It's here! It's again time to plan out your holiday gifting strategy for key referral sources.
I received a message from someone this week that asked about the "best gifts to give" and some guidance. So, it's important to realize that everyone is an individual and has their own preferences, and as such there's probably no "one gift fits all" that will wow every referral source on your list. With that in mind, here are some guidelines.
1. Food is in abundant supply, disappears quickly, and leaves people with a tummy ache. - That's right, your "sure to fire em up" dessert or gift basket is going to be picked over and left in a messy heap in a matter of hours. If you want to leave a lasting impression, food probably isn't the way to go. Add to that, that your competitors are going to be stocking up break rooms with cookies, pies, candy, and gift baskets and you'll see that doing what they do means you're no more special than they are.
2. Living things require a commitment - Let's rule out goldfish or a kitten.....but plants also require some care that your referral source might see as more of a burden than a gift. While I would love a nice plant in my office, many others wouldn't. In that case, they probably give it away and again, you lose that lasting effect.
3. Non perishable, non living things make the best gifts...especially if they are unique and useful. - Ok, so we're left with this. What kind of items would your referral source like, use, and keep (preferably in their office)? A nice pen, picture frame, small piece of local pottery, business card holder, wireless device charger, etc. Get the idea? We want to get something that's not high dollar, but will be around long after the stomach ache of too much fruit cake is gone. Get online and find some unique gifts that you can personalize or get your agency name on. Better to gift a smaller supply of quality items to a few referral sources than a huge distribution of some cheap junk that'll wind up in the trash or a junk drawer. That way, it makes more impact. Make sure you abide by the Stark Law and Anti Kickback Statutes when it comes to gifting this holiday season as well.
As for timing, our "Final Day To Sell" in 2019 is December 18th (later than most years). This is the last day that referral sources will be able to pay attention to any selling messages. After this, they'll be engulfed by holiday activities both at work and at home. Your ideal "gifting window" is going to be between December 16th and December 20th. This is the time when most people will still be on the job, but starting to transition to "holiday mode" until after the 1st of January. Put these dates in your calendar now. If you start gifting earlier, you will be lost in the wash of your competitors, and quickly forgotten. If you start later in this week you risk not having people on the job, or having them already with their brain on cruise control.
Many reps look forward to this time of year, so it pays to plan, and to make the most of your impact on your key referral sources. We'd love to hear about your unique gifting ideas this season.
If you want the PERFECT gift for your sales team, we have you covered. One on One coaching for the rep that has big growth potential is a terrific way to start off 2020. Also, give your sales team the gift of quality sales training that delivers