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Old December 20th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #1
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What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

Curious what everyone else is doing, as I never quite know what to do. We are a small 2-person outfit, with a handful of regular corporate clients and another handful of what are probably one-time clients, but still good for a referral. For the clients who'd spent a few $k this year, they got a box of cookies and a card ($20ish), and the bigger clients ($10k-$20k) got something closer to $100 (gift box, giant bottle of liquor, etc). Part of me feels like spending $20k with me should merit you something better than a $100 box of cheese and meat, but I'd feel smarmy doing any more than that.

Corporate guys, what'd you get for your clients?
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Old December 20th, 2011, 05:57 AM   #2
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Re: What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

In the non-traditional category: Spend less, give more:

*WARNING* Blatent promotion
Starfish Treasure Alternative Gift Catalog is a website where you can "buy" things like grain mills and sewing machines for villagers in Zambia, teaching supplies for schools in Nairobi's Kibera slum, donkeys & goats for villagers in Haiti and for $100 in water projects in Haiti (four $25 water shares), you get a 45 minute documentary (cinema verite) on DVD that I made about an aeronautical engineer who left a career at Boeing in the early 80's and has since done 30 miles of clean water water systems, irrigation projects and land reclamation in one of the poorest regions of Haiti. 100% of the donation goes to the items/projects in-country.

Each gift on the Starfish Treasure site lets you print a gift card with photo to write something meaningful to give to the person in whose name you are giving the gift.

There are other alternative gift catalogs employing the same idea that you may prefer. I visited each of the places being served by the Starfish Treasure catalog and can vouch for the people running the program here and those on the ground there. There are "product video" interviews on the site with some of them.

Last edited by Les Wilson; December 20th, 2011 at 08:08 AM. Reason: changed URL to online store
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Old October 12th, 2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

Two years later, I'm reviving this zombie thread to see if there are any other ideas.

Did basically the same as 2011 in 2012: gave a lot of cookies, and for the big guys (which there are less of), did something closer to $100.

This year, I'm considering these bags:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...2017.57.36.jpg

Only problem I can come up with is that for most of the clients, I work 1:1 with a single person. But for a few of the clients, I work with the big boss, plus the marketing person, plus a handfull of people who make my life easier. Used to be for $20 I could buy some cookies and make the whole company happy, but for double the money I am now currying favor with the big boss, and not the people I really work with. Handing out three or four of these babies to a single client would get spendy quick.

What's everybody else doing for 2013 holiday gifts?
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Old October 17th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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Re: What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

I did the Canon lens mugs one year.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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Re: What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

Include promotional pens with your name and maybe a book of theatre tickets or fridge magnets with your logo.

If you know they've got kids, passes to the San Diego Zoo. Your Zoodles

Cheers.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

Hope this isn't taken as arrogant, it isn't intended to be, but I find if I do a good enough job they buy me presents.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

If I do a good enough job, they hire me again. :-)
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Old November 27th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #8
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Re: What'd you buy the clients for Christmas?

Mike,

I have a situation very similar to yours. It is a dilemma because the answer is not easy. My first advice is to be very careful. Greasing the big boss and not ALL those other people in the office that you really do work with on the project is an egregious error. It is human nature to say "what about me?". The people you do the work with may be more of a decision maker than you think. And they usually appreciate the gift more than higher ups because they do get overlooked. You need everyone to be happy or don't do it at all.

You mentioned liquor. One of my favorite gifts to give or receive. But not any more unless I know for a fact the person receiving it drinks and that it was selected just for them. Never send it randomly.

My wife forgot one of her clients was Muslim. She sent him the same very expensive Wine Country gift basket she sent to other clients. A few days later he walked into her office and confronted her with a thanks but no thanks. He was greatly offended for several reasons. He told her he had to pour the wine out into the gutter in front of his house and throw away the summer sausage. He also reminded her he does not celebrate our holidays. He was nice about it but offended because he expected her to know him better than that. She will never forget making that mistake.

Tricky subject. Be careful!

Steve
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