Relationship Nurturing for the Season

[Note: I’m delighted to feature this guest post from Hillary Feder, CEO, Ask Hillary’s, who specializes in strategic relationship building. Hillary shares important tips for recognizing customers and clients during the holiday season.]

Thoughts turn to nurturing key relationships with customers and clients, and demonstrating gratitude as the year draws to a close. That’s why November through January has become the most universally popular gifting time of year. What better time to share the bounty of our labor, spread good tidings to those who matter, and convey hope for peace and prosperity. If this nurturing touch-point is part of your culture/tradition and you haven’t finalized your 2015 plans, this article will help you bump up the meaningful factor as well as your recipients’ delight.

#1: Tie your message to the holiday timing of your gift

For November, thanks and gratitude; for December, peace and good cheer; for January, prosperity and success.

#2: Tie your gift to key lifestyle trends

Life in motion. We struggle to keep up with our on-the-go lives, which makes mobile devices and accessories highly coveted items. While a smart phone, tablet or laptop may not be your budget, there are plenty of chic options that make life with mobile devices just a bit easier. Ideas include power banks and blue tooth speakers.

Life in action. Our focus on living, playing, and aging well is more than a fad. In fact, for many it is a passion. Gift options that support health and well being from hydration bottles to chill towels will be well received. Disconnecting and distressing is the newest sub trend—no doubt a welcome antidote for our frenetic mobile lifestyles. The trendy winner in this category is coloring books for adults. Creating art with our hands is a left-brain activity that relaxes and rejuvenates. Think of it as a spa in a box of pencils or crayons.

Life around us. Our desire to heal the world and help the afflicted and needy can be channeled through gifting with a social conscience. Ideas in this category range from a simple donation attached to a gift (and conveyed through the accompanying card) to products made from recycled or repurposed materials. Altruistic gifting is a popular way companies fulfill their values focused on community and social responsibility while conveying gratitude to employees and customers in a meaningful way. For gifting recipients whose company policy forbids accepting gifts or strictly limits the value of gifts, consider a donation to a charity that fulfills a well-publicized need or one that is near and dear to the recipient, or one with a natural tie to your business. Go for meaningful.

 #3: Wrap it up with sensible gifting strategies.

  • Honor your client’s company and industry policies.
  • Be sensitive to your recipients’ personal situations to avoid embarrassment.
  • To the extent possible, personalize the gift with initials and/or, at the very least, an individualized message.
  • If incorporating a logo, place it in a subtle, inconspicuous location to downplay any promotional connection.
  • Align the gift with your company brand, message and voice; this may be the actual item, card, presentation or packaging.

Short on time or imagination? Let us share ours with you. We’ll help you create a meaningful, memorable gift. If you’re looking to be intentional about transforming your company’s recognition moments into an engagement win, we have creative ideas. Let us help you implement down-to-earth strategies that are aligned with your company objectives, brand, message and voice.

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