At my firm the attorneys are presented with a laundry list of gift options and depending on the importance of the client make an appropriate choice with regard to gift value. Other attorneys at my firm make cash donations to a charity on behalf of a client and notate that in their holiday card. Both practices are quite typical for all law firms, service providers, and companies et al. Last year in a moment of inspiration one of the attorneys at my firm handed out iPod's to his clients. Nice!
An annual ritual for letting individuals know they are important is a good thing. My "thing" is wanting that gift to mean something. The gift has to be something more than a basket that's relegated to the lunch room or gesture without relevance. Here are my ideas on the subject:
- If your gift has to be a basket -- deliver in-person. It may wind up in the lunch room but the moment of delivery is really what counts. If the recipient is a air-flight away... so be it. Get on the plane and make the delivery.
- If you make a donation make it to a charity that matters to the client. Not the one that matters most to you. Relevance matters.
- Whenever possible select gifts that are personal to the individual. If your client is a fly fisherman than give a fly fishing related item. Your client is a new mom or dad? Give them something a parent can appreciate. If you know your client you'll know what to give.
- Don't put your firm logo on any gift. TOTALLY tacky.
- If a big client has a close relationship with a smaller client -- both get the same thing. People talk and feelings will be hurt if you do otherwise. You do know which of your clients know each other... don't you?
- Know your clients well enough to know if gifts or gestures matter to them. Some might actually be offended by your generosity during this particular time of year.
No matter what your firm and attorneys choose to do for the holiday gift giving season I implore you to think about helping them to do special things. It matters all year long.