Gratitude, Gift giving, Thoughtfulness, business

A Little Thoughtfulness Goes a Long Way

As I write this, my toes are warm and toasty in fun socks I just received from PandaDoc, and on my desk is a note from a client whose project I just finished. I’m reminded of the saying “A little thoughtfulness goes a long way.” We all have a need to feel appreciated. A thoughtful note or gift really does go a long way to nurture and strengthen relationships. Whether planning holiday gifts for your clients, sending a thank you note at the end of a project, or just reaching out to let people know that you are thinking of them, here are a few of my favorite gifts to give and to receive.

Handwritten Note

It’s always nice to get an email or text saying thank you, but nothing beats a handwritten note. Whenever I see an envelope in a stack of mail with my name written across the front, it’s the first thing I want to open. Sending thank you notes should be a part of any business process. Taking the time to write out your thoughts, being specific and personable, adds that special touch that can be missing in our digital age.

Personalized Cards

On that same note, a set of personalized blank cards is a great thank you gift. One of the designers I work with once gave me a set of unique cards, designed with my monogram and colors that matched my business logo. She gave me an individualized gift that I could then use to send a personal thought to my own clients. And each time I used them to write a note, I was reminded of her thoughtfulness.

Favorite Treat

Here the thought definitely counts, and a corporate gift basket is always fun to receive and share at the office. But even better than receiving cookies or popcorn is when someone remembers my favorite treat (like a toffee chocolate caramel apple..) and takes the time to send it. I use Insightly CRM to add notes to my contacts to help me remember their favorite gifts and treats. For some clients it’s chocolates from our local candy shop, a Starbucks gift card or their favorite pens and journals. I make sure to have them on hand when we are meeting or ready to drop in the mail with a personalized note.

Notebooks and More

My love language is office supplies, and they are definitely something I use everyday. And while logo pens and notepads are always fun, there are so many ways to add a personal touch. Switch it up by sending a mousepad or desk calendar with words of inspiration or motivation for their next big project. Find fashionable journals and have your client’s monogram debossed on the front. Include unique elements such as their company catchphrase or personal mantra on pens or stationary. Touches like this let your clients know that you put thought and effort into their gift.

Books

Books are one of my favorite gifts to give and to receive. Think about your clients. What are they working on? What are they interested in? Do they have a new project coming up, or are they trying to solve a certain problem? Follow up after a conversation with a book that will help them find inspiration or solutions. Don’t forget to write a little note inside expressing gratitude, support and encouragement.

One Last Thought: Make the Most of Milestones

Don’t forget important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones. This is another way I use my CRM to help foster relationships and show gratitude. (More on that here.) With Insightly CRM, I can add important dates to my calendar and set reminders to write a note and send a gift. I can also use Insightly to link my contacts to their social media profiles, keeping me up to date about what is happening in their lives, as well as their achievements and promotions. I can then reach out and let my clients know I’m thinking about them, and that I appreciate them and their business.

What is your favorite gift to give and to receive?

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