The holidays are an excellent time to connect with clients, prospect new business or visit with friends and associates. But it can be hard to balance December’s joyous festivities with 2020 strategic planning. Here are five ways to end the year on the best note possible.
Make a holiday donation — it gets noticed.
Your company or organization can partner with a cause or credible non-profit organization and make a true difference by fundraising or raising awareness. Giving a gift where part of the proceeds will go to charity, or knowing groups you associate with understand the benefits of charitable giving is good branding. Volunteering time through a staff outing is another way to embrace the holiday spirit and do good in the process.
Be mindful and meaningful.
Consider quality over quantity in your holiday outreach. Thoughtful gift-giving, holiday cards or personal visits go a long way in furthering relationships and building your personal brand. A token of appreciation can go a long way.
Follow up on your networking.
Whether you’re gathering with colleagues, clients, vendors or new business leaders, don’t let too many spiked eggnogs or hot toddies cloud your judgment in how to best follow up appropriately. The holidays are a marathon and not a sprint. But in the end, you should have several new contacts teed up for meetings in January.
Make a list.
You can maximize the numbers and quality of the connections you make during the holidays by developing a system, including a spreadsheet and an events calendar, to ensure you thoughtfully communicate with the people you want to wish a happy holiday or visit with about other issues.
Someone's events will go unattended.
It’s important to build time for family and reflection into December. To help do that, prioritize which events to attend or host, who you should visit with and what goals you have for that outreach. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a few events — due to family or other responsibilities. Target those you would like to meet with individually or in small groups. Consider mailed or emailed holiday greetings, if you can’t do it in person. It’s still a nice gesture.
Mike Fulton directs the Washington, D.C., office of Asher Agency and teaches public affairs in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media’s Integrated Marketing Communications program.
Joshua Habursky is the Head of Federal Affairs at the Premium Cigar Association and Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.