We're almost to the holiday season ... and every year I sit back and watch people stress because they have "so much to do, so little time." (This can be quite entertaining, especially if your shopping is already complete.) Giving that perfect gift - the one that rocks the world of your client - can be a tough find, and can be quite time consuming. Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas that will keep you in their thoughts in the best possible way:
- An illustrated children's book, autographed and signed by the author to your client's children (or grandchildren), or a copy of your favorite book, signed by the author. As an author, I happily "autograph" my books and every author I know is the same way.
- Personalized stationary. In a perfect world we do business with our friends, and our friends send us personal notes on their personal stationary. No logos. No business cards. You can order high-quality notes at Crane's here in your client's favorite (or corporate) colors that they can use to raise the quality of their client relationships all year long.
- Buy your client their name -- or their children's name or family name -- in the form of a personal domain ... www-dot-yourclientsname-dot-com from the nice folks (including my husband) over at AdWest Media. They can even build a simple website for you, too, as part of the gift. Buy the domain name for ten years, and direct them to my article on making sure when their name is Googled, their personal page comes up (and it can be directed to their corporate website).
- Make a donation in their name to a charity like Kiva or Room to Read.
- Red Envelope has a great selection of gifts in all price ranges - they come with a story and wrapped in a red box with a white satin bow. Here you can honor your clients affinity for a hobby (golf, tennis) or fine spirits or just finer things.
- You can get flash drives with your client's logos and information. Reach out if you'd like the name of a gal who does a fantastic job, at a reasonable price, in about two weeks!
- You could also host a luncheon and invite three or more people that are your client's ideal clients, give them a spa day (including massage, for stress relief), gift their family with a few days at Disneyland, or a couple's weekend in a great city like San Francisco.
The amount you invest in your gift should be commensurate to the amount of revenue your client brings to your business all year - and you'll also want to figure in the lifetime value of your client as well. Having said that, when you put real thought into your gifts, that thought is remembered long after the gift is gone, eaten or used up -- even if it is a $5 Starbucks gift card in a card home-made by your children. Remember to enjoy the process of giving or sending your clients gifts - and that you can't out-give, so whatever you give will come back to you multiplied.