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How to Pick a Great Gift for Your Client

Date: December 7, 2020

Whether you’re shopping for the holidays or looking for a way to brighten up your client’s ordinary Tuesday morning, giving gifts is a great way to show appreciation while strengthening that relationship. 

Gifts can be an opportunity to remind your client that you value them and that you’re committed to providing exceptional, personalized service. If you’re at a loss for how to choose a gift that’s appropriate and memorable without going over budget, keep reading for a few tips that will make the process easier.

The Value of Gifts

Whether it’s for the holidays or just a kind gesture another time of year, giving gifts to your clients is great for business—and also just a nice thing to do! Gifts show gratitude and appreciation. It also does wonders for that client relationship by making them feel like a high priority. 

When you give a gift, you create a positive, personal connection that will benefit both you and your client going forward. People are just more likely to continue working with advisors that they like. They’re also more likely to refer other clients to you because they know others would benefit from this level of client care!

4 Tips for Giving Gifts to Your Clients

Gifts don’t have to be big, grand gestures, and they certainly don’t have to be expensive. It’s less about being the advisor that hands out the coolest swag and more about being the thoughtful advisor and genuinely cares about their clients. Follow these tips to find the perfect gift:

1. Make it Personal

Above all, the gift you give should not feel like a generic company gift. If it seems like something that you got for all your clients, it will feel impersonal, and that lack of personalization will decrease the impact it has.

Whatever you choose, it should show evidence that you thought of this client specifically when you selected it. The best way to do that is by planning and remembering personal details about your clients.

If you don’t do this already, take note of their interests during meetings with your clients. For example, during a meeting, your client might show you pictures of the dog they just adopted. Note the name of the dog during the meeting.

Later on, you can gift them a chew toy with a note that says something like, “Here’s a little treat for Snowball.”

Gifts like this are great because they show that you’re really listening to them during those meetings and taking the time to remember the things they care about. That $10 toy for their dog will be more memorable and make a more significant impact than a $100 bottle of wine for a client who prefers beer. 

If you handle a large number of clients, perfectly tailored gifts like a toy for Snowball may not always be feasible, even with diligent note-taking. Some clients might be strictly business when they sit down for your meeting. Others might have interests that aren’t as easy to find gifts for. 

In these cases, you can make a more standard gift like a gift basket feel personal by attaching a handwritten note that’s personalized to each client.

2. Think Outside the Box

Another way to maximize the impact of your gift is to go for something a little unexpected. That surprise factor will make the gift more memorable than something generic or standard. 

For example, fruit baskets have been done before. While clients will appreciate the thought at the moment, they’ll probably soon forget the gift once it’s gone. 

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, though. You also don’t need to get anything wild or inappropriate. 

Instead of that ordinary fruit basket, you might go for a unique option like this reusable convertible gift basket tray. The unique design will be surprising enough to make this once standard idea more exciting and memorable.

3. Give Gifts Outside of the Holidays

In addition to making the gift itself something a little out of the ordinary, you can make a more significant impact by giving gifts when they aren’t usually expected. While holiday gifts are lovely, it’s also very expected. Your token of appreciation might get lost in the flood of tokens of appreciation this client is getting at this time of year.

Instead, give them gifts throughout the year. Most importantly, give them a gift on their birthday. This is one day a year that’s personal to them specifically. Remembering someone’s birthday is a more impactful gesture than remembering to get them a gift during the holiday season. 

Random gifts outside of birthdays and holidays are also great and show that you value this client all year round.

These non-holiday gifts don’t have to be big or even especially personalized. The surprise of getting a gift at all on an otherwise ordinary day is enough to make it memorable. A simple box of chocolates or a gift card to a local restaurant is enough to brighten up their day and remind them that you value that client relationship.

4. Don’t Overthink It

Every client is different, and sometimes choosing a perfectly personalized gift isn’t as straightforward as it seems. If you’re stuck for ideas, remember that personalized gifts are the best choice, but any gift is better than none. 

Here are some affordable ideas that make great tokens of appreciation:

Before giving any gifts, however, make sure to double-check the rules around gift-giving and limits. Here is one of those regulations: FINRA Rule 3220.

Once you know the regulations around gift-giving, remember: the best gifts are small, personal, and unexpected!

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