With Thanksgiving behind us, our thoughts are turning to holiday gifting. While holiday greeting cards are always appropriate, taking the time to choose gifts for your most valued clients and referral sources is a great way to recognize and honor existing relationships. Sending personalized gifts to clients and business associates over the winter holidays is not only a nice gesture but a smart marketing tool to remain top of mind. Holiday gifts represent a token of appreciation, deliver good will and thoughtfulness, and thank those who have been especially important to your business.

Now the hard part: What to give? Instead of sending the same standard fruit basket or bottle of wine to every client, spend time thinking about each recipient and what they might like. A good gift doesn’t have to be expensive or customized, but it should be personal and show that you paid attention to what the recipient likes.

Keep It Professional

That said, while gifts should be personal, remember that your relationship is professional. Consider gifts clients will use daily. If you know your client just purchased a new iPhone, a new phone case would be a good option. Or if you know a Miami-based client will be traveling to New York during the winter season, a monogrammed scarf would make a nice gift. This is not to say your gift must be customized, but at least include a personal note with each gift, wishing the recipient a happy holiday and joyous New Year, and include a sentence or two that is appropriate to your relationship.

Consider gifts that are socially minded and include a way of giving back. A favorite is Bombas, stylish socks with a mission to help those in need. The company’s motto is “One Pair Purchased = One Pair Donated.”

If you shy away from actual presents, make a charitable donation to an organization that is aligned with your client. This could be a local food bank in the city where your client is based or an organization where your client volunteers.

When selecting gifts, it is important to keep cultural differences in mind, since every client has their own cultural and religious preferences.

Beyond being a nice thing to do, holiday giving is a reason to reach out to your clients without asking anything of them. It reflects a level of generosity and implies that you care about individuals. These small tokens of appreciation go a long way in building and strengthening relationships.

Client Holiday Gift Ideas

Here are a few gift ideas to help you brainstorm for your clients.

  • Consider buying locally — send your client a gift card to their favorite neighborhood restaurant or local spa.
  • For the tech-savvy client, this leather charger case has separate pockets to organize cables and chargers.
  • For the runner, touch screen gloves and ear warmers make great gifts.
  • Your golfer clients will enjoy a golf trunk locker to keep their accessories organized.
  • If your client likes to entertain, coasters, a cheese board or copper mugs are good choices.
  • The eco-friendly client would appreciate these reusable bags for on-the-go shopping.
  • For the gardener, these fresh herbs make a welcome gift, especially when the weather is too cold for gardening outside.
  • domino set is a thoughtful idea for your gamer client.
  • This vintage tea kettle is a great option for your client who loves tea. You could include an assortment of their favorite teas along with the kettle.
  • A good book always makes a great gift. Find books that refer to your client’s personal interests, profession, industry or locality. Tuck a personal message inside to make it more memorable.

Do you have a holiday gift idea to share? Contact me, Lisa Altman, at laltman@jaffepr.com.