You are busy. Days turn into weeks into months when you are in a growing company in sales or sales leadership. Suddenly the holiday season is upon us.
Many of us will use the excuse of how busy they were during the end of this year to justify not doing anything for those around them. I think this is unwise and a missed opportunity.
Or, they grab anything – often in bulk – as well-meaning gifts for people who don’t really want more chocolate or fruit baskets – traditional “safe” business gifts.
At the end of the day, what people really want is YOU – your focus, your listening – your presence. Those around you want to feel that they have been heard – that you really listened to them.
If you are continually, annually, “too busy” to stop and thank those important to your success, you may be doing something we call being “penny wise and pound foolish”. In other words, you are so busy going through the motions of business and not able to stop and thank those who assist you every day in getting to where you are. Instead of giving these folks one of the generic gifts you got from your pallet purchase at Costco – why not do something that means more specifically to them?
CREATIVE GIFT GIVING THIS YEAR
It requires you to think about who people are and what would help them further their mission or vision or would help them gain visibility at your company or theirs. This part takes a small amount of time. Here is how I suggest you go about it:
Have a brainstorming session with yourself or with a few others to really home in on what you could do for those around you to let them know you appreciate them and that they are seen and heard. Even CEOs and top executives desire this – not just your peers and subordinates.
I used to facilitate an on-boarding program for a company I worked at and after the CEO would come in and give his monthly talk to the new employees, he’d always – not sometimes – but always take me aside and ask me how he did. He had a private plane, and several vacation homes, but he did not have the confidence that his words always had meaning for new employees at his company.
What I learned was that if I gave him specific feedback about what I thought he did or said exceptionally well, he really internalized that. If I just said, “great job as always, Jeff….” it would not have the same effect.
Here’s what you can do right away to recognize those around you before the year is over –
- Start watching people closer
- Hear what they are saying – really hear them
You’ll get great ideas for what would mean something to them by doing this.
Ask general questions in a small group – like, “What’s a little thing that would mean something to you this holiday season if anything were possible?” – listen to their answer. Sure, you may not be able to make a private plane appear for them, but depending on who they are – client or support person on your sales team – you can get them a framed picture of that plane, or you could pick up a private plane lesson for them.
Clients Have Rules and Regulations Against Gifts
Some clients have strict rules about gift giving yet you can still do some creative things to thank and recognize them –
- Post something about their company through social platforms – do a whole campaign about something they did for the community or a business milestone they reached. No dollar cost, and they will greatly appreciate it.
- Donate to a charity your clients give to.
- Send articles about what competitors are doing so your clients can gain competitive insight.
- Create a card and hand-sign it then send it.
What else can you do to really “be present” this year – the clock is ticking. Post your thoughts – it will give others in sales ideas – sometimes a dose of creativity is just what we are missing when scrambling to hit end of year numbers!