How to Choose the Right Gifts for Your Best Clients
Giving your top B2B clients a special gift to thank them for their support is a nice touch, but you will have to steer clear of anything that looks like a bribe. Gifts like expensive jewelry or paid holidays can come across as being somewhat shady, so the good news is that appreciation gifts shouldn’t be overly expensive. Follow corporate gift etiquette tips to the last detail. Once you’re satisfied that presenting your contact with a small gift won’t provoke jealousy or get them into trouble, there are still a lot of pitfalls to avoid. Use these dos and don’ts to be on the safe side.
Think carefully about the type of gifts that will be acceptable to anyone regardless of their personal values, belief systems, and habits. Back in the day, for example, a bottle of wine may have been seen as a perfectly acceptable corporate gift, but even then it may have ended up in the hands of a teetotaller who had no use for it. Apply the same sensitivity to people’s religious sensibilities. For example, not everyone celebrates Christmas, so a New Year’s gift could be a safer option.
Useful and Branded: Your Gift as a Reminder of What You Do
While your gift is meant as a way of saying thanks, there’s nothing wrong with using it as a type of reminder advertising. Good, old-fashioned calendars are still a popular choice. Simple desk calendars, attractively illustrated wall calendars, and the oh-so-handy desk blotter calendar are perennial favorites that won’t raise any eyebrows.
Pens are also popular, but they do have potential drawbacks. There’s no office in the world where pens don’t “disappear,” and if your branded pen is of poor quality, it may just cause more frustration than pleasure, reflecting badly on your brand even if pens aren’t among its products. If you’re keen on giving stationary, be sure to check its quality – or go for something foolproof like branded post-it notes.
Mugs, T-Shirts, and More
By now you’re getting the gist of it. In most circumstances, corporate gifts are relatively cheap, branded items that anybody will like regardless of their personal tastes. Apart from office stationary, you can get a bit more out of the box with other branded items. T-shirts are a popular choice, but no matter how nice the tee, it might not get worn often in a professional setting. A coffee mug, on the other hand, is always good to have and could be used several times a day. Meeting folders holding paper and pen with extra pockets for documents are a long-term winner that should see a lot of use.
If your client’s company is celebrating a milestone, you can consider offering a rather larger gift, but while you might want to offer something pricier than a coffee mug, don’t go overboard. Stick to something tasteful and relatively low cost that can be used around the office and make it clear that the gift is to mark a very special occasion.
Package, Sign, and Deliver
Do feel free to add a festive touch to your packaging. Pretty paper and bows always help with presentation. Include a card naming the recipient, and thanking them for supporting your company. Sign it by hand and, if possible, deliver it by hand. You just successfully navigated the delicate question of corporate gifting with style. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself!