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Giving Gifts to Clients: Good or Bad Idea?

Posted on Wednesday December 05, 2018

Giving Gifts to Clients: Good or Bad Idea?

For many people, the holiday season means giving and receiving gifts. To steer clear of the clichés about overconsumption, you may already be opting for personalized, carefully curated gifts that will put smiles on your loved ones? faces without further jeopardizing the planet. But what about giving gifts in a business context? Are they necessary? Are there guidelines to follow?

Here are five points to consider before you present gifts to clients.

1. Choose the clients (you don't have to give gifts to everyone!)

Every year, numerous companies send out Christmas cards. Realtors, accountants and insurance companies have become synonymous with non-personalized cards that quickly find their way into recycle bins. Although sending a gift to a client is an honourable idea, it's important to put some effort into personalizing it for the recipient. You may wish to limit your list to your most important clients whose likes and dislikes are known to you.

2. Personalize your gift

Remember that the goal is not only to express your appreciation to your clients but also to remind them that you exist! Whatever sector you work in, give gifts that either somehow represent your services or, for closer business relationships, suit the recipients? personal tastes. Do you work in the horticulture industry? Give your clients flower bulbs so that they think of you when they see them flowering. Do you have a client who's a hockey fan? Give her a pair of tickets to a Titan, Wildcats or Blizzards (or, better yet, go with her!). One important consideration: choose gifts that are easy to reproduce (depending on styles and your budget). If your client loves your gift, you may be setting a precedent for similar gifts for years to come. It's also important to ensure that your gifts correspond to the scope of your business relationship to avoid overspending unnecessarily or creating confusion with your generosity. For example, sending out lavish gifts could make some clients begin thinking that they are paying too much for your services. Inversely, presenting an obviously inexpensive gift to a client who gives thousands of dollars a year to your company could make you appear stingy. It can be challenging to find the middle ground!

3. Giving Christmas gifts is wonderful, but giving gifts at the right time is even better!

The holiday season is prime time for shopping. Stores and shopping centres offer endless promotions to attract our attention (does Black Friday mean anything to you?), and it's only natural to get drawn in. However, since one of the main objectives of giving gifts to clients is to foster or consolidate a business relationship, it's important to choose the right moment. Are you in the snow-clearing industry? Giving out shovels the day before that first big storm could be much appreciated. Do you operate a children's clothing store? If a client has just had a baby, consider offering a onesie or cuddly toy for the newest member of the family. In addition to considering your clients? likes and dislikes, it's important to get noticed at the right time!

4. Gifts to give? or avoid?

Nowadays, alcohol is sometimes perceived as an inappropriate gift, and it's also important to be careful of food allergies. Organic sausages may not go over well with a vegetarian, while a crate of oysters is not likely to wow someone with a seafood allergy! Consider sticking to hand-crafted gifts (or a basket filled with local products!) such as organic canned vegetables, homemade preserves, knitted items or woven products. Another option is tickets to a concert featuring an emerging artist in your region. In short, anything inspired by the latest consumer trends.

Giving the right gift, at the right time (and to the right client) provides maximum return on your investment while also upholding your reputation. Should you have any doubts, you may be better off simply abandoning the idea for now and sticking to giving gifts to your loved ones.

Good luck shopping, and happy holidays to all!

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