“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
November 1, 2016
Tis’ the season for law firms to begin the debate of holiday cards and gifts. Who gets what? How much will this cost? Can you put a price on business referrals? On and on…
The main problem: the mailing list. This is often the most difficult (and dreadful) task for both the staff and attorneys because the firm/lawyers have not maintained the list year-round. But wait, there is hope in pulling this all together.Here are a few things to consider:
- Not every single contact in the firm needs a holiday card. It is better to select your top 25-50 contacts and send a great card rather than a generic one. The problem with a generic or predictable card is it sends a message that your representation is equally lacking thought, preparation and creativity. Bad impression, the opposite of what you intend.
- Sending an electronic card is easy, however, research shows a printed, signed card which includes a personal note is best received. Takes time, sure. So send fewer cards but do every one well.
- Printed cards which include typical law firm images, such as scales, books, gavels, columns, might give the recipient the impression you are as creative as the card they just opened. Be different. Come up with a clever card, or a classy simple card which reflects the firm’s culture and differentiates you.
- Only signing your name is unacceptable! Writing a quick note wishing your contact a wonderful family holiday and thanking them for their business should not be too much to ask – especially if the contact is a key referral source or client.
- Assuming gifts are appropriate or allowed for your client base and referrals, consider picking a gift that resonates with the recipient. For example, send a VIP who loves to golf their favorite kind of golf balls and have them personalized, or send your wine-loving contact a bottle of Cakebread because it’s their favorite winery. Sending food baskets to a group inside a large company works to touch multiple people, but if possible, try to find the one or two key people and give them something that matters to them. Often, we hear food is devoured before the key person even knows you sent it over.
A law firm’s single most valuable asset – aside from expertise practicing law – is its client and referral source list. Remember, the key is sending to cards or gifts that make the right impression and to select those contacts which are important to your business.