Last week, we talked about receiving gifts from clients. This week, we’ll focus on giving gifts to clients. Should you or should you not do it this Christmas? Same with last week’s topic, there’s still a debate around whether giving holiday gifts to clients is appropriate or right. Can it affect your business? So before you make a shopping list, read this first.
Giving Holiday Gifts to Clients
There’s nothing really wrong with giving clients gifts. If they come from the heart, then that’s all that should matter. However, that’s not always the case. You do have to consider your relationship with your client. After all, this is a practitioner-client relationship, and you have to take care of that and maintain boundaries.
Nonetheless, if you’re confident about the relationship you have with your clients, and nothing can go sideways when giving them gifts, go ahead. Here are some tips to help you pick the right present:
- Go for something personal – Personal doesn’t mean you have to make it by hand; it just means that you’ve put more thought into it and based it on the information you know about your client. If they like reading, a book is a great gift. If your client has a specific hobby, give a present related to that.
- A normal gift with a personal twist – Perhaps you’d like to give your client a bottle of delicious wine. Set your gift apart by tying a handwritten tag. You can write a heartfelt wish or perhaps, a quote that your client resonates with.
- Deliver them personally – If you can’t give the gift personally, it’s best to wait for the time you’ll meet them. Or, you can also hand deliver gifts, if that’s okay with your client. What’s important is you give the gift to them personally.
- A meaningful present – Sounds cliche – it’s the thought that really matters. Expensive gifts don’t always mean they’re the best. Your clients may also be very appreciative of your relationship with them, so they’ll more likely appreciate a meaningful present. Some examples are a handwritten card, a therapy book or audio file, a transitional gift like a rock, or a token of support or encouragement. These gifts always mean the most.
Note: Not all practitioners would find the need to explain the reason behind why they’re giving a gift to a client. The gift can speak for itself, especially if the therapist and client have a great relationship. However, there are situations that may require you to briefly explain, especially if a client feels the need to reciprocate the gesture. Do reassure them that it’s a gesture that need not be returned.
Not Giving Gifts This Holiday Season
There’s also a plethora of reasons why some businesses don’t like giving holiday gifts to their clients. For one, Forbes explains that giving holiday gifts doesn’t make you distinct. Instead, “you get lost in the shuffle.” Even if you give a card, it can get lost in the sea of cards your client may receive this holiday season.
If you plan to give gifts to every client and are sticking to a budget, holiday shopping can be stressful. Instead of willfully planning and looking for the right gift, you feel pressured because of the season.
Forbes also said that giving gifts beyond the holidays can be more impactful to clients. You can give gifts throughout the year instead, which makes it more personal.
Also, be wary of holiday gifts that make it seem like you’re promoting yourself or your business. This can affect your relationship with your clients.
It’s Your Call
At the end of the day, it is your call. Gift-giving is about showing appreciation and gratitude. There’s no need to overthink it. If you’ve thought of a perfect gift to give your client, pursue it. You know your client best. It’s not about boosting your practice’s name nor being a marketing ploy. If it’s a heartfelt present, you can not go wrong. Gift-giving is as simple as that, nothing more, nothing less.
If you want to read about accepting gifts from clients, click here.