Contrary to popular belief, sending out gifts to customers is more challenging than meets the eye. How do you know what the people want and need when you haven’t had the chance to meet them all in person? How do you make the difference between a gift that’s suitable, and a gift that’s not?
In some circumstances, getting personal is a good thing. But you’re not advised to do that all the time. Not everyone has a sense of humor, for example. Business gifts are tricky business. We’ve laid out some best practices to adhere to.
Do you have a company policy for gift giving? You should.
Trusted companies have personal gift giving policies. Some only allow certain types of gifts within certain budgets; others don’t allow gifts at all. It might be a good idea to implement such a strategy as well. That’s because the receiver should know about your good intentions and not feel offended in any way. Most gifts are offered around the holiday season (e.g Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter). However, this is not mandatory.
You can implement a policy of your own, and provide gifts for other reasons (e.g excellent work performance, birthday, anniversary, retirement, etc.). The trick is to make an informed decision, and only stick to gifts your employees or clients find useful and practical. Making a choice can be nerve-racking. Mugs, branded pens, notebooks, and desk organizers are common options. However, they can be seen as too boring or conventional by your receivers.
When sending gifts, it’s wise to have a purpose in mind
The process of selecting a gift for your clients or employees can be a little overwhelming. You want receivers to feel happy about what they got. It’s very important to be respectful, and select gifts that are in accordance to their cultural traditions and beliefs.
Before buying anything, have a purpose. Why do you want to offer a gift to a business associate? In general, you want to showcase appreciation for:
- Being a loyal customer
- Being a devote employee
- Being a valuable partner to the company
- Being part of a productive team
- Being committed to help you and your company thrive
- Being a great client whose interest is to cooperate and collaborate
The list can go on. Put some thought into the process. If you cannot afford something overly expensive, a “thank you” card is the most suitable type of gift. Watch out when spelling names. Gift baskets are also a good idea; but it should be personalized. Some people may fancy dark chocolate; others may not like chocolate at all. Take some time to know the receiver, and shape the business gift after their personal needs and wants.
Avoid expensive gifts
Expensive gifts should be avoided at all costs. You don’t want to give the wrong impression, and make receivers feel bad in one way or another. Keep things simple and to the point! When sending out gifts, mention the reason; to clear the air and highlight that you have the best of intentions. If you want to offer financial bonuses to employees, they should know why you want to do it.
There’s more to the art of gift giving in the business world than meets the eye. It’s natural for clients to want to feel appreciated. Every now and then, gifts can help boost the company’s bottom line; your employees will want to feel that you care about them too. A gift, given at the right time, can help make a huge difference. Sometimes it’s worth going the extra mile for your team. A voucher to a spa, a discount coupon or a financial incentive reassures them that you care.
When was the last time you offered something to a client or employee as a sign of appreciation? Corporate gifts shouldn’t be ignored if you want to have a great company culture where employees are appreciated. Don’t assume you need a big budget. At the end of the day, it’s the gesture that counts. Think outside the box, and choose gifts with an impact. Customize them to match every person in the office, and they’ll definitely think that you care about their well-being.
Davis Miller is a writer. He writes articles on business and finance. Apart from writing, he also loves to do swimming and reading books in his leisure time. He also recommends Veritas Gifts to buy corporate gifts.