It’s that time of year again. The holidays. Time for family. Time for singing. Oh, and time for presents. Not just presents for your family either. You’ve got to start thinking about presents for your clients. It may seem all right to get all of your clients fruit baskets or boxes of gourmet candy, but frankly, you’re not the only one to think of that. Candy, fruit, and flowers overrun most businesses around the holidays. It’s estimated that about 50% of it goes to waste because they cannot handle the sheer volume of it all.
So, how do you cut through the mess of holiday gifts? Here are 4 easy steps to planning your law firm’s holiday client gifts.
Make It A Part Of A Market Strategy
Many of the lawyers that I talk to don’t think of their holiday client gifts as anything other than a nice gesture at the end of the year. They consider the relationship building tactics associated with giving gifts, but not the potential business that can be gained with holiday gifts as a part of a marketing strategy.
Consider sending out multiple gifts throughout the year. Your gifts, cards, or tickets to an event will stand out when they don’t have the competition from every other business looking to attract the attention of your client. Have a senior partner make brief phone calls wishing your clients a happy holiday and asking if your gift made it all right. Use holiday gifts as an opportunity to connect with clients. Don’t just see it as an obligation.
Consider The Shelf Life
The holidays are the busiest time of year. Getting a fruit basket or cheese plate in it will almost guarantee that at least a part of your gift will end up in the trash. Think about getting something that will last a bit longer. A lawyer I know got a few bottles of wine with a personalized wine bottle balancer, so her clients could show off their gift any time of year. The wine bottle balancer also ensured that there was something more tangible to remember her by throughout the year.
Now, if you’re set on giving away a fruit basket or cheese plate, add a personalized serving board to the basket to add that permanent touch to your gift. This way, even if they aren’t able to eat the entire basket, you’ll know that your gift is used and loved often because of its practicality.
The ultimate trick to making your clients know that you care about them as people is knowing their name. This ensures that they don’t just feel like another number in your book of business, building the relationship you have with them solidly. With technology today, it is easier than ever to engrave their name into a product that they will use forever. You’ll get bonus points with them if you get them something related to a hobby or past time of theirs. Do they love to cook? Get them a personalized serving tray or cutting board. Are they always talking about wine tastings or vacationing? Get them a wine cork collector or aluminum luggage tag with their name on it.
When you’re sending the gift, don’t forget to put a card on it so they know whom it is from. If time permits, have the senior partners in your firm add a brief message to wish them a happy holiday. That way, they know that your gift isn’t just a stock gift from a secretary, but actually a thoughtful gift from the partners.
Timing, Timing, Timing
When is the best time to get your gifts to your clients? Ideally you want to have them arrive at the beginning of December. That way, they’re not lost in the hectic rush to get everything closed about before the end of the year. It also gives you time to reach out to your largest clients to wish them a happy holiday over the phone or even in person. Again, your goal is to make your clients feel important and to build that relationship. Getting gifts to them early allows time for these important relationship building activities while also allowing you time to recover any mishaps from the gifts arriving, like delays in shipping or even typos.
It’s time to start thinking about holiday gifts for your clients. Avoid any mishaps with these four tips to make your holiday gifts make a real impact in your business.