The holiday season is an excellent time to build new client relationships and stoke the fire under the ones that have grown cold throughout the year. Client presents are the gifts that keep on giving because investing in these relationships means return business for you. There’s no better way to get your clients’ attention then with a meaningful gift that speaks to them on a deeper level.
Anybody who has received a necktie or candle knows there’s an art to gift giving…one that many of us are not well versed in. When it comes to a relationship as delicate as your clients, you really don’t want to mess it up. We’ve put together some guidelines to help you navigate client wishlists.
Things to remember when shopping for client gifts
- Personalize your gifts. Sending the generic Ghirardelli chocolates might put a smile on your client’s face, but it won’t differentiate you and keep you in his or her memory when planning next years big event. If you want to stand out you need to personalize each gift to the client. This may be the only time you’ll ever be upset about having a long client list, but there are quick and easy ways to customize. Take for instance the sock company, Foot Cardigan, who makes fun and quirky socks that can be shipped all over the world. By doing a little social media research, it’s easy to send your dog-loving client pug socks and your beach bum client surf socks.
- But don’t get too personal. While everyone can appreciate a gift tailored to their tastes, there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed. It’s best to steer clear of anything the client is supposed to put on his or her body: perfume, lotions, jewelry. These gifts can turn sour for two reasons. Scented gifts leave room for the client to interpret you think they smell or they may even be taken as a come-on.
- Use the gift to tell about you. A holiday gift is a way to create a deeper connection with the client. You want it to stay in their memory. The best way is to send a gift that tells your story. If you’re based somewhere interesting send a memento that’s unique with a little note letting them know they’re being thought about all around the world.
- Keep it non-denominational. It’s hard to be 100 percent sure what religion or belief system your clients’ practice. Just to be safe, stick with something festive for everyone. Nowadays it’s easy to find winter-themed gifts and wrapping that don’t signify any certain religion, yet still bring all the good ol’ fashion holiday cheer.
- Make it experiential. To help build your clients’ muscle memory around you and your brand give them something they can interact with. An easy and relaxing experiential gift is sending your clients to a spa day or massage. Something a little more out of the box could be sending Vector, a personalized desk robot. This little guy lives on your desk and uses facial recognition and a voice integrated AI to communicate with you.
- Don’t forget about allergies. Food is always a fan-favorite during the holidays. Everyone loves a good treat delivered right to their office during the time of guilt-free indulgence. So, make sure they’ll be able to enjoy it. Avoid nuts and soy. If you really want to be safe, get rid of dairy and gluten as well. You don’t want to be the reason your client ends up in the hospital on Christmas Eve.
If you follow these guidelines and add your own personal flair to the gift, you’re a sure bet to be the first person your client calls in the new year.
Jessica Welch is the Content Marketing Associate at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Anthropology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Her business thought articles often appear on Business 2 Community, Born 2 Invest, and YF Entrepreneurs.