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I just got reminded by the perfect client of this ‘partner etiquette’. Thanking your supplier for proper execution of the administrative part of your deal is just plain nice. It is like thanking someone who’s handing you a cup of coffee you just ordered, or someone who delivers your online purchased parcel at home. ‘Thank you’ is just something we say when one gives and someone else receives. But more often not expressed over invoices.
I started saying ‘thank you’ years ago after first experiencing it myself when a client thanked me. It instantly made such a difference and it made so much sense to me. It is not common practice, that is for sure. But I actually find that it shows another form of appreciation of your partnership – including the boring financial part of it. It might almost mean “just happy to pay you – thank you for working with me”. Nice goes a long way!
I have plenty of experience with the opposite too: people using the moment of invoicing to re discuss prior agreements. In my book, that is at the other end of the ‘reliable partnering’ spectrum when the working relationship was spotless. Everyone knows the quote ‘if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur’. So what I learned from my own clients, and now always do myself, is thank partners when they send me their invoices. So my advice: If you found that great-to-work-with professional and you want to keep working with her*, thank her. Not only when she delivers on promise and beyond, but also when she sends you the bill. I promise – and know from experience – that what you’ll get in return is probably priceless dedication and loyalty.
* I’m using ‘her’, but it might as well could have been ‘him’. You can pick 😉