of expertise.

And there is one thing that never fails to surprise me. The majority of people requesting advice neglect to say please and even fewer say thank you.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not soliciting praise or demanding recognition. But, please and thank you are two phrases that constitute the bare minimum of politeness.

Here are a few scenarios in which people would appreciate hearing those words:

  • When you call a new prospect, do you thank the executive assistant, receptionist or gatekeeper who connects you with that person?
  • Do you say please when you ask someone for a favor?
  • Do you thank the person in your company who drops everything to help you resolve a problem with a prospect or client?
  • Do you include the word please when asking for help?
  • Do you thank friends, family, colleagues or clients when they refer business to you?
  • Do you thank your boss for his or her feedback and guidance?

These days, when more and more people are forgetting their manners, please and thank you can help you stand out from your competition. In the upcoming week, look for opportunities to use these words, and watch how people respond.

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