I still remember the first time I received a gift from a translation agency. It was a wonderful wooden box of artisan truffles, confectioned by a local small business. I was equally impressed by the exquisite chocolates, as I was by the fact that this agency had sent me a present. It forever changed my perspective on the company-vendor relationship.
The interesting part is that, to this day, I do not translate, on average, more than one thousand words per month for them. Yes, over the years I have completed a handful of large projects for this agency, but the majority of our work is based on small projects; yet, it is clear they value me as a vendor, regardless of the work volume.
So I started thinking that the same holds true for my clients: no matter how small, I always send something that says “Thank you, I value you as my customer”.
While there are wonderful gift ideas out there designed to fit every budget –from memberships in professional associations, subscriptions to online magazines, e-reader editions of books, gift baskets, you name it– the truth is, even if your budget is very limited, a holiday business card would do, preferably in print, but you may also consider an electronic version if your clients are spread around the world.
There are great online services where you can create your own business holiday card, and personalize it to your liking, even adding a logo (careful with the pictures, please, keep it professional!), have it printed and delivered to you (or directly to your clients, your choice). I have tried several and I have found Simply to Impress to be of excellent quality, with fast and reliable service. It would not replace a professional printer, but the card stock they use is excellent, and so is the print quality, especially when considering value.
Sometimes it is easy to forget how our actions –or lack thereof– influence how others perceive us, so take advantage of this joyous season to acknowledge those around you, including your clients and vendors!
And in the spirit of giving, I want to share with you a gem post I found in Michael Hyatt’s blog, titled “The Gift of Today”.
This is my present to you.