Holiday season is a minefield of potential errors. Should we send a greeting card or not – if we do what to say, what not to say?
By all means take the opportunity to reach out. The holiday season is a particularly good opportunity to cement your relationship with your clients by showing your appreciation, but make the effort and take the time to do it right or don’t bother. Because any effort on your part that puts efficiency ahead of personalization just says “I can’t be bothered to take the time to send you something personal.”
If you want to get it right — follow these guidelines:
Holiday Card Do’s
Know what your client celebrates and go out of your way to send an appropriate card. Simply trying to duck the “appropriateness” issue by sending a ‘Happy Holiday’ generic card is the lazy way out – and those who hold Christmas dear will likely be offended.
A card sent at this time of the year should be personal whether the client celebrates Divali, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa or Christmas. You clients deserve the extra effort it takes to treat them with respect as individuals. Knowing enough about them to know what holiday they celebrate is one way of showing that you value them.
And when you send a card make sure that you include a personal relevant message showing that you know and care about them beyond their portfolio, e.g. “Hope you enjoy your new home in 2020”, or “Your trip to Italy sounds amazing, looking forward to seeing the pictures”… you get the idea.
Incidentally, the same rules apply for e-cards – make sure they are appropriate and include a personal message with each email.
Holiday Card Don’ts
Do not send a card that says “A gift has been given on your behalf to…. ”unless the client also supports that charity.” You might think, good for me for being philanthropic, but it is rather presumptuous to assume that everyone wants to support the charity you chose. Again, it comes down to being genuine – if you really know your clients (and you should) and want to show them you care – you should make a donation to their favourite charity.
Other missteps to avoid:
– sending cards with generic address labels on the envelope
– using corporate greeting cards with a ‘stamped’ corporate signature instead of signing the card yourself
– not including a message and scrawling your name so it can’t be deciphered
– sending mass email cards addressed “to a mass list.”
Of course, doing the right thing is time consuming and you may have to limit it to your top 50, 75, 100+ clients – but remember these are your clients, the people who pay for your lifestyle. If you can’t be bothered – it begs the question, “why should they stay with you?”
So, get down to it early – It’s not too late to make a really great impression this Holiday Season.
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