It can be so easy to walk into a store, grab the first thing that catches your eye, buy it, and send it over to your best client. Often, when we do this, the gift has no meaning. It winds up in the trash, being regifted (the worst!), or put away in a box and forgotten. Basically, you wasted your time and money. The goal of gift giving, especially in business relationships is to be memorable and to grow the partnership. When we shop for our loved ones, we tend to buy them gifts that have meaning or something that is personalized because we know them. Why not give the same thought and effort to a business relationship? After all, it is best to be relational, as we are with family, and not transactional.
Be personal when you give a gift. What do you know about this person? Accomplishing this can be tricky. Maybe your client or referral partner has not shared much about their personal life. At bare minimum, you know their name. You know their initials. People are more likely to keep and enjoy a gift that is tailored to them. I know, I know. We like to purchase items and swag to brand with our company logo. The truth is, that is the stuff that winds up in storage or the garbage (see above). However, you could purchase that same item and put the person’s initials on it and voila, it has a special meaning to them! They will always remember who it came from, even without the company logo. Try presenting a gift like this especially when your client will least expect it.
Timing can be epic. It is the norm to give gifts to your clients, employees, and referral system during the holidays. The holidays are the time to give but it has also become the time when people expect to receive a gift. Be sporadic! Who would expect a gift on National Tea Day? Absolutely no one. The element of surprise and creativity has more depth and meaning than the gift itself. Send your clients a great tea on National Tea Day. It will be the last thing they expect and in turn, be memorable. Who would expect a gift on Halloween? Our Rethreaded team is delivering Ghost Pumpkin Toffee to 100 of our favorite people on Halloween, we call this the “Boo Drop”. It was so much fun to bless great people on a holiday they would never expect, and therefore, never forget.
Gifting has been a strategy for many years in the world of marketing and sales within successful companies. It is a means to show appreciation to your customers, referral systems, and employees. Gifts are meant to be special and when strategically given and well thought out, the ROI can be greatly rewarding for a company’s financial success. Putting in a little extra thought and effort to choose the right kind of gift will go a long way and can be the foundation of fruitful relationships. That said, do not make it about reciprocity, make it about showing up for the person you want a continued relationship with. Be impactful, not impressive. Remember the gift you choose to give is often a reflection of yourself. Make the gift reflect your recipient as well and the value of the relationship.