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The Best Holiday Greetings for Clients in 2021

Sending clients a personal message that acknowledges the reality of the past year shows them you get it.

We have been through so much in the past two years. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered many layers of grief across the country, not the least of which was over 750,000 COVID deaths on top of the “usual” deaths from other causes. We all hoped that by now, life would feel settled and back to normal. Instead, spikes and variants continue to wreak havoc. Apart from COVID, clients are facing deaths from other causes, such as cancer, heart attacks, accidents, etc. Then add in increasing natural disasters, political turmoil, global instability and an uncertain economy.

As a result, even as we approach the season of “Happy Holidays,” many of your clients are living with loss and grief. Although they will enjoy some things this season, the illness, death or other loss is ever-present. Therefore, if you send them a standard, upbeat holiday card, you’re missing the mark. It signals to clients that you don’t really understand them and what they’re going through, that your relationship is superficial or they are just another client in your list.

Instead, your task is to recognize both sides of the equation: happy and sad, joys and losses, smiles and tears. When you acknowledge their reality, you show clients that you get it, you really care and you are skilled enough to be with them through the good times and the bad.

Here are a few tips to get you started on sending more appropriate cards:

  • Instead of “Happy Holidays,” choose a holiday card that wishes peace, hope, or comfort or that has a lovely scene on the front without words.
  • Handwrite your message so they know you took the time to do it personally.
  • Though not required, it’s a nice touch to include a comforting gift chosen for that client. It could be a mug with packets of hot cocoa, a dinner delivered to the house, a bottle of their favorite craft beer or wine, a gift certificate for anything from a coffee shop to a massage to a spa day, or any number of other things—whatever you believe would be comforting or renewing to that particular client and that is in line with their value to your business. Because of the times we live in, you may consider giving my book A Friend Indeed: Help Those You Love When They Grieve, which contains valid information to help clients understand the many griefs and losses of their lives, plus how to help and support each other through them.

Here are some suggestions for texts that work in various situations:

  • The holidays are a tough time when the one you love cannot be here to share them. I hope the enclosed gift certificate for a massage provides a moment of respite from the craziness and helps to renew your spirit. I’m thinking of you and remembering with you, especially at this time of year.
  • The losses you’ve experienced this year make the holiday season particularly difficult. I hope you can allow yourself the mix of emotions, both happy and sad. Perhaps this hot cocoa can provide a soothing moment to help you get through the tougher times, and this small bottle of sparkling wine will help you celebrate the happier ones.
  • It must be surreal to look out your window at carolers, lights, trees, candles and merriment. It has to feel at times like your experience is the opposite of everyone else as you deal with a swirling range of emotions over all that’s happened. In the midst of it all, I hope that our care along with the host of others who support you can offer you a measure of strength and sustenance. We’ll do whatever we can to help, both now and into the coming year.
  • This past 20 months has been a time like no other. Throughout this season and as we move into a new (and hopefully better) year, we wish you moments of peace amid the difficulties, renewed connections with family and friends, the warmth of memories from holidays past, and wonderful glimpses of the joys that still live under the surface.
  • This is sure to be a holiday season of intensely mixed emotions as you miss your dad through tears yet also remember him with smiles. We carry you in our hearts throughout this difficult time and continue to be here for you as you move forward. We wish you peace, healing and perhaps even some moments of joy to sustain you.
  • For you, this season is not all merry and bright as your sister’s life and future hang in the balance. So instead of wishing you Happy Holidays, I wish you strength to get through this. I wish you restful sleep, at least on occasion. I wish you skilled and communicative doctors and attentive nurses. I wish you wisdom to know what to do. I am right here in your corner, and I will do whatever I can to help.

These are only a few suggestions. You can adapt many more from my book No Longer Awkward or use these ideas to create your own. Regardless, don't gloss over the challenges of this holiday season for your clients. Instead, let them know you understand them, support them and will be there to help see them through. They will notice, and they will appreciate it.  

Amy Florian is the CEO of Corgenius, combining neuroscience and psychology to train financial professionals in how to build strong relationships with clients through all the losses and transitions of life. 

TAGS: Marketing
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