Giving business gifts to your customers, clients and employees is a key strategy to boost your company’s performance and growth.
In fact, companies that use non-monetary incentives for customers and employees have seen a 9.6% increase in annual revenue and a 14% increase in productivity.
Here are 7 practical tips for making a good impression when giving your next corporate gift.
Stick to a budget
Set up a budget to plan how much you can actually afford to give to your customers. Most companies don’t really have a budget in place and most of the time, they can’t measure the return on investment of their donations.
Setting up a budget will allow you to track your expenses and cover the entire year when you could focus your gift giving activities.
Best advice, treat your corporate gift as you would any other investment.
Don’t overdo it, send the right message
Gifts are meant to show your gratitude for the personal relationship you have with your customers, clients and employees. It should not be for the value of the business they do with you.
Sending a gift that is too expensive can imply that you are trying to buy your customer’s business. In most cases, you will come across as pushy and desperate, totally the opposite effect that your gift should have. In most situations, ask yourself, is this too much? Try to find a compromise between the value and usefulness, rather than the cost of the gift.
Try to show your gratitude for the personal relationship. There is a fine line between a thank you and a bribe, and the wrong gift at the wrong time could lead to unwanted scrutiny.
Best advice, consider what would really be appreciated by the recipient, don’t go overboard when something simpler will do. Quick tip, check their social profiles to see their hobbies and interests to find the perfect gift for them.
Give something useful
The best gifts are those that are used daily, make life easier and solve a problem.
Needless to say, make sure your gift has a built-in purpose. A gift that can be used daily has more value than the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a dinner party.
That said, a gift that hits all three points, daily use, makes life easier and solves a common problem, will always beat a gift that has no direct use for the recipient.
A good example is Filo. Filo hits all three points, Filo’s Bluetooth tracking device makes it easy to never forget your most prized possession. It solves the problem of forgetting your keys, wallet or phone wherever you go. It’s a simple solution to use every day.
Bonus, it’s also customizable. Put your logo on Filo and you’ll be sure your customers never forget who gave them the solution to protect their belongings.
Best advice, give a gift that can be used every day, solves a problem and makes life easier. I can’t think of anything, look at Filo.
Make it personal
To stand out, try giving your gift in person, with a personal note explaining why you chose the gift and why you thought they would appreciate it. It’s amazing how powerful such a simple gesture can be. People want to do business with companies they trust and who care about them. The special effort shows how much you care.
Best advice, don’t underestimate the power of adding that special touch by delivering in person or writing a handwritten note explaining your intentions.
Choose wisely, be thoughtful
Most of us have received gifts that have been left to gather dust. Don’t let yours be one of them, choose wisely and be creative when choosing your next business gift.
Find out the preferences of your customers, clients and employees when you talk to them. Connect them to your company’s CRM or make your own notes by hand.
Quick tip: If you haven’t had a chance to take notes, find out their interests and hobbies by simply visiting their social profiles.
When it comes to donating time, whether it’s the completion of a project, a special event or as a thank you, it will be really helpful to know if they prefer travel to sports, technology to fashion items or chocolates to cheese.
So, as a business, if you want to develop your customer’s relationship with your company, be creative and thoughtful. Show that you really care.
Best advice, be creative and thoughtful in your choices. To get a quick idea of what they might like, casually ask the question in your conversations or take a look online at their social profiles.
Timing, make it special
Many companies decide at the end of the year to give their major gift to customers and employees. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, it’s just that everyone, including the competition, does the same.
A better approach is to give gifts when your customer least expects it. Use the big occasions, (for example, the closing of a deal, a big milestone is reached) during the year, to use as an opportunity to give your gifts.
Best advice, the best gift is the one that is least expected, make sure the gift is thoughtful and timely for the occasion.
Be responsible, don’t break any laws
Before giving your gifts, it’s best to check your client company’s gift policy to make sure you don’t step on any toes.
Be aware of the legal constraints on corporate gifts in your or your client’s industry. Many governments and large corporations have policies in place to avoid unethical behavior when exchanging gifts. Today, it is essential that companies have corporate gift policies that address both giving and receiving. Gift giving may be acceptable in your own company; however, it could be perceived as commercially inappropriate for the recipient company to accept gifts. As well-intentioned and innocent as they may be, corporate gifts are always designed to have some sort of positive influence – otherwise, what’s the point of doing it? But that doesn’t mean they’re bribes, and they’re still a simple and inexpensive way to build lasting relationships with valued customers, clients and employees.