Personalized Stationery. Everyone serious about building relationships should have a supply of personalized notecards in stock! Prices run the gambit from very inexpensive to off the charts. You pick whatever works for you. There are many independent consultants in cities around the world who peddle beautiful papers you can customize – I always recommend working with these entrepreneurs and small business owners when possible. Other options include stationery stores in your community and online sites such as Shutterfly, Vistaprint and Moo.com.
Writing Instruments. In conjunction with personalized stationery, if your recipient still values the handwritten word, then he or she will love your special gift of a special pen. My friend, Kimberly, told me about these little gems: Disposable “VPen” fountain pens. They write beautifully!
Books. Everyone loves a good read! Here are a few of my networking- and relationship-related favorites:
- The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg. Told as a fable, this wonderful little book is a quick read that packs in important lessons about the virtuous cycle of generosity and resulting reciprocity.
- Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi. Recently updated and re-released, this networking classic was one of my first guides into the wonderful world of relationship building.
- Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends by Tim Sanders. In business, are you a “lovecat” or a “mad dog?” Find out in this witty and compelling book which expertly explains the value of knowledge, networks and compassion.
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. One of my favorite business books of all time, the founder of Zappos.com shares his secrets to building a great firm with happiness as its guiding principle.
- Coffee Lunch Coffee: A Practical Field Guide for Master Networking by Alana Muller. OK, OK, I know this is shameless self-promotion, but, if you order directly from my website, I’ll personalize an inscription to your recipient and even offer you free shipping and handling with the discount code BLACKFRI14 (a $5 value).
Café Gift Cards. People always appreciate gift cards for coffee, tea and treats! Pick a local café in your city or go with an old standard (e.g. Starbucks, McDonalds, Panera) which are plentiful with multiple locations. Who knows… they may even invite you to join them!
And, if my recommendations are not enough for you, loved this piece from the Business Journal’s BizWomen, “17 holiday gift ideas for the businesswomen in your life.” Not to be excluded, the guys will dig many of these cool gifts, too!
So, happy holiday shopping and, if you’re headed out to be among the throngs of bargain hunters on this Black Friday “holiday,” good luck, sharpen your elbows and enjoy!