Written by: Savannah Brunette
The holiday season is special for all of us. The winter weather always comes with warm traditions. Maybe you make homemade Christmas cookies, sit by the fire after long a day, or drink hot chocolate after a snowball fight with the kids. There is no doubt that there is something special about this time of year.
December can also be the best time of year for your financial planning business. While you’re out shopping for family and friends this year, it’s worth the time to think about gifts for your clients as well. Surprising your clients with a genuine holiday present can strengthen your relationships and keep your advisory firm top of mind for the new year!
Now, we know holiday festivities can be stressful and more work than you bargained for so we’ve come up with our top 5 gifts to give your clients. Whether you have limited time or budget during your end-of-year cram or your looking to put in more time and effort, these gift ideas won’t disappoint.
1. Send Cookies
Your family might already make Christmas cookies each year or maybe you remember the activity from your childhood. Cookies are a tradition that often come with fond memories and are the perfect gift to thank clients in a simple but meaningful way.
If your not a baker, there is no need to worry. You won’t have to make these cookies from scratch (although that would be extra thoughtful!) There are many bakeries (online or locally) that can make custom orders for you. They can bake them, design them, and ship them right to your clients. You can even work with a baker or company to make the cookies special and individualized for your clients.
Consider baking sugar and gingerbread cookies in the shape of your logo or frosted cookies that follow your brand colors. Because it is very easy to get creative with cookies, you can even have them designed to fit your market segment and customized so clients know they were specially made for them. If you are feeling gutsy and want to bake your own cookies we recommend searching Pinterest for some great recipes to follow.
2. Donate In Honor Of Your Clients
Donating to an organization in honor of your clients can be an authentic way to say thank you. As a financial advisor, you work with clients everyday to find out what is most important to them and you often take the time to learn about what is near and dear to them. By contributing to an organization, you can impact a mission they care about.
Not only is this a great way to show your appreciation to clients, but it is a way to give back during the holidays. Charities, nonprofits, and other organizations are vital resources to communities in need. By donating, you, your business, and your client are putting the holiday spirit into true effect!
Now, we probably don’t need to tell you this as advisors, but don’t forget these donations can also be tax deductible!
3. Personally Call Clients With A Holiday Greeting
As innovation and technology quickly transforms, our communication has also been subject to change. We live in a world that is concerned with fast paced decision, a low-mentality, and convenience over quality. Although you may still make phone calls, there is no doubt online exchange has become our main form of communication. Phone calls have slowly been phased out and are becoming extinct!
Of course our team is thankful for the valuable technology we use everyday, but nothing beats talking to one another with voice, inflection, and other real human characteristics over the generated emojis we use to portray what words cannot. Making a phone call to clients to wish them and their families well during the holiday season can strengthen your relationship with long-time clients and build trust with new ones.
You can ask about their family, follow-up on a fun conversation you had during your last meeting, or simply greet them with a holiday hello. Maybe a client recently got married, started their own business, moved to a new city, or recently watched their daughter play in her first soccer game. Paying attention to detail and asking questions shows clients you genuinely care. A little kindness truly goes a long way and using a platform that has become so rare makes your business stand out.
4. Write A Holiday Letter
A form of communication even more underutilized than the phone is letters. Letters speak measure when you are trying to say thank you to clients. You may choose to write a hand written letter to clients who have impacted your life or type up letters with personalized edits for each receiver.
Either way, your time and effort shows appreciation for clients that a mass email cannot portray. In the letter you can send warm wishes, reveal any big firm announcements, or give them updates your team has found in the financial world.
Business related or not, who doesn’t love receiving a letter in the mail? It feels just like Christmas morning!
5. Hold a Holiday Open House At Your Firm
As a financial advisor and entrepreneur, you may shudder at the idea of inviting clients to your workplace or home for an holiday event, but it can be made painless and extremely effective. An open house is simply an opportunity to make connections with clients and prospects a like in a small celebration of the holiday season.
Holding a holiday open house is the perfect opportunity to show your clients and the community that you care. You may even meet a client’s family when they stop in and interacting with them can exhibit your true stake in their financial success. Even more so, communicating in a relaxed setting provides more open conversation to learn more about client expectations, their hopes, and how to better serve them.
Lastly, in an industry where most of your communication happens online , an open house gives your advisory business credibility. Clients can find a lot of confidence in knowing your business has a actual base that they can visit.