Giving business gifts is a very serious business that you cannot just take for granted. As an integral aspect of your marketing campaign, this helps improve and solidify crucial relationships and is also a cost-effective way to recognize activities beneficial for your business. There are a few things you need to know about business gifts and gifting as a whole.
What are Business Gifts?
Most forms of business gifts are distributed to major clients. Employees come after them and then potential clients.
There are several reasons to give gifts ranging from recognize employees of the month to showing gratitude to long-standing customers. However, the main reason stays the same and that is to assert relationships and improve the personal connection between the recipient and the giver.
Gifts are different from incentives in the sense that these are offered without precise preconditions for performance. These are also different from ad specialties as they don’t feature blatant advertising or imprints. Gifts are also different from recognition because they are not included in prescribed programs.
However, it doesn’t mean that the bottom line won’t be able to benefit from the distribution of business gifts. For several companies, this is an essential aspect of their overall marketing strategy. Almost everyone will surely agree that when done the right way, gift giving is an affordable way to establish a sense of partnership with all valued associates.
Ethics of Gifting
Before you give business gifts or any gift for that matter, you have to know if the receiving or giving company has gift policies. There are companies, especially those in the fields of retail, medical, financial and insurance which don’t allow all types of gifts. The most common ones are restrictions placed on the gift’s value or on the situations where the gifts can be distributed. As potential recipients if their company published an ethics handbook or implements policies on receiving gifts. If yes, make sure you follow all them. Here are other important tips to keep in mind:
- It is big no-no to give gifts when there is an ongoing bidding process even if it falls during a holiday.
- Lavish gifts like luxury vacations and cars must only be used after proper consideration.
- Even if there are no stated restrictions, you need to be careful to ensure that your gift doesn’t impart a wrong impression. Anything that can cause an embarrassment on the recipient or cause a reprimand might end up sabotaging a valuable relationship.
Etiquette of Gift Giving
Even if you don’t commit egregious errors that could get a person fired, see to it that you still use finesse if you like to use your gift program to your advantage. Effective giving of business gifts is an art so you have to consider the major concerns below before you shop for gifts:
It is always great if your gift bears a personality yet the real concern here is if the gift also reflects the interests and personality of the recipient. Does the receiver love to go surfing? What colors to they love? Do they go nuts for perfumes? Be discreet when trying to find out these details since the moment you do, it will make the person feel that you really care about them because you took your time in understanding their taste and style.
You also have to take extra care to make sure that your chosen gift suits the business relationship. It doesn’t have much to do with the monetary value of the business transaction or the amount of time that you have been doing business with them. Instead, it is more about the closeness of that relationship.
If he client seems too businesslike or aloof, never try loosening them up with baubles as this could backfire. Never be too lavish or too personal with your gifts if the relationship is still new. In general, frequency of giving must be restricted to special occasions and major holidays. Again, make sure that you don’t make the impression that you are giving the recipient a bribe.
Of course, holidays are the most common and popular times for distributing business gifts. However, the real champions of business gift giving are those who know other times of the year that could have a more significant personal effect on the relationship. For example, birthday gifts are impressive as they show that you made the effort of learning a few things about the recipient. Other important dates, like the day the business relationship started or the anniversary of the new job might also be great occasions for distributing gifts.
You could also mark other events like child birth, promotion, or completion of important projects. It doesn’t matter if you just stick to impersonal occasions and established holidays or go more personal with the recipient’s personal life depending on the nature of the relationship. This might seem a bit presumptuous or intrusive pick the wrong event for the gift.
The perfect business gifts are genuine and show exactly just that. You have to take special care when you prepare the gift. Use nice wrapping paper and come up with a handwritten personal card. It could be as important as the business gift itself because the message you have for the recipient will convey your sincerity and intentions. There is also the issue if you will give it personally or send it through mail. Mailing could lower the feelings of obligation on the recipient’s part and this can also create unexpected pleasure in routine work day. When the relationship warrants this, mailing the gift to the home of the recipient could add a more personal touch, especially if the gift commemorates personal occasions such as birthdays.
When you know more about business gifts and how you should distribute them, it will be easier for you to use them to benefit your business as a whole. Give it time and attention to prevent any mistakes along the way.
Read also next article: Have no budgetary restrictions for promotional products