The Art Of Business Gift-Giving
As we enter the fall season, that means one thing...the gift-giving season is just around the corner. If you're not sure how to approach business gift-giving, in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we are sharing a few tips to help you get through the holiday craze from business author and keynote speaker Ian Altman.
The Answer Is Yes. If you're wondering whether you should give your clients gifts, the answer is yes - always show clients your gratitude. A nice token of appreciation can really help demonstrate that you care.
That being said, do your homework. Many companies now have policies about what employees are allowed to receive.
Do Make It Personal. You want your gesture to be thoughtful and personal. Consider a personalized touch such as a monogram of the person's name or company logo on the gift.
Don't Make It Promotional. Many companies send clients gifts that contain their own name and logo. That's not a gift. It's a marketing piece.
Do Be Creative. Altman gives this example: "If you have a client who you know to be an avid golfer, you might send a dozen golf balls which they will promptly lose. Instead, you might get them something they'll use for a long time. The Impact Improver is a new training device that can be used indoors to practice some of the most important elements of the golf game. I received one as a gift, and I think of the giver each time I use it. You could even include a sleeve of golf balls with a note that says, 'If you play golf as proficiently as you run the business, three golf balls are probably two more than you need.'"
Don't Be Cheap. Consider how much you might routinely spend taking someone out for a nice meal. That meal might be forgotten by the next morning. Yet, when it comes to gifts, businesses routinely try to figure out how little they can spend. If everything in your business is "first-class," don't be the low-bidder when it comes to showing your appreciation. In that case, sending nothing might be better than sending something.
That said, you don't have to blow your budget on gifts either. You might send a video from your team saying how much you enjoy working with them. Or, you might send a photo of your team in front of a whiteboard while discussing their project. These personal touches are great ways to create a lasting impression.
Do Show Appreciation Year-Round. Timing is just as important as quality when it comes to giving gifts. It's natural to think of sending a gift around the holidays. But, you may want to reconsider. If you take the time to appreciate your clients when they least expect it, you'll stand out. If you show that you took extra time to tailor the gift to the recipient, then they'll appreciate your thoughtfulness even more.
Do Have Fun. Holiday shopping can be stressful and expensive, but it doesn't have to be. You don't have to break the bank or drive yourself crazy searching for the perfect gift. With a little bit of planning and creativity you can give a gift that creates a lasting impression. So, have fun with it!
Source: Ian Altman is an author, strategic advisor and internationally sought keynote speaker on integrity-based sales and business development. He is also the author of the best-selling book, Same Side Selling.