Client Gift Idea: Build the Relationship
by Michael Alter on
You know how it goes when gift-giving season rolls around – you don't know what to get and everything you come up with seems cliché. It's particularly difficult when shopping for clients, because you don't want to get something they might simply like, you want to get them something that will help them remember and refer your services. Unless you sell pretzels, a bag of gourmet pretzels isn't going to do it.
That's why sometimes the best gift is to further build the relationship the old-fashioned way – in person. Buy them lunch or take them to a game or a live event (play, concert, motivational speaker).
There are only so many knickknacks and coffee mugs anyone wants. But if you can take your clients to a restaurant they like or to see their favorite team, you're connecting with them on a personal level. They'll remember you for it. It's a little bit of a nod to the Mad Men way of doing things. Of course, we don't want to duplicate much of that behavior, but the idea of taking clients out on the town and hobnobbing with them still has value.
For all the amazing technology we have today to help us run our businesses, it's still not a replacement for a face-to-face meeting when you're talking about building business relationships. What I'm suggesting this holiday season is to select some of your best clients and give them a chance to connect with you, not just your service.
Ask about their families, tell them about yours. Talk about your golf games or your pets – whatever common links you can find. When you pick up the tab and clients realize they've had a good time, they're more likely to think of you when they're in need of the services your firm offers.
About the author:
Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, president of SurePayroll, writes the Trade Secrets column on INC.com and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
You may like these other stories...
OECD calls for coordinated fight against corporate tax avoidanceDavid Jolly of the New York Times reported that dozens of countries with the most advanced economies have agreed on principles for concrete action to prevent...
AgFeed agrees to pay $18 million to settle SEC accounting fraud caseMichael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that AgFeed Industries Inc. has agreed to pay $18 million to settle US Securities and...
Many accountants struggle with payroll, either because they have too much of it or they don't want to do any of it. Either way, they are at odds with the needs of their business clients. Most clients are looking for a...
Upcoming CPE Webinars
In this course, Amber Setter will shine the light on different types of leadership behavior- an integral part of everyone's career.
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.