What happens when you don’t have the right thought and effort in choosing or presenting the gifts?
That can be worse than no gift at all. Sometimes they might even be offensive. Here are some tips for successful gifts to be remembered (in a good way!):
- Consider the goals of your gift giving – yes, even gift giving has a purpose. Should it be something the client displays on a cabinet, or should it be something you want them to use every day? Should it be a more elegant gift with very subtle customization or is the purpose to drive a potential client to consider you for business more often? We could discuss fewer but stronger impressions vs. low impact but frequent impression.
- Next, Consider the demographic of the recipients. If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll recall that I mention this quite often when helping you choose your marketing and event promotions. It applies to your gift choices, as well. Find out the culture of the office, the age groups of the recipient, gender, ethnic diversity. Don’t send a box of chocolates to someone who is dangerously obese or diabetic. Be especially careful with cultures outside the U.S. – some are offended by a clock or a gift that is certain color.
Also, know the laws and rules for various government agencies or entities that serve the government – they have restrictions on gifts that can be accepted. The most you may be able to do is a nice card & a hand-written note. In Iowa, state agency employees cannot accept gifts from a supplier or provider that is valued over $3.00.
- Give gifts that are in proportion to the client’s value. That means thinking about even three different levels of gifts or cards. Don’t by at the lower end of a gift idea. For example, don’t consider giving high-income clients a $20 golf shirt. That is likely not the caliber of shirt they would wear, so money would not be well spent on something they would just give away, or only wear once. Consider spending the $20 on a very nice vacuum seal tumbler or an exquisite pen personalized for each person. You spend the same in either case, but one says high quality (personalized pen) and one says of low quality (low end polo shirt).
- Dress it up! Think about special packaging. Can you tie the gifts to a theme? That is very often easy to do if you have a special event planned for employees or clients. Think beyond the typical holiday, Thanksgiving, snow, etc. themes. How about football, music awards or a spoof on your industry? One company found out every employee’s favorite vacation spot, inserted a picture of each in a leather photo album, which was wrapped with their annual bonus check. Wow- what thought put behind that gift!
We, at Primary Source, are here to help you sort through gift choices and guide you; asking the questions necessary to give gifts to be remembered – with a great positive impact! Make an appointment for a visit to the showroom and a consultation.
Mary Anne Kennedy