‘Tis the season to give, but what can you give someone who literally has everything? 

If you are catering to high-net-worth clients and have not yet purchased a thank you trinket for the holidays, there’s still time! We scoured the Internet for ideas on what to give your clients and found some very impressive gifts. If they are (understandably) too rich for your blood, you can get ideas from this list and make it work with your budget.

When you’re through perusing, let us know: What do you usually give your clients as a thank you for their loyalty? Or, which gift on our list was your favorite, and why?  

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1. Splurge on a philanthropic event

Tugging on the heart strings, check. Tugging on the heart strings during the holiday, double check. If there is one thing that truly unifies people or a community, it is giving back in the form of volunteer work, a charitable event, a fundraiser, etc.

No gift will make you feel better about giving than inviting your clients to give back with you. This could mean tickets to a gala event to raise funds for a local or national charity. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You could simply organize a small group of your clients to join you and volunteer at a local soup kitchen or help out at a pet shelter. There are always organizations that need help.

An alternative:

Organize a fundraiser and take the proceeds to your charity of choice. Or, let your clients decide which charity they want to assist.

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2. Ride a Formula One or NASCAR race car

This experience would be a one-on-one event with a valued client or, at most, a very small group. Just pay attention to your client’s likes and you’ll hit it out of the park with this one. An alternative would be to arrange for a super luxury car driving tour, where the client gets to drive in an amazing, possibly Italian-made, machine.

An alternative:

While driving in a luxury car can set you back around $200, depending on how long the drive is, you can create a similar experience by taking your client to a local race track or contacting a local racing club for a demo.

(Photo: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain takes a turn during the first practice session for the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race in Mexico City, Oct. 30, 2015. AP Photo/Moises Castillo.)

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3. Organize an evening with their favorite musician, athlete or celebrity

While this might sound like a dream (I mean, would Bono really come sit and sing with strangers for a night?), an article on InvestmentExecutive.com claims that a local investors group started what they’ve called “songwriter circles” events with their top clients. The events consist of inviting a well-known local musician to talk about their career and share an evening with the firm’s clients.

The same could work with a celebrity or athlete. Now, if I could only organize an event with Peyton Manning …

An alternative:

If you can’t enlist the help of a local celebrity, take them to the nearest jazz club for a night of music to remember, or to an outdoor concert or sporting event.

(Photo: Bono of U2 performs on stage during a concert, in Paris, Dec. 6, 2015. AP Photo/Thibault Camus.)

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4. Fund a training session with their favorite athlete

Picture it: You and your top clients skiing in Vail, Colorado, with Lindsey Vonn. If you can make this happen, it could be the experience of a lifetime.

An alternative:

You can still plan a day of skiing — or surfing or mountain biking or any other sport your clients enjoy. Or, consider hosting a picnic at a local park or the beach sans athelete (if you’re lucky enough to live in a sunny climate, that is). 

(Photo: Lindsey Vonn celebrates her second place after completing an alpine ski, women’s supercombined, in Val D’Isere, France, Dec. 18, 2015. AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta.)

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5. Invest in jewelry or high-end goods

We’re talking about really splurging here … not a Coach wallet, but a personalized Prada. Just remember to make sure the gift aligns with your client’s style before splurging on something expensive and/or personalized. 

An alternative:

It doesn’t have to be a high-quality leather good or jewelry. You can always opt for a luxurious keychain, a branded journal, pens, or book ends. It just has to stand out and live somewhere in your client’s home, office or handbag to keep top-of-mind.

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Now, for some down-to-earth ideas:

1. Pie.

It doesn’t matter what holiday it is, a family meal isn’t complete without some good ol’ pie. According to an article on Wealthmanagement.com, a local financial advisor decided that this was the perfect gift for her clients, since it lightens the client’s load when preparing a holiday meal for the family. Not only did the financial advisor search for a local restaurant that makes amazing pies, but she also planned to hand-deliver the goodies to her clients. This idea reminds us of how we used to welcome new neighbors with pie or other home-baked goods. It makes both giver and recipient feel all warm and cozy.

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2. A book.

Not just any old book, but a book that has a specific meaning for your client. For example, if during one of your conversations your client says that they loved Peter Rabbit as a kid, maybe finding a first edition or special edition of a Peter Rabbit book would be very meaningful.

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3. A local tradition or event.

Theatre tickets, football tickets, a VIP seat at a concert or a heated tent for the holiday lights parade could all make great gifts for your clients and their families. Make it even more special by meeting at your office and taking them to the event in a rented party bus.

4. Booze.

OK, while we have to issue a disclaimer about this particular gift, since not all clients drink and in some cultures it is offensive to give alcohol, this spirited gift is usually well-received. Has your client said anything about being a wine connoisseur? Do your research and surprise them with a special bottle. Is your client a beer lover? Take them to your favorite brewery and make it a happy hour. Or, you can always gift them a personalized decanter or pilsner glasses.

5. A subscription to a customizable service.

There are a few very cool services out there that can be customized to your client’s lifestyle. Consider gifting a subscription to beauty products, health and fitness products, snacks, food, crafting supplies, toys for kids, pet toys and treats, all of which will arrive in a box delivered by mail to their front door. Ideally, you would buy the subscription, send it to the client via email and have them set up their accounts, so that they can tailor what they want to receive. Bonus: It will be a monthly reminder of your relationship.

Here are some customizable subscription services:

    • Beauty products for him or her: Birchbox.com, Boxycharm.com and many others.

    • Foodies: Ah, yes, now your client can TryTheWorld, literally, with these tasty boxes full of treats from different countries. Or, if your client loves everything green, you can send them a GreenBox, which is full of seasonally “curated” items by Homegrown Collective.

    • Socks for him or her: You read that right! You can send very cool socks by mail via SockPanda.com and, depending on the client’s fashion preferences, you pick from a range of styles. The company then sends a pair of cool socks per month to your client and donates another pair of socks.

    • Kids: For those clients with children, you can pick boxes with toys, treats, recipes or fun crafting activities to entertain them. (To see some examples, go to this blog.)

    • Pets: The cool part about BarkBox.com is that you can customize the plan for one, three, six or 12 months. The company then sends goodies to the dog of choice.

If you want to see a long list of other similar subscription providers, go here or here.

6. A gift card to their favorite shop 

If all else fails and you run out of time, there is always the gift card alternative. While this is the most impersonal choice of them all, it is still a good way to say “thank you.” Get your client a gift card to their favorite store — or to iTunes, and then recommend a few apps that you love.   

Other holidays that are good for gift-giving: 

    • Wedding anniversaries

    • Anniversary of when the client became your client.

    • Birthdays

    • Graduations

    • Summer

    • Thanksgiving

    • Even Halloween 

Sources: Buzzfeed.com, Forbes.com, Investmentexecutive.com, Wealthmanagement.com.

See also:

Women: On how to be successful and improve client relationships

 

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