Connecting with clients is less about asking them to buy something and more about them wanting to buy something. This means you’ll want to be top of mind when their bonus comes in or their accountant suggests doing something with their finances. In other words, use a light touch, and the holidays provide an opportunity to do so.
- Send holiday cards. The more personalized the better. This means hand-addressed envelopes and real stamps. Also, be one of the first cards that go out because those are the ones people tend to remember the most.
- Buy clients a calendar. You should be able to get them imprinted with your name and business contact information. Ideally, the calendar is marked for significant dates, such as tax payment deadlines. When they use the calendar, they’ll see your name.
- Send candy. I’ve been with my financial advisor since 1995. Every year, a box of chocolate truffles arrives in the mail. The box includes a personalized card, hand-signed by my advisor and her team members. I look forward to it every year. Also, during the holidays, people entertain, which makes it a great time to serve chocolate.
- Buy a Christmas tree ornament or small tree if your clients celebrate Christmas. There are plenty of cool ornaments. If your client likes classic cars, get them a classic car ornament. If they have a cat, you know the type of ornament you should buy. It gets saved and used every year. If clients don’t decorate, you could send them a tiny tabletop tree-like plant, such as rosemary.
- Give a gift to a charity in their name. There are people who think holiday gifts are a waste of money. Hopefully, they are charitable, though, and have a favorite nonprofit. They might serve on the board. Send a check (it doesn’t need to be big) to their charity as a gift in their honor. The charity will notify them that a gift has been made.
- Bake something. Cookies are a good idea. Your office manager needs to approve this because the firm might have rules. Obviously, you need to be proficient at baking. Many people are impressed when they receive a gift that is handmade by the giver of the present.
You will notice none of these gift ideas involve a book about personal finance, an offer for a free portfolio review for a friend or anything that looks like you are looking for a sale. Your clients should be impressed by your thoughtfulness. They probably do business with other financial professionals. Their spouse might ask what the other person sent during the holidays. It might be nothing. Regardless of the outcome, you will have made a positive impression.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.
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