So before we dig in to all that Thanksgiving has to offer, one last and final reminder that the “End the Year, End the Course Challenge” officially kicks off next Monday, November 16th at 9 am! So if you want to join us in taking the career changing course, “Designing the Design Process: The Foundation for an Exceptional Client Experience” with the additional LIVE support, accountability, and bonus Q&As, then jump on board here!
And although there are so few things that we can control right now, how you treat your clients, and what you treat them to, is thankfully one of them – even when things are totally out of control in the world, or on a project. Actually, that’s when clients look to you most for that steady guidance, those times of chaos. So if you’re ready to find out how to confidently deliver an exceptional client experience and be the leader you and your clients want you to be, no matter what’s going on, then join us here. Can’t wait to see you there!
Thanks to You, & Your Clients
Alright now, onward and upward to giving thanks! So as has become tradition around here, every once in awhile I like to switch things up by sharing recipes, particularly around the holidays. And so, I’m back at it again this week to help you prepare for Thanksgiving, which is shockingly just a little over two weeks away.
However, since I’m also all about the client experience, and giving thanks to clients is a must- do in the client experience world, I also wanted to share some great ways to spend this wonderful time showering your clients with gratitude. So let’s get on it!
Thank You, I’d Like to Treat You to an Easier Thanksgiving
Ok, so first, let’s give thanks to your clients! Now typically people show their appreciation and gratitude to clients at Christmas time. And while that’s fine and dandy, sometimes the gifts get lost in the masses. They get looked at and appreciated for the moment, maybe a thank you card or email is sent, and then by just the sheer force of the season, the memory of your sweet and thoughtful gesture is gone just as fast as that plate of Christmas cookies.
But during Thanksgiving? Well, it’s quite a bit different. Gifts and gestures are noticed, because they’re not expected. Gifts and gestures are appreciated, because they never saw it coming. Gifts and gestures are noticed, because there’s nothing else to compete with. What do you even give to clients though at Thanksgiving? A turkey? A side of mashed potatoes? Not quite, but what you do give them is something that will make their life easier, and when possible, something that enmeshes with why they’re working with you in the first place.
What does that look like though? Well, you could create a beautiful centerpiece for clients using natural materials like leafy branches and pumpkins (which are obviously much cheaper than floral arrangements) in an inexpensive container that you could drop off at their doorstep the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Or you could take it a step further and create a “done for you” decor basket with not only the actual centerpiece, but also votive candles, and extra materials that they can run down the center of the table, topped off with a photo of how the table will look when it’s put together along with some easy step by step directions. And while you’re at it, why not give them a link in the directions where they can go to watch a video of you putting the table together yourself, with further tips on how to add chargers, napkin rings, etc. if they’d like.
Not wanting to go to all of that work though? Totally understandable! Then consider a simpler, but still thoughtful route of gifting clients with a small serving dish complete with specialty chocolates, high quality bakery cookies, or a bag of candied nuts to be served (just make sure no one in their household has a nut allergy). All are great options.
Overall, you just want to ask yourself, will this gift make their Thanksgiving easier? And if it will, it’s a win whether they’re hosting anyone or not. I mean, everyone loves to have a festive table that’s basically already put together for them, and every one loves a free treat that’s already been plated (make sure the food is left in the packaging though). The idea is just to be kind, to be generous, to be personal with your gifting when possible, and to make their life easier. And the fact that you’re gifting at Thanksgiving rather than Christmas? Well, that just makes you look like an amazing super achiever. Oh, and lest you forget, be sure to include a personalized note of thanks as no matter what you do or don’t gift, that’s really your reason for doing this!
Alright now on to the recipes that I recommend for you! We’ve got an appetizer, a side dish, and a dessert. All tried, all true, all amazing, and all loved, by not only me, but many, many friends and family as well. So no worries of not being sure whether or not these will actually turn out. I promise you, they will, as long as you simply follow the recipes.
Ok let’s start off with the appetizer, a focaccia. So if you’ve never heard of focaccia or don’t know much about it, it’s basically, well, phenomenal. It’s an olive oil, salt, filled bready delight that’s got a great crust on the outside, and a doughy pillow on the inside. It’s heaven in a well worth it carb.
And you know what makes it even better? That although it does take time, it doesn’t take much work. Most of the time is spent well, doing anything else. It’s mostly just resting/proofing time. And even if you’ve never made bread before, as long as you have a mixer with a bread attachment, I encourage you to try it out! It really is totally doable, and very, very simple. If you’d like to add a little pizzazz and extra flavor to the bread though, I love adding minced fresh garlic and rosemary to the dough which really just takes the whole thing from phenomenal to perfection. Just make sure that it’s actually in the dough rather than placed on top as rosemary and garlic can burn quite easily.
Alright now let’s move on to the main menu, which let’s just be honest, during Thanksgiving is really all about the sides! As no matter what fancy footwork you seem to do, any turkey ends up dry and tasteless ten minutes after you cut into it. Maybe we should all start a new tradition where we no longer carve the turkey in the kitchen and then bring it in nicely on a platter, but rather, prep it table side like guacamole and as each piece is sliced, it immediately goes to an owner who can then ingest it immediately. It’s the only real way to get ahead of turkey’s just overall bleghness. But, I digress, enough of my turkey hatin’ and back to the real business, my favorite side dish, maple sweet potato puree with caramelized onions.
Now I know a lot of people are dedicated to the marshmallow sweet potato dish so you may not be quite open to a new way to prepare sweet potatoes. But, I urge you to at least consider bringing this as an alternative, or an additional option, to your holiday table this year. Because well, basically anything that has caramelized onions on it becomes food gold, and then when you combine that with a touch of maple syrup and sweet potatoes, well, that’s just going to leave you speechless.
And the only real note on this recipe is to well, double, or triple, it. The first time I made this I followed the amounts exactly as it says it serves 8. However the reality was that it served more like 3, maybe 4 people. So although happy that the dish was so well loved, I also felt super disappointed and embarrassed that it went so quickly, especially since it was such a hit. Nothing like having people ask you over and over again if there was a second dish of it somewhere… Oh, and one other thing, don’t believe the time they say it takes to make caramelized onions. 2 minutes? Hardly. It’s a bit more like 10. Caramelized onions are a great “make ahead” item though so no worries on making them the day or two before.
Alright so last up, dessert! Now you may remember this from last year but I have to share it again in case you missed it, or misplaced it, my favorite recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They continue to reign supreme and gain loyal followers every time I make them for someone whose never tasted them before. So here they are again – The BEST pumpkin chocolate chip cookies – I Heart Naptime.
Now there are very few notes on this recipe as I just follow it exactly. So honestly, I would just recommend that, follow the recipe exactly. Just make sure that when measuring out the flour, you use the fluff, scoop, level method (which you can watch a video of here if you’ve never used that flour measuring method before) because if you don’t, your soft as a cloud cookie could quickly become densely unpleasant to chew.
Give Thanks, Even in the Most Trying Year
So, that’s it! Three recipes that I urge you to try this Thanksgiving and a variety of gifting ideas for clients. None of these things are overly complicated or fussy, none of them are over the top, or expensive. None of them are about you going all out. No, they’re just about simple joys, appreciation of what you have, and taking a moment to give thanks even in a year that will no doubt become the craziest collective year you’ll have in your lifetime.
So go and enjoy. Go and have fun. Go and take a break. If you look hard enough, there is so, so much to be thankful for. Even if it’s just caramelized onions, focaccia, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. And well, if you ask me, that’s a heck of a lot to be thankful for.
Let me know in the comments below, have you ever given a gift to your clients at Thanksgiving? How did it go? I’d love to know!
And if you’re ready to do whatever it takes to end this darn year in a good way, then join us in the “End the Year, End the Course Challenge” here!