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A list of Dan Richards’ previous articles appears at the end of this article.

Dan Richards

Recently, I solicited ideas for articles from advisors.

One advisor said he had been invited to his top client’s 60th birthday party. He was delighted and flattered to be included but was concerned about bringing an appropriate gift. This client was an extremely successful business owner who had every toy imaginable. Even worse, many of the other guests were going to be in the same financial league as his client – there was no way he could outspend them, even if he wanted to.

While an extreme case, many advisors run into this conundrum when selecting a gift for a top client – this is especially true as we approach the holiday season. We all want the things we do to thank and acknowledge our clients to stand out and be remembered afterwards. This is harder and harder to do as both we and many of our clients have done it all and seen it all.

Four principles to giving gifts stand out:

  1. First, seek to attach yourself to positive moments for clients.
  2. Where possible, root the gift in the client’s interests and passions – whether it is their hobbies, their families or the charities they support.
  3. Seek something that clients will hang on to and which will serve as a continuing reminder of you. In the process, personalize the gift to the client and make it as unique as possible.
  4. Or, failing to link it to clients, make it reflect your own personality and values.