More than 600,000 new businesses are formed in the United States each year. Unfortunately, not all of these have what it takes to succeed.
Managing your client relationships is essential when it comes to ensuring the longevity of your company. This involves more than providing stellar products or services.
Giving business gifts is a simple but effective way to show your appreciation. Not everybody understands the nuances of client giftgiving, however. We've created a brief guide on client gift etiquette to help you get started on the right track.
Let's dive in.
Do: Have a Plan
One of the best ways to ensure that giving business gifts goes smoothly is to plan in advance. This is simply due to the fact that the perfect gift options often take time to source.
The last thing you want is to be unable to find your chosen product or have it arrive too late. It's highly recommended that you purchase business gifts at least a month ahead of time.
To play it safe, two months is often a better option. You might need to purchase the gift even earlier depending on what it is and when you plan to give it.
For example, if you're looking to source an item to use as a Christmas gift that is already hard to find, you might need to make your purchase 90+ days in advance.
Don’t: Skimp on Quality
No matter the sentiment behind your business gifts, they won't have as much of an impact if you skimp on quality. This will only serve to create an experience that is underwhelming (and perhaps even awkward) for everyone involved. You'll need to be diligent in finding a provider that can meet your needs in terms of quality.
Otherwise, you simply won't be able to meet your goals.
Do: Prioritize Personalization
Giving a personalized business gifts is one of the best ways to show your appreciation to clients.
It also provides plenty of room for creativity. For example, you can go much deeper than simply providing a gift that has an engraving of the client’s business name. You could incorporate the client’s personal interests, references to interactions you've had in the past with them, etc.
Personalized business gifts should feel more like you're giving it to a friend instead of a professional contact. However, you should avoid getting too personal when going this route. You run the risk of making your client uncomfortable when doing so.
Don’t: Give Something Promotional
Client gifts are not an opportunity to promote your brand.
This could easily be viewed as distasteful or even disrespectful. To clarify, promotional gifts are often provided to a large group of people to advertise a company’s products or services. For this reason, they are considered very impersonal.
So, they are not a good fit for business gifts that are supposed to show your appreciation for a long-term professional relationship. Be sure to keep this in mind when moving forward.
Do: Budget Appropriately
It can be tempting to splurge when it comes to giving business gifts to clients. After all, your clients have likely spent plenty of money on your business. Giving a gift that is too expensive comes with two major issues:
- You could give off the impression you're trying too hard
- You might spend money that you shouldn’t allocate
Instead, you should give something tasteful that your clients will also find useful. Doing so will allow you to save money while keeping the interaction at an appropriate level.
Don’t: Give Risky Items
Problems can easily arise if you choose to gift certain types of products. These include alcohol, tobacco, etc.
This doesn’t mean that they are always inappropriate, though. For example, if you have a client who happens to love cigars and wine, these could be the ideal gifts for them. If you aren't sure of how your client will react to the gift, it's best to avoid risky items like these.
For instance, you may unknowingly offer a bottle of Japanese whiskey to someone who has been a recovering alcoholic for the past five years. This could create a situation where they either reluctantly accept the gift or outright refuse it.
Sourcing Client Gifts
No matter what you plan on giving, there are certain steps you need to take to find the best quality products. You should ensure that the provider has a solid reputation.
Look at their past feedback and see what previous clients have had to say. This will provide valuable insight into what you can expect. You should also consider their shipping times.
As previously mentioned, you want to avoid a situation where your gift arrives too late for the occasion. Finally, consider the level of customer support they provide. There are few things more frustrating than making an important purchase and being left in the dark about its shipping progress.
Be sure to check out their return policies, how they handle refunds, etc. This will allow you to avoid a large number of issues in the future.
Give the Perfect Business Gifts
At first, giving the right client business gifts might seem daunting. The truth is that it's much more straightforward than most people anticipate.
As long as you follow the above guide, you will provide your clients with something that they both appreciate and enjoy. Feel free to get in touch with us at Toffee to Go today. Our professional staff is ready to help you find the perfect gift.