The ABCs of Client Gift Giving for Financial Services

Sending a gift is a great way to stay front-of-mind whether you are courting a new client or letting a long-time client know that they are still an important part of your practice.

It’s our clients that keep us in business. It’s their trust, their belief, and their referrals that build our reputation and our portfolio.

If a client accounts for 60% of your managed funds through direct assets and referred business, a $25 Starbucks card is simply not enough to adequately nurture that relationship.

Financial services is a highly regulated and competitive industry, but we have found that you can find success breaking through the noise and being memorable simply by remembering your ABCs.

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(A)void Marketing and Promotional Items

The number one mistake we see from well-meaning financial professionals who give gifts is that they have their name or the name of their institutions emblazoned on the side. Once you put your name on something, it ceases to be a gift and crosses over into marketing and promotion.

You probably ask your best clients for increased investments or referrals on a semi-regular basis. Make your gift giving completely about the client. Leave your promotional items for the next business after-hours or sponsorship opportunity.

(B)e Timely and Appropriate

The best time for your clients who have served in the military to receive a special remembrance is NOT the day after Veteran’s Day. That might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many requests we get for client gifts a day or two before the holiday, birthday, or other hard deadline. If managing a gift-giving schedule is too taxing on you or your staff, consider partnering with a company like Pasolivo. Partnering with a company allows you to leverage their expertise, experience, and infrastructure to execute a strategy much more efficiently and effectively.

Consistency is also a key attribute of corporate giving. Everyone sends gifts at Christmas, but it shows more care and thought if you send gifts that correspond to something about the receiver. Are they Irish? Why not send something on St. Patrick’s Day? Courting your local carpenter’s union? Why not send over a memorable gift on Labor Day thanking them for their work? The key is to segment your client list and send thoughtful gifts throughout the year, not just on birthdays and Christmas.

(C)ustomize the Gift Experience

The last part of breaking through the noise and adding maximum value to the experience is to find ways to personalize the gift.

Things like personalized, handwritten notes and monogramming are great ways to let your client know that you’re thinking specifically of them. The key is to get creative so that your client knows that the gift is for them specifically and isn’t just one more address in a mass shipment.

A good corporate gift partner should be able to handle your gifting schedule, even if it is with an entire database, and should be willing to participate and accommodate this custom experience to ensure that they help you provide the best experience possible.

And, for the record, we’d really like to be that partner.

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