THE GIFT OF SOFTWARE

When it comes to appropriate gifts for clients, there generally isn't much in the way of new ideas from year to year. Salespeople commonly give customers and clients the usual array of flowers, gift baskets, gift-certificates and the like.

While there's nothing wrong with giving such standard items as a way of saying "Thank You," I recently came across a rather novel gift-idea, the MyInfoCenter software program. While the gift of software might not sound like a winner a first blush, the more you think about the benefits of this unique program, the more sense it makes.

What Is MyInfoCenter Anyway?

The MyInfoCenter software can be rather complex to describe, but it can be best summarized as a "financial records organization" program. The cover of the CD case explains it as "... an easy to use software program that helps you collect, organize, record and safely store your family's personal and financial information and documentation in one place." This may be a bit wordy, but it's an accurate statement nonetheless.

In real world terms, this program allows the user to store all of their important personal and financial information in one password protected program. In addition, reports can be printed (either to paper or PDF files) so that this critical information can be easily shared with appropriate parties, such as spouses, attorneys, financial advisors and the like.

As it's safe to say that most American families are not as organized as they should be when it comes to consolidating their financial and important personal information, the program certainly has substantial value as a tool for this task.

However, the real value is in how the program is sold and distributed as a "gift" that can be provided by professionals to their customers and clients.

Why Give Software?

At some point, every one of your clients has likely received everything from cute coffee cups filled with chocolate to elaborate gift baskets. Giving clients something as unique as a "financial organization" software program has merit simply by the very fact that it's something quite different that they have ever likely received.

Further, the software program itself is a very useful tool for organizing important financial information, a task that too many of us have not adequately addressed.

MyInfoCenter also makes sense as a client gift specifically for those in a number of related professions (real estate, construction, legal, insurance and finance, to name a few) as it is highly related to the business relationship; whereas a gift-certificate is seldom related to anything so specific.

Additionally, in quantities as low as 25 units the program CD can be personalized to include the giver's name, photo, logo and other related information which will continually reinforce the relationship and remind the recipient of exactly who gave them the software in the first place.

This personalization is not restricted to the CD label, but is also included in the program start-up screen, and on the printed reports as well. As a result, every time the client updates their financial records, the business relationship is reinforced.

Finally, the software can also be embedded with links to the provider's web site, making future contact with you as simple as a click of the mouse.

When evaluating all of the benefits, and compared to the standard fare in client gifts, MyInfoCenter appears to not only be a great option for professional use, but perhaps also stands as a significant example of how there's always a better option than doing what we have always done.

Even in the bland category of "client appreciation" there's always innovation taking place and an opportunity to so something both different, and better, than the competition.

Prices for personally branded program CDs range from $12 to $20 per copy, depending on volume. Visit www.MyInfoCenter.com for more information.

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale