It's that time of year again. Client satisfaction is the keystone in the foundation of any successful referral strategy and, for many advisors, holiday gifts are an important way to show clients you're thinking about them and build loyalty.
Horsesmouth's senior editor and client service specialist Ed Klink recently solicited a treasure-trove of creative gift-giving ideas from his advisor "Brain Trust." Here are some broad categories to consider.
- Give a book. Inspire the best in your clients by giving an inspiring book. Inscribed with a handwritten note, a book is always a welcome gift.
- Give a treat. Let's face it, you can't beat tasty treats to get you through the long winter months.
Give something with a "Street" theme. Silver bull and bear wine stoppers from Neiman Marcus. Or for $35 there's the bull and bear tic-tac-toe set.
- Give a charitable donation. This option has been growing in popularity over the years. By the way, this is a neat opportunity to do some referrals detective work and learn more about what your clients care about. Explain that for the holidays this year, you would like to make a donation in their name to their favorite charity... and ask them to tell you what it is. But don't leave it there. Ask them some questions after they name the charity. How did they get interested in this organization? What's it all about? Are they involved beyond being a donor? You'll be amazed what you'll learn, not only about your client, but about others they know in connection with the charity.
- Give local specialties. One great strategy for holiday giving is to make a point of supporting a business in your town. You can order gift baskets at your local gourmet shop or pick up a few cases of specialty hot sauce from your city's mom-and-pop purveyor. Whatever you choose, a substantial order can be a big boon for a local business owner—and start your relationship off with a solid bond.
- Give wine and related gifts. Some wine sites allow you to add personalized notes—or even your firm's logo—to the labels of the bottles you select.
For details on all of these ideas, check out Ed's article, "Holiday Gift Strategies for Clients," in its entirety (free registration required). And find even more ideas here:
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