One of the most challenging and yet valuable things companies can do during the holidays is give a gift to a client. It says so much, but how do you choose a gift and what should you give are always the challenging questions. So, I decided to help make it easier and give you 5 Tips for Client Gifts During the Holidays
1. Use What You Know:
What do you know about your client or referral partner to help you create a meaningful gift? If you looked around their office, do you see photos of them golfing, or sports memorabilia? What do they like to spend their spare time doing? Can you tell they are real family people by the photos in their office, maybe a good gift would be a special photo frame?
2. Make It Unique:
Create a unique gift, do NOT buy a one-size-fits-all gift in bulk. Can’t you tell when someone is giving you a gift they bought in quantity? How does that make you feel…like, “WOW” or “Thank you, I wonder who I can souvenir this to?”
3. Leave the Logo Off:
If gift giving is from the heart, then why is your logo on it? Think about your receiving a gift, would you, personally, appreciate having a gift with the other person’s logo slapped on it, or something with your company’s logo monogrammed on it? Make the gift a personal tribute to your client or referral partner…it is a “Thank You,” isn’t it?
4. Spend Smart, Not Cheap:
You can have a budget for a gift, but don’t make it, strict. Sometimes the difference between a gift that a recipient will keep, or one they will give away, is a matter of a few dollars. People know cheap, and if you go that way, people have a habit of remembering.
5. Deliver It In Person:
If your gift is truly unique, wouldn’t you want to take enough time to see the “WOW” effect on your client’s face? Why ship it to them, set up personal time to present the gift. Don’t wait to get rushed at a holiday season, start early on delivering so you have time to invest in a personal visit. Sometimes the time you take to spend with the recipient is more important to them then the gift itself; it shows how much you care about them!
PRO TIP: Put Their Name On It:
If you put their name on the gift, it won’t be thrown away, or given away…unless, they have a “Junior” in the family! Just as the sound of someone’s name is sweet to themselves, personalized items make a huge impact on your gift giving effort. Something special, makes the recipient feel special, and is a demonstration you took a little more effort in considering what they have given to you.
Keep in mind that gifting properly comes from the heart, don’t think of it as a bribe.
When someone becomes your client, they become everyone else’s prospect. When you have a great referral partner, a gift can sometimes motivate that person to help you out a little more or keep them sending the referrals to you instead of one of your competitors. Gift-giving is one of the most effective business strategies you can develop, because if you do it right, it’s a reliable way to build strong, lasting connections.
Many companies use the Holiday Season as a time for saying thanks to their clients…and, more importantly, to their referral partners. A good referral partner will provide you with a steady stream of clients, and giving a gift is a wonderful way to express your thanks!
Gifts humanize business
When getting a gift for a client or referral partner, you want it to have a professional image and have it make a lasting impression. A company specializing in corporate gift-giving, has done the research on their industry, and their survey revealed that 94% of high-level executives were positively impacted by a personal gift, because it enhanced an existing relationship.
Gifts are a great way to show appreciation and help you raise above the noise; a key to good relationships is strategic, well-thought-out gifting. An unexpected gift that makes the recipient’s life better, easier and more successful, and you’ll stand far above the competition. Choose a gift that makes your recipient’s life more productive, and you have hit a homerun. Consider the recipient’s interests, hobbies or talents, offering gifts that make it easier for them to do what they enjoy.
If you are going to personalize a gift, make sure you know your client or referral source well enough to get them a gift they will keep using. Find a balance between being cheap and overspending to the point the receiver feels uncomfortable. The goal would be to hear and exuberant, “WOW” versus a monotone, “Oh, thank you!” Go big or go home! Don’t give because you feel you must, give because you want to…give from the heart!
Some things to think about:
- Who will be receiving the item
- Quantity & budget you want to work with
- How will you distribute the gifts
- Do you want the gifts to have a theme
You must consider multiple levels of gifts; you never want to give an A-client or referral partner, a B-gift! Not all clients have influenced your business to the same extent.
What message are you trying to get across? Are you looking to raise awareness of your company by including a logoed gift, or offering a unique gift that will remind the receiver that you thought enough of what they gave you to pick out something special for them? You may want your gift in a recipient’s home if you want to stay top of mind. Or, you might want your gift in their office if that is where they are likely to be when they are making a buying decision.
Copyright Wayne A. Curto 2019