Sending holiday greetings to customers, vendors, partners and employees is customary and expected. It can also be extremely daunting. Thanksgiving (in the US) and the New Year (everywhere) are pretty safe but in the middle you have Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice (hey I’m pretty happy the days are going to start getting longer), Boxing Day and my youngest sister’s birthday. In all seriousness, how do you send good tidings without having to worry about offending someone or leaving someone out?
Here are my top seven tips:
1. Send a Card – Yes email is easier. It also takes less than 30 seconds to open, read, delete and forget. A card is much more likely to sit on their desk for at least a little while.
2. Greet Them by Name – Nothing will spoil your intent faster than a card that says “Dear Customer” or “Valued Employee”. You might as well say “You’re in the database. Here’s your card.” Use their name. Even if that means you have to handwrite them.
3. Be Thankful – It is always nice to hear “Thank you for the opportunity to work with you this year” or “It was an honor and a pleasure to work with you."
4. Acknowledge the Season – That is the point of your greeting. In most business situations religious messages are inappropriate. Instead say something like, “Throughout the hustle of the holidays we wish you abundance, happiness and peace.”
5. Wish Them a Happy New Year – Find a thoughtful way to say it. I personally like “Wishing you a joyous and rewarding New Year filled with meaning.”
6. Printed vs Handwritten Signatures – If you are sending out hundreds of cards as “touch points” it is unlikely you are going to personally sign them. And your customers will know it. Take the time to personalize the ones for the people you have a personal relationship with. They are more than a “touch point” and it should show.
7. Leave Personal Information Out – Holiday letters about the family, pictures of your pets in antlers or kids in matching sweaters are best left to close friends and family. And talking about your business success can come across as boastful.
Bonus tip – Acknowledge the cards and emails you receive. It is a great time of year to strengthen your relationships. Each card you receive is an invitation to touch base. Take the opportunity to do so with your valued connections and those who may become more valuable.
May November 28th through January 2nd be as stress-free and enjoyable as you would like them to be.
And as always, I wish you the MOST from your potential!
Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known conflict resolution expert, motivational speaker and executive wordsmith. As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence in all aspects of life through active leadership, powerful teamwork, effective communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills. She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time. To work with her one-on-one, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, email her at DocRobyn@ChampPerformance.com or call 302-307-3091.