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Business Gifts: Why Thanksgiving is a Great Time to Give
Around Halloween, companies often receive a flurry of catalogs and mailers offering business gifts and business holiday cards for the upcoming season. While most are promoting them for Christmas giving, Thanksgiving might be a better time to give for a variety of reasons...
What is your favorite time to give business gifts or treats?
November can be a slow or slammin', depending on the industry. For those businesses that are experiencing sales slumps, getting a surprise business gift from a colleague or vendor can provide a psychological pick-me-up during the doldrums. Think about how it feels to get a thoughtful message or gift when things are not going terrific. Feels good, right?
For businesses that are super busy through November, any gift received might be overlooked or pushed to the side, having the opposite effect of what the giver hoped. However, if the giving company has products and services that can get them through their rush time, it could serve as a "We're here to help" reminder.
Carefully evaluate whether customers are more likely to welcome or ignore a gift in November, based on typical industry business patterns.
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Great Way to Say Thank You
Since the holiday is all about thanks, giving business gifts at Thanksgiving is a great way to thank customers for their support and loyalty. They are the reason any business is in business!
Boost Branding by Taking Center Stage
In addition to being a nice surprise for those customers who might appreciate it most, Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to take center stage in customers' attention. Thanksgiving gifts are quite rare. Therefore, breaking into customers' attention field in a positive way with gifts can help boost the giver's brand due to less competition. The same can't be said for December when customers may be bombarded with corporate holiday cards and gifts.
Thanksgiving Does Not Conflict with Major Religious Traditions
As discussed in Business Food Gifts: Pros and Cons of Holiday Food Gifts, one of the cautions centered around the possibility that some items could offend the sensitivities of devout religious groups with food prohibitions. Similarly, "Christmas" gifts may not be welcome by those who are not of the Christian faith.
Thanksgiving provides the opportunity to celebrate and express thanks to everyone, regardless of their religious affiliation. One would be hard pressed to locate a religion or spiritual tradition that does not value gratitude!
Beat the Holiday and Hassle Rush
The Christmas and Hanukkah season in December can be chaotic with parties and holiday obligations. And for those businesses whose fiscal year ends on December 31, the year-end financial reporting hassle can take precedence over any holiday gifts for customers. Handling business gift preparation and distribution around Thanksgiving can get it out of the way before the rush of celebrations and year-end financials.
Work on Next Year's Sales Before It Becomes Next Year
Though they should start earlier, many small businesses and micro business clients may not start their budgeting for the following year until November. Giving a Thanksgiving gift creates an opportunity to connect with customers while they may be in the budget planning cycle.
CAUTION: Do NOT make the gift giving act a sales call! Customers will begin to negatively view both the gift and the giver.
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Why New Year's is the Next Best Business Gift Opportunity
So Thanksgiving can provide a unique opportunity to positively and proactively connect with customers. Miss giving for Thanksgiving? No worries! There's one more optimal chance to give: New Year's.
Like Thanksgiving, New Year's can hit customers when they are less distracted from holiday or business obligations and may welcome a cheery little gift during winter's bleak days. As well, clients who are smaller operations may be gearing up (late, no less!) for the coming calendar and fiscal year, thus making it timely to remind them of the giving company as a source and resource.
Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.
© 2014 Heidi Thorne