Holiday gifts to clients are a nice touch this time of year, strengthening both your business relationships and your brand. But holiday corporate gift giving can also produce some pretty wacky gifts. Tango Card, a gift card dealer, conducted a recent monthly newsletter survey, finding that clients had received a ham, a lamp (“the world’s ugliest”), even a car wash and wax package, as holiday gifts. Not exactly the types of gifts to impress.
So, do you send clients something yummy to eat at the risk of compromising someone’s dietary restrictions, food allergies or get-into-the-black-dress diet? Fruit baskets were once the rage, but now most of us can pick up great quality citrus at our local grocery store.
Or perhaps a gift card? Every year, $100 billion dollars is spent on gift cards, and more than half of those gift cards are purchased during the holiday season. And Tango Card, through its Snap and Salesforce AppExchange apps, allows business professionals and companies to digitally deliver gift cards with no fees or expiration dates that recipients can use to get exactly what they want. Practical, but not very personal. And since a dollar amount is required, the dollar value of the gift is immediate obvious. This may lead to “overspending” in an attempt to avoid looking cheap.
Or, is a gift bearing the firm logo more productive? A huge customization industry is readily accessible online, and you can choose just about any physical item upon which to place your mark. But does your client really want a paperweight with your name and phone number?
Many law firms are taking the noble option of philanthropic giving on behalf of the client – but what is the message to the client? If you choose the charity and your firm writes the check, then what real connection is there with the individual client?
We wrestle with this dilemma each year, and have yet to arrive at the perfect solution. We do purchase all of our holiday cards from a national wildlife conservation group, and so make an effort to do good while staying in touch. But for many of our clients, something more is deserved. These are folks with whom we have worked intimately, and we would like to express our appreciation for their faith in our work. But what is the best means for expressing the sentiment?
Share your suggestions on the best ideas for law firm gift giving and the responses you have enjoyed from clients. And please describe whether the presents were for a business contact, a corporate client, or an individual whom you represented. And Happy Holidays!