For your most valued clients, giving them a gift at the holidays is a wonderful way to thank them for their business year-round. Choosing a thoughtful gift for a client, however, takes more than simply picking out a gift you think they will enjoy – the giver will also need to consider the client’s corporate culture, and whether their company has regulations for accepting gifts. Once these factors are taken into account, giving a gift to a client can prove to be not only a thank-you for business, but also an excellent way for a client to remember you throughout the year and to continue a successful relationship.
The first step before even choosing a gift is to find out what the policies around gifting are at your client’s company. According to this CNBC article on the growing role of corporate gift giving, selecting gifts can be come tricky as some companies require that their employees accept gifts valued at less than $25. If you overlook a regulation and mistakenly purchase an item above a set limit, it can create an awkward situation for a client who would like to graciously accept a gift but is unable to do so.
Second, once you have determined any restrictions on gifts, consider the corporate culture of the client to whom you are giving. This will help you select an appropriate gift. For example, is your client at a company that is dedicated to health and wellness? If so, a healthy gift basket with produce might be a more thoughtful option than one filled with chocolate and sweets. For a company committed to charitable functions, a donation to a charitable organization in the company’s name may be appreciate more than a standard gift to the office. This type of charitable gift is growing in popularity and also may be an option for companies who have a restrictive policy on gift prices.
Next, time to choose the gift itself. Be sure that you leave enough time to order the gift so that it will be ready by mid-December, as many offices are already closed or have fewer employees working by the week of Christmas.
Scrambling for gift ideas? Here are a few:
- Fruit Basket: This is certainly not a new idea, but it is a classic. The traditional seasonal fruit basket including gold-foil wrapped pears and holiday nuts can be a welcome and fool-proof treat for clients.
- Coffee and Tea Sampler: If you know that a client is a coffee connoisseur, this would be a great option to acknowledge their interests and to give them a special selection to enjoy. Not to mention, it would please a whole office to have a new variety of morning coffees and teas.
- Cookies, Chocolates and Candies: For the sweet-toothed client. The type of sweets you choose is also another way to gift with regard to their personal preferences.
- Gift-of-the-Month Clubs: This is an option for extra special clients. Many gift vendors have the option to upgrade your gift to a monthly delivery, so that clients will receive a basket of fruit, a breakfast sampler, a different coffee selection, or whichever gift you choose all year round.
- Fair Trade: One of our favourites! We support Zoe Alliance. You may hear Angela Draskovic speaks about her organization on Ted Talk:
Finally, once you have chosen the gift, make sure you add a personal touch. For corporate gift giving, adding your company’s name or logo somewhere on the package is a good idea. Add a card with a personalized message, and if possible, deliver the gift in person. When done appropriately, giving a gift to a client is a memorable and thoughtful way to say thank-you and to preserve a successful business relationship!
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Posted on December 6th, 2012 by Tazneem
Filed under: Business Etiquette