It’s that time of year again, when the vast majority of businesses send out some sort of gifts to their clients as a holiday “thank you” for their business during the past year. It’s often a basket of fruit, a bottle of wine, a Starbucks gift card or maybe something ‘kitschy’ from the vendor’s home town. And I support that… I think sending out gifts for the holidays is a very nice gesture.
The problem is, for most companies, the gift giving stops there. Why?! Why would you not want to say “thank you” to your clients all year round?
Here are a couple of things to think about…
- If you’re giving gifts to your clients at this time of year… guess what? So are your competitors. Which means your gift better be pretty special so it stands out! You don’t want to be at the bottom of that list!
- More importantly… why would you not want to provide tangible appreciation after a significant project? If a buyer – in the middle of the year – is willing to spend $50,000 with you on a study, isn’t that worth a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers (with a little note that says “thank you for your business”)? Of course it is… so why don’t we do it?
Some will say, “It’s not in the budget.” B.S. You just did a $50,000 project… you have the funds for a $50 bottle of wine.
For others, it’s because they didn’t think of it. Here’s how to fix that… right now, add ‘send gift’ to your project wrap-up checklist, so you’re reminded of it after every single project.
But for most, it’s because you’re arrogant and lazy. You’re so confident that your ‘good work’ will keep the client coming back that you don’t think it’s necessary to say ‘thank you’ with a gift. But the truth is, your ‘good work’ is just table stakes… because every firm does good work. But not every firm takes the time (by the way, it takes less than five minutes on wine.com to order a bottle!) to send a token of sincere appreciation after a project. [And it really is sincere…. or should be. Without those projects, you don’t have a business.] So, use gift giving as a way to stand out from the competition and stay top-of-mind – in a very positive way – with your clients throughout the year.
There’s an old adage that we all know – and that I deeply agree with – that ‘people do business with people they like.’ And, I promise, your clients will like you a little bit more if you occasionally surprise them with a sincere and tangible gift of thanks.