Christmas (Xmas) is coming. And good clients are particularly precious this season. Should we send cards or gifts? If gifts, what? And how much should we spend?
In matters of etiquette, no thing is better than the wrong thing. But that’s pretty lame. So let us pick a path through this merry minefield.
If your client is a drinker, she may prefer schnapps to sav blanc. So buying five dozen whites with your logo on the label may be counterproductive, not cost effective.
The greeting card pictured above is entitled ‘Fluffy Discovers the Christmas Lights’. One year, I sent it to all my clients. While most thrilled to my humour, a few were not amused.
I won’t make that mistake again.
We’re not all Christians. Americans say ‘happy holidays’ to avoid offence.
If a client is more into Ramadan than Rudolf, your cheery yuletide Yo! will cut little ice. And if you send alcohol, you may teetotal yourself right out of the relationship.
You must therefore know each client’s religion. This is another delicate operation, unless you’re on very good terms.
The answer is to know your clients well. This good business tenet comes to the fore on special days. You’ve probably read how powerful it is to mark client birthdays. You may even take the time to do so.
Surely, then, it’s not that much of a stretch to sort your Hanukkahs from your Pancha Ganapatis.
As Christmas still grips much of the Western world, we ought to generate a suitable gift list.
If you know a client well enough, the right present will suggest itself. If not, you need to go generic.
As with communications, generic is far less effective than targeted. However, if you must ‘batch’, these suggestions shouldn’t offend:
$25 Book (especially a business book you’ve found useful).
$100 Gold Class movie tickets (perhaps with a food voucher).
Perhaps you can give us your thoughts on what to send and how much to spend.
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire