Viewing by month: December 2012

Christmas gift giving for clients

With Christmas quickly approaching, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about the business of client gift giving – a task that, if executed effectively, can go a long way to fostering good will and positioning your business at the forefront of clients’ minds moving into the new year. 

Before you begin your shopping search, however, keep in mind that client gift giving can be a tricky process. On one hand, you don’t want to be impersonal, but on the other hand, you don’t want to give a gift that may be perceived as inappropriate. As such, all business owners have a delicate balance to strike. 

Here are four quick tips to help you select the right gifts for your clients this Christmas:

1. When giving gifts to clients, it is always wise to err on the conservation side; that is, you should avoid giving gifts which are highly personal or that could potentially offend recipients. To this end, it is best to steer clear of jewellery, clothing, alcohol and the like. Though these gifts might be given with the best and most innocent of intentions, they can potentially come across as inappropriate if they aren’t aligned with the client’s personal, cultural and/or religious beliefs. 

2. While you don’t want to get too personal with your gifts, it’s not a good idea to give generic or boring gifts either; doing this will achieve very little in terms of making your clients feel special. As such, you should look to give presents that are relevant to your professional relationships with clients. For example, you might give a plaque that acknowledges a milestone in your business relationship or a voucher for an industry-specific product or service.

3. Take some time to include a hand written note with a personalised message. This personalised touch will bring an important level of sincerity and warmth to your gift, which most clients will likely appreciate. Make sure – however, that in doing such, you double check the spelling of all clients’ names. Nothing diminishes a great gift more than a misspelled name on a card.

4. When bestowing gifts, presentation is crucial. A well placed ribbon or a classy display box can help to add value to what might otherwise be a relatively simple gift. Furthermore, if possible, deliver your gifts in person; this will give you the opportunity to personally thank clients and wish them a safe and merry Christmas break.

Ultimately, your business gifts should reflect not only the values and culture of your business, but also the way you feel about your clients. Thoughtful and tactful gifts that resonate well with clients will help to spread good will and keep you front of mind throughout 2013. 


1 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 14/12/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Emotional intelligence

Now, more than ever, emotional intelligence is being recognised as a major contributor to business success. Arguably, components of emotional intelligence have always existed in business – however, the term itself has only gained prominence in the past twenty years, following the release of Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book ’Emotional Intelligence’ in 1995.

Why is emotional intelligence a vital attribute for business owners? Because, with a growing number of organisations embracing flat rather than hierarchal structures, the role that emotional intelligence has to play in fostering workplace productivity is becoming even more evident. 

What is emotional intelligence?

According to Mayor and Salovey, emotional intelligence is “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth." 

Numerous studies have demonstrated that emotionally intelligent leaders are better equipped to motivate and relate to employees, and also navigate organisational change and conflict. Through being able to understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of others, these individuals have a superior ability to lead their staff towards productivity and success. 

How can leaders develop their emotional intelligence? Here are three key tips:

1. Develop an awareness of your own emotions: in order to be emotionally intelligent, you first need to be in tune with your emotions. That is, you need to be able to identify whether you are happy, sad, stressed, confused etc; because unless you are able to effectively pinpoint your own feelings, your emotions will likely lead you, rather than you leading them; 

2. Manage your emotions: If you aren’t able to control your emotions, self awareness is effectively redundant. Self management enables you to stay in control of your emotions and develop logical responses, which in turn can improve not only communication channels and staff morale, but also foster a workplace that emphasises constructive action, rather than conflict. 

3. Become socially aware: social awareness can enable a business owner to better perceive and empathise with the emotions of their employees. This is important because it means that the owner can better understand their staff’s motivations, sensitivities and personalities – an awareness that can enable them to adapt leadership styles to get the most out of each of their employees. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 07/12/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories: