Poll: Do you send gifts or cards to any of your clients during the holiday season?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:46
SITE STAFF
Dec 21, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you send gifts or cards to any of your clients during the holiday season?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ekaterina Chashnikova. View the poll results »



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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, but ... Dec 21, 2014

They send them to me!

I have basically abandoned the practice of sending out cards. This year I've been up to my eyeballs in urgent translations. It's been hard to fit in any kind of holiday celebration.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:46
Italian to English
Yes Dec 21, 2014

Greetings cards are a good investment, at least in Italy.

Relatively few people here use them to send their seasonal good wishes (on the other hand, the phone lines go into meltdown and cyberspace is awash with extravagant e-cards), which means that a proper greetings card stands out from the crowd.

There is an element of sacrifice involved, though. This year, the national computer wasn't being very helpful and it took me three trips to the local post office to send everything off.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:46
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Potential minefield Dec 21, 2014

I wouldn't send anything other than good wishes at any time. I don't think gifts should play any part in business and cards for me are for keeping in touch with family I rarely see, not a client I emailed last week and have never actually met.

But if you're inclined to do it, what will your client think? Is it guaranteed to be well received? Christmas, by its very name, is a religious festival. Are your clients Christians? If not, be careful with your choice of images and words. Does your client's country celebrate on 25/12 and 1/1? If not, it makes little sense, surely.

I suppose if all your clients live in the same country as you then there's less of a problem. Mine are scattered around the world and I would worry that Russians, Thais, Bulgarians etc would misconstrue my motives and be rather put out to receive a gift or even a card.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:46
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other? Dec 21, 2014

Many clients send me cards or electronic greetings.

I send a lot of e-cards provided by a project I support. The images are secular - a snowman, Father Christmas, children playing, Danish hearts and so on. The nearest they go to religious symbolism is a candle.

I feel it quite appropriate to send all my clients a New Year greeting, but if they mention the C-word (or the J-word in Danish) then I do too. Everyone does here, no matter how they celebrate the last week in December! The etymology of the Danish word is uncertain, but it is believed to be pre-Christian...

I do not send gifts.

Season's greetings, everyone!


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Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 08:46
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Never Dec 21, 2014

Personally, except when shared between family or personal friends, I think these cards are annoying.

[Editada em 2014-12-21 16:17 GMT]


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
First time Dec 21, 2014

II've never sent anything in the past. They seemed like av waste of time and money. I an sending then this year though, my app project has an option that can be used in greeting cards. I think it would be a cool way to show potential clients how it works and they are a lot more personal than your standard card.

Let me know if you want one


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Teresa Reinhardt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:46
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
One more caveat Dec 21, 2014

This is something that will vary by country - US companies generally have rules that forbid employees to accept gifts of any kind. This is to avoid the appearance of impropriety / bribery / favoritism. In Germany, a lot of companies donate for a charitable cause instead of sending out gifts to their clients. Not sure if Brot statt Böller (bread instead of firecrackers) still exists…

I can only agree with those who pointed out the other minefield…who celebrates what holiday when…from religion to the calendar used, it is hard to tell.

All of this said, I do not see anything wrong with adding a personal holiday greeting where a personal relationship with a client exists. There are enough options for keeping it general.

In that spirit, I wish everyone a little break from the usual and some time to recharge their batteries.

Teresa


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cultural sensitivity Dec 21, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I wouldn't send anything other than good wishes at any time. I don't think gifts should play any part in business and cards for me are for keeping in touch with family I rarely see, not a client I emailed last week and have never actually met.

But if you're inclined to do it, what will your client think? Is it guaranteed to be well received? Christmas, by its very name, is a religious festival. Are your clients Christians? If not, be careful with your choice of images and words. Does your client's country celebrate on 25/12 and 1/1? If not, it makes little sense, surely.

I suppose if all your clients live in the same country as you then there's less of a problem. Mine are scattered around the world and I would worry that Russians, Thais, Bulgarians etc would misconstrue my motives and be rather put out to receive a gift or even a card.


Sending holiday cards or gifts deserves this kind of reflective thinking. I've almost abandoned the practice of sending cards. If I do, I send handwritten thank-you cards to customers. The cards go in envelopes where the recipient's address has been typed in an old-fashioned typewriter (I own three).

As for gifts, I have received various gifts from customers over the years, but I don't usually return the favor because (a) the customer sent me the gift because of a particularly good performance on a project and (b) the customer's business intentions for sending gifts aren't automatically mine to assume as my own.

I dislike electronic holiday cards; they're the ultimate churlishness, with very few exceptions.


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:46
Danish to English
+ ...
No Dec 22, 2014

... but I will add a 'Happy Christmas' to any last email I send to clients this week (I don't have culturally sensitive clients whom this might offend). And I will definitely add a 'Happy New Year' to any first email I send to clients in the new year. But that's all, folks...

I don't mind receiving Christmas greetings from clients or suppliers if they are directed at me personally, but if they are mass emails sent to all and sundry, I actually find them annoying and imagine that clients would feel the same if I sent electronic messages to them.

I would never dream of sending gifts to clients. What would be the point in that?


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Poll: Do you send gifts or cards to any of your clients during the holiday season?

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