November has become the month that commercialized Christmas decorations reach the shelves of every store. Fall leaves are raked up and multi-colored gourds put away in favor of red, white, and fake snow covered ornamentation.
But, Americans should not be so quick to forget that November is also the month for Thanksgiving. And this year, there are quite a few things to be thankful for.
For one, law firms should be thankful for clients. In a recession, your law practice is considered a success provided there are still clients to serve and casework to be had. True, the bar is a bit lower this year, but so are employment rates.
In honor of this holiday, Matt Homann suggests in his blog the [non] billable hour that lawyers send out Thanksgiving cards to clients as a gesture of goodwill and gratitude. At the same time, there’s no reason why a Thanksgiving card can’t remind clients of the superior service your firm has afforded them.
Homann’s reasons include the following:
- “Thanksgiving cards are uncommon. How many Thanksgiving cards did you get last year? That’s what I thought. Your clients don’t get them either. That’s why yours will stand out. It is also why yours will be talked about.
- Thanksgiving isn’t Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza. Hate the minefield of picking the right not-too-religious “Happy Holiday” card? Avoid it all together with a Thanksgiving card.
- At Thanksgiving, there’s still time for your clients to do end-of-year work. This is perhaps the least-recognized, yet best reason to send Thanksgiving cards: they’ll generate more end-of-year business for you. When you send a Christmas card, it is already too late for most clients to get more legal work done before the new year.”
Read Homann’s full list of reasons here.
There are other reasons that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to drum up more business from your existing clients.
Typically, Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday. Families around the nation reunite, on average, just a single time a year. Thanksgiving happens to be one of those times.
So, when your Thanksgiving Thank-You note reaches the homes of your many clients, it’s likely your clients’ extended family members will be there to share the joy (and future business opportunity).
Also, unlike Thanksgiving, Christmas is perceived as a time of obligation. People are hounded for end-of-the-year tips, bonuses, and promises of contract renewal. Large gestures at Christmas are, unfortunately, always perceived as having an agenda.
Ditch the Christmas card and embrace Thanksgiving.
If not Thanksgiving, go for President’s Day. If not President’s Day, then use Groundhog Day. When it comes to client relations or even employee relations, the untraditional route will reap greater rewards.
Unexpected tokens of thanks are far more appreciated—and thus, boost morale, client retention, and, hopefully, your bottom line.