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More gift-giving opportunities to connect with clients than you may think

Pile of gorgeous giftsPile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In business, it seems we're always encouraged to be aggressive. Getting there first has its advantages, but sometimes it really is best to be last -- or at least arrive at a different time than the pack.

For instance, several of our clients wanted to send holiday gifts to their top customers, and because they contacted us late in the season their gifts, would not have arrived until just before the holiday. 

Yes, the idea of giving gifts is to thank clients and show your heartfelt appreciation. But you're also making an investment in your relationship. And you want that investment to create the best return on investment possible. It just didn't make much sense to send the gift when the clients' tables were full of gifts from other customers and when half the employees traditionally are gone during the week of Christmas and New Years.

That's why our advice was to wait until later in January. It's a time of the year when people are tired of the winter weather, they're in the doldrums and the holiday treats are all gone. Sending a gift in late January to thank your client for their business the previous year certainly gets noticed. And, that's what you want to do -- get noticed.

That's not to say it's time for a whole new trend in business where you forget about sending the holiday gifts.

When it comes to holiday season gifts, the key to being noticed is to be first. Instead of a Christmas Gift, you might consider sending a gift out at Thanksgiving (Thank you for being our Customer) or Valentine’s Day (We “Love” our clients).

Just remember, you don’t have to wait to thank your clients, employees or others for their loyalty or business.  I know a tax firm that thanks its clients at the end of an audit (which is no fun for anyone!) and thanks its employees at the end of every tax preparation season. Your business has its own times of the year when saying thanks to your clients will be noticed and appreciated most, too.

That old saying about timing being everything is absolutely true. When it comes to connecting with clients, you have more times to do it effectively than you might think.

Kelly Sharp is the owner of the Heart of Iowa Market Place in historic Valley Junction.

 

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