Your clients, referral sources and contacts will long remember a thoughtful note or gift. I know that many of your clients do not allow your contacts to receive  gifts. For those who permit it, think about what your contacts will value.

David Comer is a Fox Rothschild lawyer I coach from the Philadelphia area. As you will see, he found a very interesting way to stay in touch and connect with clients, referral sources and contacts. Here is what Dave shared with me.

It started last summer, when my wife Patty and I decided to put our townhouse up for sale. First, we had to get the townhouse ready to put on the market. Patty told me it was time to get rid of my “stuff,” including piles of Sports Illustrated magazines, newspaper clippings, beer signs, books, baseball cards, VHS tapes, programs and yearbooks from nearly every sport imaginable.

Donate it? Sell it? Give it away? I decided to give it away, which is why I am writing this blog entry.

Here is my list of the top 10 items that I have given away so far:

  1.  Yuengling beer sign. Since my college days, I have had this Yuengling beer sign that lights up. It was cool when I was 22, but not when I am 37 with two young sons. My wife has been encouraging me to get rid of it for several years, and I finally did. I sent it to a friend who is a beer aficionado and who writes a beer blog. He couldn’t have been happier to receive it.
  2. Sports section from the January 22, 1979 New York Times. The Sports Section chronicled the Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII. My friend and diehard Steelers fan was thrilled to have it.
  3. Cleveland Indians baseball card book. A contact with whom I have worked on several projects mentioned to me once that he was a Cleveland Indians fan. I sent him the book – I still can’t figure out why I had it – and he sent me a note thanking me.
  4. Book titled “Countdown to Super Bowl.” A contact of mine covers the New York Jets. The book is about the Jets shocking victory in Super Bowl III. It was a good match.
  5. VHS tape of a Today Show from 1992. A longtime friend was on the Today Show when we were in high school. I found the tape and sent it to him. He thanked me, although he was unsure whether his VCR still worked.
  6. Book titled “The Marketers Guide to Public Relations.” A client is in the process of opening a franchise. I found the book from a public relations course that I took in college and mailed it to him.
  7. Neighbors sports section from November 25, 1999 Philadelphia Inquirer. A friend who I went to school with from kindergarten through high school and who was a high school football and basketball teammate of mine was named to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s all-decade high school football team for the 1990s. I had saved the article and sent it to him. He was extremely thankful.
  8. October 24, 1983 Sports Illustrated. A college roommate is a longtime Baltimore Orioles fan. He said he was thrilled to receive the Sports Illustrated with the Orioles on the cover celebrating their 1983 World Series victory.
  9. Palestra Illustrated. A longtime contact was inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame in 1998; he was a basketball star at St. Joseph’s University. I found the program from the night he was inducted and sent it to him. He was very happy to receive it.
  10. VHS tape of “Midnight Run.” A contact has told me on numerous occasions that he loves the movie “Midnight Run,” which stars Robert DeNiro as a bounty hunter. I came across the VHS tape of the movie and sent it to him, again not sure if he would have a VHS player for it.

I think you likely get the idea of how this has been a “win-win” in our family. My clients, contacts and friends have been pleasantly surprised with my thoughtful gifts and you know I have made a big hit at home.  I estimate that it will be years until I have given away all of my stuff. Patty hopes I can speed up the process.