When are Business Sympathy Cards Appropriate?

When a colleague or client experiences the death of someone close, whether family or co-worker, it’s hard to know the best way to respond. Sometimes attending calling hours or a memorial service isn’t possible due to distance. A good alternative is sending either a personal condolence card or one on behalf of your company (or a group of workers).

People often struggle with what to say to someone who has experienced a death. You want to acknowledge their loss, but not be intrusive or insensitive. Sending a card is a caring and respectful way to reach out to the person.

To whom you send the card may depend on your relationship with the recipient.

  • What if one of your best clients passes away? It would be appropriate to send cards to his colleagues, acknowledging their loss of a great co-worker. If your client worked for a small business and you’ve met his family members, it would also be a thoughtful gesture to send a card specifically to the family.
  • What if your client mentions they lost someone? If you’ve known this client for a while, a phone call would be appropriate. But also send a business sympathy card. You might send one personally and also have your company send a more “official” group card.

Your Message
Don’t worry too much about making your sympathy card message profound. Choosing a pre-printed verse is fine. If you have a closer relationship with the co-workers or family, write a personal note inside the card. Be yourself, but saying something like “I know how you feel” is not advised. Stick to simple sentiments that tell the person you’re thinking of them.