Do our clients really need expensive Christmas presents?

Dear Aunty B,

We’re having a fierce debate in the office about whether we need to get Christmas presents for our clients.

It’s a big tradition in our industry, but it’s bloody expensive and frankly we could make better use of the cash we’d spend on 50 bottles of whisky and 30 crappy gift hampers.

Is there a cheaper way out of this? Or can we get away with not giving gifts at all?

Another Humbug,

Melbourne

 

Dear Another Humbug,

The Christmas spirit doesn’t seem to be filling the workplaces of our nation’s SME community, does it?

I think there are a couple of ways you can go with this.

If you want to try and reduce your costs and still get something useful, then pull back from the expensive scotch and hampers and settle on a $10-15 bottle of wine that looks classy. It’s simple and it’s always appreciated.

The second thing – or perhaps an additional thing – is to hit the phones and actually call your key clients for a quick “Merry Christmas and thanks for your support” chat.

To me, this is more important than anything else. Business is about people at the end of the day, and a personal call from the owner of the company will make more of an impression than a bottle of booze.

And make sure you don’t just call the bosses of your client businesses. Also call the company contacts that your salespeople deal with regularly – they’ll love to know they are important to you.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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