So, we in professional services will probably be generous in holiday gift-giving to our clients. Since we are going to invest at least more than we did last year in those gestures, we should give the selections careful thought.
Essentially, I have developed this list of what not to send:
- Barnes & Noble gift certificate to the vice president of marketing. She can order all the books she wants through the company account.
- Wine, if we have a hunch the managing partner at the law firm is in recovery. What would be appreciated is a package of gourmet sweets.
- Fruit basket. Obviously, that shows no thought. Also, research has proved out that consuming only about 800 calories daily can reverse diabetes 2.
- Two tickets for a specific date for a special event such as a basketball game or ballet. The problem is that the client might never be able to use them due to a work emergency. Tickets create stress. (I haven't been able to make firm plans since I hung out a shingle. One Christmas eve I worked until 2 A.M. for an account in China.)
- A weekend at the spa. The odds are clients don't want to relax. This is the always-on economy.
- Sephora gift certificate. Sure, that's a fine brandname. But it could send the message that the client should up the appearance game.
Today, I finished ordering online gifts and completed the mailings through the U.S. Postal Service for other kinds of gestures of appreciation for client business. The relief is enormous.
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