Originally published on the Colorado Women's Bar Association Under Pressure Blog
It always seems like the fall, especially November and December, are a whirlwind of activity for law firms. From holiday parties to end-of-the-year paperwork, it can seem overwhelming to add client or collegial gift-giving to the endless to-do list. However, if you consider the benefits of this thoughtful practice and prepare ahead of time, it can be a simple addition to your holiday season that brings rewards for the rest of the year.
The obvious answer is: because it is a nice thing to do.
Still, there are a number of psychological reasons why gift-giving is so rewarding for a law firm. In a 2018 study by the University of Zurich, sales agents who brought their customers a small tube of toothpaste (a gift completely unrelated to their sales pitch and worth only pennies), saw double the orders of their non-gift-giving counterparts.
There was one catch, though: the sales were only increased if the agent already had a personal business connection with the client the gift was given to. That means that giving gifts can be very helpful in solidifying business relationships, but is not as effective at creating new ones.
Although every person is important, it pays to be wise about who receives a holiday gift from your firm. Remember: gifts are meant to be a solidifying of a relationship. Consider those people who you already have good relationships with. Then, decide who else might be included based on your practice and your budget.
Some people to include are:
● Those who have referred you business or who have given you their business
● Business mentors
● Select long term or institutional clients
● Outstanding client staff. For example, a helpful paralegal that is in-house or an assistant that always helps track down your general counsel client