Back when I was starting out my career as a member of the Sales Team here at ISB Canada, we always debated about whether to invest in Christmas packages for our clients or not. As a new member of the team and with little experience, I believed they were a great investment that would show our appreciation to important members of our client base at a relatively small cost.
As I began to speak to those clients more regularly, it often came up that their company policies did not allow them to accept any sort of gift from outside vendors. This insight came as a surprise to me because I could not see any problem with a small token of appreciation to a valued customer and friend.
As they explained the problems that arose from accepting these gifts, it began to make more sense to me. They told me stories of how it became an arms race at the office based on the grandeur of the gift baskets and how they flooded the mailrooms during the holiday season. I started to see how it could get out of hand, especially at companies that have a multitude of vendors all trying to gain favour.
I always enjoy receiving tokens of appreciation from our vendors or clients, as it is an opportunity to let the team know what a great job they have done in the past year. I have, however, come to understand that different circumstances require different policies and appreciate why the trend continues to move towards a no exceptions stance.
As a marketer or an account manager, more thought has to be given about how to thank customers for their support. Personalized emails or letters, or taking some time to call to thank them for their business could go a long way in solidifying relationships. That being said, I would like to wish everyone reading this a very safe and enjoyable holiday and hope that you can find some time to get away from work and enjoy the season.