Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Panic? There's Still Time to Give - and Give Back

The holiday season is a time to show the people in your life they are valued, sending holiday cards and gifts to family and friends. Many businesses choose to include clients and colleagues in holiday gift giving. If procrastination is now turning to panic, don’t worry! There’s still time to send holiday wishes to clients and business partners.

If a holiday card is in the plan, there are several tips to consider:
·        Send a “Happy New Year” card. It’s a great upbeat alternative to the traditional holiday card, and can be sent right up through the first of the year.
·        Send a holiday eCard. Online design applications, such as Paperless Post, offer extensive design selections and tools to customize a message and assure highest rates of delivery. The eCard method is “green,” and can be done quickly. The benefit is that some sites help upload and maintain your contact list, so you’ll be ready earlier next year!
·        Include a photo of your team on the card, whether a print card or eCard. If your clients are distant, they may not see you often, and a photo of the people they work with helps them know you better.
·        If your list is short, consider personalizing each card. A brief handwritten note is always appreciated.

Professional Gifts
As the holidays are rapidly approaching, an online site with direct shipping is probably the best option at this point. First determine which clients will receive a gift. From that, you can decide if you want them all to get the same gift. A tiered system, with small/medium/large items in a gift grouping, may allow some tailoring of the gift to the size of the client team.
Some tips on gift giving:
·        Send something from a business local to your community. Support another local business while sending a unique and memorable gift. Think Seattle smoked salmon, Texas hot sauce, Virginia peanuts.
·        Fine chocolate and coffee are always appreciated.
·        An experience gift can be fun. Depending on the client, an afternoon visit by a masseuse or nail artist could provide a break from work stress, and a bonding experience for the client team.
·        Share your values and make the world a better place. A well-considered charitable donation to an organization that the client admires or is associated with is a thoughtful and meaningful gesture.
·        An important book (that you have read and enjoyed) in the industry or profession, management and leadership arena is a thoughtful way to share your views and values.
·        If the client is a large corporation, there may be restrictions on acceptance of gifts. Consider this, and avoid over-the-top extravagance.
·        In addition to clients, consider a card or gift for those key prospective clients on your target list for the coming year. This is one more opportunity to build a new relationship.

So delay no further! As the old adage goes, “it’s the thought that counts.” With these tips, your card or gift will convey your thoughtfulness and appreciation of your clients this holiday season!