We have all been invited to various events and organizations as guests.  We receive emails, letters, and phone calls from other professionals extending that invitation.  But what do we actually do with that invitation?  Is our ‘knee jerk’ reaction to delete the email?  Throw the invitation into the recycle bin?  Or decide not to return the call?  How we choose handle these situations will say a lot about us, not only professionally, but personally as well.

If someone has taken the time to personally invite you somewhere (notice the word personally), it is because they think highly of you.  In their opinion you are a person worth introducing to others, a person that has made an impression on them, and one that they feel would benefit from attending as a guest.  If that doesn’t boost your ego and credibility, then read that sentence again.

For my BNI Chapter’s Visitor Day I sent out 35 invitations.  Each included a personalized, handwritten note from myself.  I was very selective with whom I extended an invitation to.  It was important to me that I invite high level professionals, who exhibited leadership, credibility, and integrity, plus would compliment the existing group. With only a week to go until the event, I have only received a response from 7 of the 35 individuals indicating whether or not they would be my guest.  Interesting message.

When I received the R.S.V.P. I must admit that their level of professionalism and integrity skyrocketed in my eyes.  It didn’t matter whether they could attend or not, what did matter was that they took the time to read the letter and respond to me.  That attention to detail and inherent sense of professionalism speaks volumes of their personal branding.

I think the lesson learned here is – how we choose acknowledge others will determine how people continue to view us professionally.  Courtesy is key with a true professional.  With all the work we invest each day to build our book of business, it validates and amplifies our success if others notice it.  Being top of mind to others is a compliment.  Shouldn’t we treat an R.S.V.P. as such?

Keep it personal.

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