Twas the Night Before Holiday Gift Giving Season

How can it be that time of year again? Feels like only yesterday the baseball season was starting and I was writing about summer marketing ideas. Now we are more than half way through the college football season with the holidays fast approaching.

While this time of year is full of peace and love, it can also bring additional stress and responsibilities, both at home and at work. On the list of “extra things to do” is giving gifts to your clients and referral sources.

That is the purpose of today’s blog.

The last month of the year is full of end of year work deadlines, family and social obligations, and the dreaded holiday travel logistics. No time for intentional marketing?

Instead, show your gratitude. But, be intentional about it.

I like to think of holiday gift giving as a long-term business development strategy. That shift in focus can help you determine which clients to gift, and what kind of gifts to send. These gifts are a gesture of appreciation for the work relationship you have established intentionally over time.

Here are a few thoughts on how to maximize your gift giving strategy and nurture these important relationships now and for years to come. 

1. Personalize Your Gift

My golden rule of business development is, if you make it about them, it will be about you. Nobody likes generic, mass emails, and no one likes generic, mass gifts. This is not the time to clean out your inventory of firm branded merchandise. Make sure you personalize each gift to the specific client receiving it. This could be as simple as including a personalized note. Or, even better, it could be something specific you selected based on what you know about their personal interests or hobbies.

Think back to a conversation you and your client had this past the year. Does he or she like afternoon tea? Consider sending along an assortment for their collection. Is there a favorite sports team, or an important hobby? It shows that you are not only thoughtful but also pay attention to detail. That is an attractive quality in lawyers and one that will be appreciated in the gift and in your work for them.

2. Consider Long-Term Gifts

Sure, a fruit basket or an assortment of cheeses makes the break room more exciting, but these gifts are also gone and forgotten as soon as they are gobbled up. Why not consider a gift that keeps on giving? These long-term gifts are more impactful and can keep you top of mind all year long. Perhaps a Wine of the Month Club membership? A subscription to their favorite magazine? A gift card for Audible to download books for road trips? Be sure the gift is personal and unique to your relationship.

3. Prioritize Your Giving

Remember the 80/20 Rule? It is the theory that 80 percent of your business will likely come from 20 percent of your clients. This rule proves itself to be true more often than not, and is something you should remember when planning your holiday giving. It is perfectly fine to put more thought into the gift you give your major clients. In fact, you should. While a basket of fruit might be fine for a smaller client or new client, you might want to get more creative for the clients who are responsible for keeping your lights on.

And don’t forget your key referral sources. They should get some extra attention at this time of year as well.

4. Charitable Gifts

Do you have clients whose company policies prohibit them from receiving gifts? Consider making a charitable contribution to an organization that is near and dear to their hearts. Many clients are members of charitable boards or civic organizations.  Intentionally find out which groups would make the right impression on your client and make a gift to that organization in your client’s nameThis is a win/win strategy during the holiday season.

5. Give the Gift of Time

Another option in gift giving is doing something that requires some of your time. Why not bring in breakfast or lunch to one of your major clients? Not only will their entire office appreciate the gesture, but it will give you face time with the client and their team.


Do you have any sure-fire ways to make holiday gift giving more effective? I’d love to hear them!

Please leave a comment below. Happy giving!