Getting a gift for your clients during the holidays is not just a nice sentiment, it's good business. Small but meaningful gestures such as personalized gifts help to cement the relationship you have with your client as more than just business. But if you're going to do it, do it right. There are a million tired old cliched gifts that have been done a million times. This holiday, think outside the box; mix quality with personalization and make that client a client for life.
Good client gifts are fun, memorable, and affordable.
A book with a handwritten inscription on the inside cover is an awesome gift - even for people who don't like to read. If you have few enough clients that this idea is doable, a book is more than just a good story. It says to the client that you understand - or at least made an effort to understand - their taste and personality. A book chosen for each specific person - selected with the individual in mind with a holiday sentiment inscribed - is a cool, thoughtful gift from a great business partner.
Everybody loves wine. Well, that's not totally true, but wine is still an awesome gift. A nice bottle of wine is even better if you get two - one red for them to pair with meat or sauce-heavy dishes, and a white to pair with chicken, fish, etc. There are a million awesome blogs run by non-snobby, but super-passionate wine aficionados that have posts recommending the year's best gift bottles that are designed for regular people with regular budgets. You won't have to pay any more than you were going to on that Starbuck's gift card.
One or two of your clients may be non-drinkers. With that bottle, they get to give the gift of free booze to someone who has the luxury of knowing a sober friend with a thoughtful business contact.
Planner and Stationery
A nice day planner for next year's calendar, filled with personalized stationery, is not just nice - it's useful. Whether it's sleek and modern or rustic and leathery, day planners are key to the existence of people in every profession. Of course they have iCal, but a physical planner with their own personal stationery is truly unique and individualized.
Give your clients a night on the town - or at least the tickets to get in. Passes to your local comedy club, community theater, music house, or IMax theater not only gives them something to do, but makes them think about how awesome you are twice - once when they get the tickets and once when they go use them. If you buy in bulk, you almost always get a deal.
A bottle of wine almost always makes a good gift.
Personalized gifts are yet another way to show your clients that you care and they should be happy to work with you. Good personalized gifts are practical and useful, as well as customized specifically to the individual who receives them. Forget the gift card - the last guy they did business with got them that...and you know what a jerk that guy was.
Photo credits: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles
About the Author
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about small business management and human resources.