You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when someone reaches out and shows you they are thinking of you with a note, card or gift? That is the exact same thing you’ll want to do this holiday. I thought it was common knowledge, but I am amazed at how many business professionals take clients for granted. So, get out the creativity or the checkbook and show your customers you appreciate them this Holiday! It will go a long, long way. I promise.
- Check your excuses at the door: Even if you work for a company that doesn’t have the holiday budget, set an example. Use your own resources or funds to show your clientele how much they mean to you. If you are low on funds yourself, gather a few office mates to lend a hand and come up with something creative. Homemade office cards, hand delivered baked goods or gift certificates for your own company services will show you appreciate their business. When I was first starting out as an solopreneur, gift certificates for future services were budget friendly for me and loved by recipients.
- Gifts for your best client(s): Knowing that some high end steaks or special tequila will make a big impression with a customer will show them you pay attention. But remember, just because you may love a certain food or item doesn’t mean everyone does, so research and choose wisely. Personally, I am a pescatarian, but one of my clients appreciates a fine steak. I was still delighted to send some to his front door with well wishes for a great year.
- Gifts for a team you appreciate: Gift baskets or tins that have munchies, candies or fruit and more are always a big hit. Plus, a number of online stores provide free gift wrapping and/or shipping which will save you postage and running around town. If your clients are close, you can always assemble them yourself to save a few dollars. Be sure to compare the two options to see what works best for you.
- Something for everyone: Gift cards are easy and small. If you have clients far away, these are great business holiday gift ideas. If you have a client that produces a unique or fun gift, buy some up and give to your other clients if appropriate. You not only support a client, but you show others you are thinking of them this season. Two things will be marked off your list with one action. Practical electronic gadgets are also good options. Jump drives, station hubs, cup warmers, electronic photo frames and multi-purpose emergency phone chargers make excellent gifts as well.
- Give promotional items: Have your company name, logo or special illustration printed on clothing, bags or framed prints. Calendars and other desk tools are good too because they’ll be seen everyday, all year long. You can communicate your gratitude to everyone who receives them and your company will enjoy residual marketing benefit every time these people use them. For some of our current and potential clients, we designed a calendar with projects we’ve done over the past year. It serves not only as a handy, useful daily tool but also highlights our best work.
Don’t forget potential clients. If you’ve been courting a company or possible client, make sure to reach out this month so they know you are thinking of them. Any chance to put your name in front of them is a good idea and the holidays should be no different.
The biggest thing to remember is to put forth the effort, do something, send something, hand deliver something. It will show how thankful you are for their business (or potential business) and for the relationship.
Happy Holidays and have fun with reaching out, sharing from yourself and showing your clients how much you truly appreciate their business.
I’d love to hear from you! What tips do you have for client gift giving and what are you giving your prized clients for appreciation gifts?