I know what you’re thinking. Thanksgiving is next week and this is about giving thanks, next week to clients and others. You’re only partially correct.
I heard a great message recently: When it is the hardest to give thanks, that’s when you need to give it the most. That’s right. Thanks should be given all year long, as appropriate, but we get busy and caught up in life and work, forgetting about this most powerful opportunity to connect with clients and others.
If you haven’t been good about it all year long, then go ahead and act on it now on the eve of Thanksgiving. Then, I challenge you to incorporate some of the ideas listed below into your efforts to be intentionally thankful all year long.
So, before the family and the food and the football, before that second helping of pumpkin pie, let’s look at a few ways we can show that appreciation now and throughout the year.
1. Send Thanksgiving Cards
While everyone is preparing to send cards and gifts in December (see my previous post regarding holiday gift giving), it might be a good idea to beat the rush and send your cards out at Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving clients and referral sources will be inundated with holiday well wishes from you and others. With everyone sending their sentiments or gifts out at the same time, it’s harder for your message to stand out. By sending yours out at Thanksgiving, clients will receive your token of appreciation before they reach sensory overload.
2. Continue Learning About Your Client’s Business.
One of the ways we can show our appreciation for our clients is by learning more about their business. This is especially true for your major clients and something you should be doing all year long. Panels comprised of corporate executives at any conference will tell you that they want their attorneys to really understand their business and the issues facing their industry. What are you doing to demonstrate your knowledge of their business and challenges in the industry?
3. Congratulate People
This is a serious piece of low hanging fruit, so often overlooked. Social media provides us with a wonderful opportunity to keep abreast of what is going on in each other’s lives, and we need to take advantage of that. When Facebook lets us know it’s someone’s birthday, we usually wish them a happy birthday. LinkedIn is a gold mine for staying connected to, and up to date with, people in your professional network. Daily notifications let you know when someone is celebrating a work anniversary, changing jobs, or other milestones. Message them individually with a personal note to congratulate them. That’s a good thing to do no matter the time of year.
4. Thank Your Client for Their Business
Why not simply say thank you? Have you tried it? Some people actually struggle with how to communicate thanks but I suggest that you keep it simple. If you have a client you enjoy working with, thank them for their business. Let them know you enjoy working with them and their company. It could be a handwritten note or an email, or part of a conversation over coffee or lunch. Many attorneys assume that their clients know this. Don’t be one of them. This simple gesture is always appreciated, whether the calendar reads late November or early March. Go ahead, try it.
5. Thank Your Referral Sources
Many of my clients have a short list of other professionals or clients who regularly refer them to others. If you don’t keep track of this information you need to start now. These referral sources speak for you and represent you in ways that no advertising you do can ever match. With each new matter, you receive that is a result of a specific referral, you should send a note of thanks to the person who provided the referral. At a minimum, reach out to them now in the spirit of Thanksgiving and let them know that you appreciate their support and the referrals for a specific type of work.
There you have it. A few ideas on how to show clients and professional contacts how much you appreciate them. Do you have additional suggestions to show your appreciation? Leave a comment down below. I’d love to hear from you!