Holidays are coming: will you be sending business gifts?
Thread poster: Marion Rooijmans

Marion Rooijmans
Netherlands
Local time: 23:43
English to Dutch
+ ...
Nov 6, 2007

Dear colleagues,

The holidays are coming... I was wondering if any of you will be sending business gifts to your clients and if you feel this will help you in getting more jobs.

When I still had an office job, we would receive loads and loads of Christmas cards and sometimes even chocolate from our translators. It was nice, but I don't think we sent more jobs to the translators who had sent chocolate. I would love to hear from people who have a different experience.

Oh, and have you ever received business gifts from your clients?

(I won't be wishing you happy holidays yet, you'll have to wait for another month and a half.)

Marion


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Marie-Céline GEORG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:43
English to French
+ ...
Gifts sent and received Nov 6, 2007

Hi Marion,

I've been sending business gifts to my clients for a few years now, mostly because some of them have been sending me something and I felt is was nice and more original than a simple Christmas card.

I don't know if it gets me more jobs, but I think that a gift is not necessarily meant to call for something in return, I just like offering a small object as a Christmas greeting. However, I also send cards to my other clients even if they haven't given me jobs for a long time and some of them have come back to me after two years so I suspect that keeping them aware of my existence has helped them remember me at the right moment!

I usually send chocolates, but last year I chose to offer nice perfumed candles in small colored holders and I'm starting to look for this year's present. It has to be something that fits is a small box, maybe I'll find some sweets again.

One of my clients is in Switzerland and always sends me very nice gifts - chocolates (I love chocolate, how did they guess...) usually, but last year I received a very interesting book: Umberto Eco's book on translation. I must admit that I'm beginning to wonder if they are going to send me something as original this year

Marie-Céline


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm considering New Year's cards Nov 6, 2007

It's funny, when I saw "the holidays are coming" the only thing that popped into my mind at first was U.S. Thanksgiving.

I'm sure some of my clients feel the same as I do: I prefer not to receive Christmas cards or gifts. It just feels a bit presumptuous when friends or colleagues assume that everyone is Christian or celebrates Christian holidays.

But all of my clients are in countries where the official new year starts on January 1, so I might do New Year's cards. I haven't decided yet.

[Edited at 2007-11-06 15:15]


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:43
Italian to English
+ ...
I never have Nov 6, 2007

I think it's probably a good idea to do so, as it creates a professional feel - that you're a business rather than a freelancer juggling your translations, the shopping and a demanding cat... but I doubt that I'll ever do it (I hate the admin and marketing part of my work and spend as little time on it as possible).

I certainly wouldn't consider it presumptuous to send a Christmas gift to anyone based in a country where Christianity is a major religion. I am not a Christian (I have no religion at all) but I was brought up in a culture in which Christanity plays a large part and I certainly won't be working on Christmas day - I'll be spending it with family. So why should I object if someone sends me a Christmas gift? I hope I'll be receiving some from my friends and family, just as I'll be giving some to them.


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Mostly cards, a few presents and donation to charity Nov 6, 2007

We send some (not expensive) presents to some very good clients and freelancers who maybe stand for subtantial parts of our turnover, but most of our partners get ordinary Christmas and New Year cards. We also donate money to a charity organisation, e.g. Doctors Without Borders, and also inform our clients about this. All our clients have given us very positive response for this.

In general, it's very hard, if not impossible, to measure whether expensive Christmas gifts (huge chocolate boxes, expensive wine etc.) really result in more jobs. I think it's better to contact these clients now and then, so you can stay in their minds.

Erik


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:43
French to English
+ ...
Maybe Nov 6, 2007

Typically, I design my own holiday cards and each year has a different theme. As much as possible, in an effort to preserve the planet (save trees, reduce garbage, limit energy consumption), I send them by email. When, culturally, it is too cavalier to do so or if I seek to personalize things even more, I have a batch printed to send by snail mail.

I'll offer business gifts to really good clients, but not systematically (they are a 'plus', when I really have enjoyed a collaboration, not an obligation) and they are usually hand-crafted as well (most often edible ). Offering something over the holidays for me is just a way to say "thanks", not a calculated move to generate business (which would take away from the mere gesture of "giving"!)

Patricia


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
Support a charity instead Nov 6, 2007

Hi Marion and all,
I have given up Christmas cards and business gifts several years ago - instead, the money I would have spent goes to charity.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:43
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I support a charity in the Church Nov 6, 2007

I agree with Ralf. I have also given up sending cards and each year get together with our priest to work on a charity. We then decide what to put in a Christmas basket for a number of less fortunate parishioners in one or more of the outlying areas/ districts that usually fall outside of the regular gift/donation giving.

It has been a pleasant and very rewarding experience for me and the beautiful homemade cards and drawings of the children I receive back warm my heart. Father Kenneth unfailingly brings them for me and I have them hanging with my Christmas tree. I also keep them for quite a while after the holiday and even use some of them as bookmarks.

Lucinda


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Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Cards Nov 7, 2007

I tend not to get caught up in the season much but I have bought a few cards to send out to family. I'll probably be sending out some e-cards to clients. Lucinda, I love your idea of remembering the real reason for the season!

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John Simpson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
charity shop gifts Nov 7, 2007

In the UK, various charity shops have gifts such as, €30 will provide 3 tables for a school in a developing country, €10 will buy a fishing net... You can get a magnet with a nice photo of the gift being used and a card for the recipient. I used these for gifts to family members last year. Maybe companies would enjoy having them as well to brighten up the kitchen fridge!

Can I name the charity or does that go against the forum rules?

John


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:43
Chinese to English
+ ...
If you send gifts, what do you send? Dec 12, 2007

It's a little late now especially if I want my overseas clients to receive the gifts before Christmas, but what do you send besides chocolates and wine?

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