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How to Gift Like a Pro This Holiday Season

A little extra effort goes a long way.

The holidays are in full swing and in less than a month you’ll be overwhelmed with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, and more. Hopefully, you’ve already started to prepare, but if you haven’t, start now to ensure you knock it out of the park. Don’t wait till the very last minute!

If you want to mail-it-in, you can send out your boring holiday cards and call it a day. But if you want to make the most of this gift-giving opportunity and truly knock your client’s socks off, you’ll put in the extra effort. Here’s how:

Step 1: Make a List and Check It Twice

Start by making a list of the clients you would like to “wow” this holiday season. Next to each name, make a note of the holiday they celebrate and any plans you are aware of. If you are unsure about their plans, just ask! You want to know who they are celebrating with, family traditions, travel plans and any other information you can gather to help you personalize gifts. Check your list thoroughly to ensure you aren’t forgetting anyone.

Pro Tip: We use our Know Your Client Worksheet with coaching clients to help gather and document personal information throughout the year.

Step 2: Ditch the Gift Cards—Make Sure Your Gifts Are Personalized

Don’t give the same gift to everyone. Instead, you’ll want to determine the personalized gift you plan to give your client and make sure that it appeals to them. When selecting the gift, hold a team meeting, and consider the following for each client.

  • Hobbies
  • Vacation Habits
  • Charitable Involvement
  • Exercise Habits
  • Alma Mater
  • Family
  • Pets
  • Favorite Foods or Drinks

Step 3: Group Client Interests into Themes

You don’t have to come up with 20 or 30 unique gifts. Instead, after you review the questions above, look for themes within your top client base. Do you have a group of clients who enjoy cooking? Skiing? College football? Golf? Tennis? Pet-obsessed?

After you identify themes, select a gift for each group. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

  • If you have a group of clients who are pet-obsessed, personalized dog and cat bowls might work.
  • If you have a group of clients who are University of Michigan alumni, send them a Michigan hat or scarf.
  • If you have a group of clients who post a lot of pictures on social media, snag photos and create personalized mugs with images of their children or grandchildren.
  • If you have a group of clients who are passionate about cooking, consider a fun apron.

Pro Tip: Did you know you can search Amazon by passions? See below as an example.

Step 4: Determine the Ideal Delivery Method

Next, determine the ideal delivery method. For clients who are local, it’s always a nice touch to hand-deliver gifts. Determine the team member responsible for delivering the gift and when they will make the delivery. If you’re sending the gift via mail, make sure you include a personalized handwritten note and give them a call when you know it’s been delivered.


@StephenBoswell is President of The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors@KevinANichols is the Chief Operating Officer for The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.

TAGS: Marketing
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