Inexpensive Business Holiday Presents – Thank Your Current and Previous Customers

You already know that business holiday presents are a great way to reach out to your clients, which include current, past customers you haven’t seen in a while and prospective clients. But if you’ve ever been on the receiving end, you know that oftentimes corporate gifts are impersonal, generic and boring.

By using a little creativity you can express your appreciation and (hopefully) drum up some business without breaking the bank. Read on to discover a few ideas you can use this holiday season.

Send a non-fiction book or booklet with a note that highlights sections pertinent to your client. For instance, if your client just bought a new cat, a cat care book would be a nice idea. You can include a note that on page fifteen there is a list of foods that a cat should never eat. A lawyer recently sent out my stress reduction booklet as a gift to a previous client with back pain and highlighting a few exercises they could do in their chair. She let me know that the client was very appreciative by this gesture and his wife was going to give the lawyer’s name to her boss who needed some legal work. Of course, we don’t always personally know the circumstances of our clients and customers, but sending a booklet with a nice card means a lot to people.

Make up a brief tipsheet to send with your cards. Include tips and tricks relevant to your industry, and set it up as a ‘Top 5′ or ‘Top Ten’ list. Let them know you made this up specifically for them, and format it in a way that will be easy for them to post up around their office or work area.

Give a gift certificate to a class at a gym, yoga studio or even a park pass that can be used for a weekend break.

These are some ideas for business holiday presents that your clients will not only appreciate, but thank you for. By giving presents that directly benefit them, you position yourself as someone who actually cares about them and they will want to do more business with you in return when your services are needed. If you haven’t heard from a previous client in a while, it is nice to reach out to them and let them know you are thinking about them.

Negotiating: Collaboration A Win-Win Strategy

COLLABORATIVE NEGOTIATING:

Collaborative negotiating is a win-win strategy that can focus the resources of the people involved in the process towards strengthening results, productivity, quality, creativity, and innovation in problem-solving. To use the collaborative approach to negotiating you will have to agree on the aim of negotiations. Before any sort of bargaining can begin, you and your counterpart must define the who-what-where-when-how-and-why of the issue and have a general idea of the objectives and dimensions of a solution.

WHEN USING NEGOTIATING COLLABORATIVELY:

1) Acknowledge the other person’s position. Negotiating doesn’t require that the two of you hold similar positions of authority. It doesn’t require that you like each other. But it does require that you be prepared to treat the other person as an adult, be ready to listen as well as talk, and to recognize that your view is not necessarily the only one. 2) Gain the other person’s trust. No matter how logical and factual you are, the other party will doubt your credibility. Good faith commences with symbolic acts like eye contact, shaking hands, pulling out a chair for someone, and it is maintained by consistent honesty. If you want others to level with you, level with them. Although you may feel that an occasional bluff could help your position, don’t gamble. The consequences can be disastrous if your hand is called.

1) Identify areas of mutual interest and agreement. Before two people can resolve differences, they must find a common ground where meaningful negotiations can begin. 2) Set a positive accepting tone. The tone of negotiations must be positive. This applies both to what is discussed and how it is discussed. If you have to say something negative, phrase it in a positive way or preface it with a positive statement. Phrase words so that they elicit a positive response to advance your position rather than stop the negotiation. This helps to prevent defensive reactions and promotes affirmative thinking.

1) Be aware of what you are saying and doing. People sometimes become so intent on watching, listening, or speaking to others that they fail to watch themselves. Words, body language, tone of voice, and voice inflection have many ambiguous meanings. Humor is especially troublesome — it can be interpreted as flippant or sarcastic. Only through self-observation can you be certain that you are conveying the message you want in the manner you want. 2) Maintain a question and answer exchange. The heart of any negotiation is the ongoing dialogue during which negotiators discover each other’s feelings, understandings, attitudes, prejudices, and objective views of the situation. It enables you to acquire the proper perspectives, separate actual from fancied needs, isolate the real obstacles, and identify what approach to use in obtaining agreement. Ask specific, open-ended questions, and probe areas of conflict to uncover as much information as possible. Your own answers and statements must be equally candid.

Dire State of Presentation Skills

In 2009 Young Markets has been running a survey on the way people give presentations. Given all the publicity and material available on the internet about how to give an Effective presentation, the message doesn’t appear to be getting through.

An astounding 73% of people rely on their slides to remind them what to say next with 83% revealing a whole side of bullet points at one time.

The vast majority of people are still using their slides as handouts, either before or after their talk.

With presentations techniques such as these being so common it is no wonder that the vast majority of audiences suffer from “death by PowerPoint” and that presentations are boring people to death.

If you are one of the majority of people who rely on your bullet point slides during a presentation, you are probably thinking what is so wrong with that. After all, it is what most people do. I’ll let you in to a secret; that is exactly what I used to do as well. But now I have seen the error of my ways, I now realise how boring it makes it for your audience.

I am not one of the anti-PowerPoint brigade or even anti-Prezi who believes you should give a presentation without any slides. I believe that slides add value to a presentation and can help to make a presentation memorable and motivational, but only if they are used in the right way.

So what is so bad about relying on your slides to remind you of the key points, what is so bad about having a number of bullet points on the screen and what is so bad about using copies of your slides as handouts?

Essentially, it all boils down to one thing. Using slides in this way will let your audience get ahead of you. The slides will tell them what you are going to talk about next. And as everyone knows there is no point listening to someone when you already know what they are about to say.

Speaker notes, visual aids and handouts are three completely separate things with completely different objectives. Your speaker notes are to remind you what to say. Your visual aids should be designed to accompany your words and create strong mental images for people to remember. And your handouts need to be stand alone documents that cover not just the slides but what you said as well. By planning to use the slides as speaker notes you tell the audience what you are about to say. By using the slides as handouts you tend to overfill the slides so they still make complete sense even without your words. Both of these things will ruin a presentation.

Most of the time, the bullet points on a slide make excellent speaker notes, so use them as that and think up new visuals for the slides that you will share with your audience. The write down your talk and put it along side the slides in a PDF document which you can have as a handout, to give to people after your presentation.

If you are confronted with a pre-written corporate presentation that you have to use, which has lots of bullet points in it, then my advice is to use bullet point reveal facilities of the presentation software to display the bullets one at a time, and then talk about each topic and bring the bullet point up after you have talked about it. This has the affect of reinforcing what you have just said, rather than pre-announcing it and making your words superfluous.

Just because the majority of other people do it, doesn’t make it right. Stop, relying on your slides, stop displaying bullet point text and stop giving copies of your slides as handouts. Your audiences will thank you for it.