Today’s post is by Terri L. Sjodin, author of the national best selling book, Small Message, Big Impact and Scrappy: A Little Book About Choosing to Play Big. She is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, a public speaking, sales training, and consulting firm based in Newport Beach, California.
People often ask me if I have any suggestions for how to really stand out with prospects during the holiday season. The answer is yes! All you have to do is put some extra spice into your efforts as you roll into that fourth quarter.
Now is the perfect time to get a little scrappy (defined as “full of fighting spirit – synonymous with having moxie or being feisty, enthusiastic, gutsy, lively, and spunky”), make a bigger effort, and shake things up to create some new opportunities. It may sound a bit daunting at first, but you don’t get noticed if you’re doing all the same things everyone else is doing.
A scrappy effort is a winning mix of attitude, strategy, and execution. (And, when it comes to the big picture, whatever your goal, keep in mind that you don’t have to score on every play – just advance the ball.)
Here’s a simple, easy-to-execute strategy: Start with a Scrappy Thanksgiving! Skip the December holiday madness and send Thanksgiving treats instead. In my latest book, Scrappy: A Little Book About Choosing to Play Big, I discuss how, at Sjodin Communications, my team and I have always sent out Thanksgiving treats to our clients. We do it for three reasons:
- It’s our opportunity to thank them for their business all year long.
That’s the point of Thanksgiving, right? In my mind it’s really the perfect time to reach out to your clients, stay connected, and show your gratitude! Last year, we sent lovely autumn-colored hand towels adorned with fragrant cinnamon sticks and beautifully wrapped in cellophane. The gift was simple, elegant, and didn’t add to anyone’s waistline. Most importantly, we included a handwritten note or card (no generic embossed signatures). Through the years, we’ve sent all kinds of little things – from fall-colored scarves to chocolates, teas, candles, bottles of custom-labeled wine, and even crafting special pumpkin centerpieces. We customize our approach depending on the person, the relationship, and their preferences.
- It’s unexpected.
The chances are excellent that your Thanksgiving treat will be the first (and most likely only) treat to land on the desk of your clients and prospects. That means even a simple offering will make a strong impression ahead of the avalanche of holiday sameness that’s right around the corner.
- It’s a great way to avoid cross-cultural and religious missteps.
A Thanksgiving treat is an effective way to avoid making an embarrassing social gaffe. Too often the one-size-fits-all Christmas gesture fails to take into account those who might celebrate other holidays or even no holidays. Think about it – Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States as well as Canada, and was originally celebrated as a day of thanks for the blessings of the harvest of the preceding year. By celebrating your clients at Thanksgiving, you skip over the clutter and simply get to the heart of your intention, which is to show your appreciation for their business (or the business yet to come).
I have heard people say, “I’ve thought about doing that, but I just ran out of time and didn’t get on it fast enough.” Well, now you can! And count on the fact that most other people won’t! So, this year, try wishing your clients, prospects, and colleagues a Scrappy Thanksgiving to kick off the holidays with a special flair!