Gift-giving is a surefire way of demonstrating appreciation to your clients and fostering good corporate relationships.
That said, it’s not always easy to know how to find the perfect gift. You don't want to select boring, everyday items that can be found in any shopping centre, nor do you want to overspend to compensate for a lack of real care.
If you’re at a loss, we’ve pulled together five tips to help you focus your energies into finding the perfect gift for your clients — whether this is your first time working together or whether you've known them for years.
1. Know your client
Before you do anything, put some thought into the client you’re buying for.
If you have a long-standing and close relationship with your client, you already have a leg up. You may know about their hobbies, interests, and even their family life.
If you’re shopping for a client you don’t know very well, you need to put in some groundwork. For example, you may be able to find out more about them on their social profiles or via their website.
Alternatively, there’s no harm in asking them direct questions about their interests and hobbies.
Beyond the goal of looking for a gift, asking questions demonstrates a genuine desire to get to know them and a commitment to your ongoing working relationship.
2. Find out their gifting policy
Certain companies don’t tend to give or receive gifts, particularly those in the financial, insurance, medical and retail fields. You also need to be careful about giving gifts during bidding processes or gifting lavish items that may become the subject of legal scrutiny.
In order to avoid a faux-pas, you can either call your client and ask them directly about their corporate gifting guidelines, or contact the HR department. They may have a handbook or written guidelines outlining what you can or can’t give. If this is the case, it’s important you follow these guidelines carefully.
3. Get the price point right
Once you’ve done the groundwork, it’s important you budget appropriately for your corporate gift. When working out your budget, there are a couple of things you need to think about.
First of all, make sure your budget reflects the amount of revenue your client brings you. If you spend too much, for example, you may appear to be bribing your clients for business.
Secondly, you need to look at your overall annual gifting budget. Make sure you apportion your gifting budget appropriately between your clients.
It’s worth noting that even though gifting ROI can’t be easily measured, it’s important that you treat your corporate gifting as you would do any other business investment. After all, relationship-building is the cornerstone of good business.
4. Go for Quality and Reliability
When you send a gift to a valued client, the last thing you want is for it to break easily, or appear to be low-quality. But it’s not always easy to gauge the durability of a gift, especially if you’re buying online.
For this reason, research your gift thoroughly. Look at the store you’re buying from and check out the reviews and testimonials. If there are repeated instances of item failures, then you may want to shop elsewhere. Ellar Boutique, for example, offers high-quality, long-lasting gifts that are sure to leave an impression.
5. Make it Personal
Personal and personalised gifts are much more likely to solidify client relationships than general items. As a bare minimum, include a handwritten note with your gift to demonstrate you’ve put in the time and added a personal touch.
But if you can, look for ways to customise your gift specifically for your client. For example, shop for customisable gifts or ‘create your own gifts’ options to show clients you are thoughtful to make a lasting and memorable impression.
6. It’s All About Building Relationships
Selecting the perfect gift for your client is one of the most effective ways of deepening your corporate relationship.
By thinking carefully about the receiver’s tastes and needs, investing in good-quality items, and adding a personal touch, you’re bound to leave a strong lasting impression. So, no matter the occasion and regardless of your budget, the perfect gift is really about understanding your client and selecting a unique and thoughtful gift.
View our Corporate Gift page here for a little inspiration.