Even between grownups, holiday gift-giving is one of the most fun activities of the year. For businesses, it’s a great opportunity to creatively tell your clients that they’re appreciated and valued by your business. It’s that “creative” part that is often the biggest challenge. A recent survey from Incentive Magazine noted that 77.4% of all businesses give gifts as part of their incentive programs, so standing out from the crowd is more difficult than it ever has been. Gifts take valuable time and money, so it’s important to ensure that a company chooses wisely and not allow their gifts to simply blend into other gifts that might be received.
Because we believe corporate gift-giving is such an important component of a company’s overall customer relationship strategy, this will be the first in a two-part series to assist companies in the process of choosing effective gifts for clients and business relationships. To begin, here are three key things to AVOID when giving gifts.
- DON’T…. wait until the last minute to come up with an idea. The goal of gift-giving is to show sincere appreciation for the contribution the other party has made toward your business. Waiting until the last-minute limits your options for what you can give and often leads to haphazard gifts. This tends to present itself in two polar ways: Either the gift is seen as cheap and was just “laying around,” or the gift is too expensive and could have been more thoughtful at a smaller cost. Allow yourself plenty of time to select, obtain, and deliver gifts instead of scrambling.
- DON’T… let cost be the controlling factor. Frequently, we’ve seen that companies create a budget for their holiday gifts and simply look at items that are close to that mark, assuming the option that is most expensive within the budget will be best. This is far from true! Some of the most appreciated gifts we’ve seen are relatively inexpensive, but they suited to client’s tastes and/or needs perfectly. For example, many of the portable cell phone battery packs are less than $10 per unit, yet people have told us they are a big hit when given out as gifts! Don’t assume that your clients will equate cost with quality. It truly is the thought that counts!
- DON’T… give it the week of Christmas. While this might seem counterintuitive, keep in mind that your clients will likely be receiving gifts from people in various areas of their lives during this time span. Your gift will likely fail to stand out from the crowd, particularly during this busy time of year. Also, keep in mind that many people’s schedules during the final weeks of the calendar year can be hectic, meaning they might not even receive the gift! Stand out from the crowd by giving it a bit earlier than most, and make sure that the holidays aren’t the only time that your client is told that they are valued.
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we cover the top 3 things to DO when giving holiday gifts!
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