To give or not to give, that is the holiday season question. Whether your clients are in Asia or Europe, giving gifts at the end of the year is no longer about a religious ceremony, but more about showing appreciation for a relationship that benefits your business and theirs.
Think about the gesture as showing a token of appreciation. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Sending a gift is like saying ‘thanks’. How big you want that thanks to be, and how it should be expressed is the part that takes some time to determine.
Make It Personal
Giving a personalised gift can be difficult. If you are considering sending a personalised gift make sure you know the details of the person you are sending the gift to. For example, if you want to include the name of the recipient on the gift, such as an engraved paperweight, you need to be certain of the spelling of their name.
Gifts that include alcohol or alcohol-related products should be given with great care. Different cultural norms and taboos should be considered before you send out bottles of wine to all your clients.
Don’t Make It Promotional
Many companies send clients gifts that contain their own name and logo. That’s not a gift.
If you know your client loves to play tennis, maybe you could send them a tube of tennis balls with their name or business slogan printed on them.
Perhaps you could research your client and make a donation to the charity they support.
Or you could host an event, such as a pasta-making course in the city of your client.
Don’t Be Cheap
Your budget for gift buying should be based on the value that your client brings to your business, not even how much they spend. You don’t want to appear cheap (again, no promotional pens or mugs should be sent) so take time to determine if each client should get the same gift or if they should be scaled by client value.
Be creative. Brainstorm with your team, have some fun thinking about what you’d like to receive. Don’t let the stress of finding the perfect gift suck the fun out of the giving. Focus on gratitude, that’s what gift-giving is all about.
Spoil Your Team
Remember your employees. While you might be focused on thanking your clients, the people who work hard every day want to feel appreciated too.
Do not send better gifts to your clients than those that you give to your employees. Personalised gift cards, pens engraved with your employee’s name, a group excursion (not holiday season dinner; that one is a given) or office artwork – anything that you can think of to let those who are your business know that you appreciate their time commitment and dedication. Yes, you pay them, but money can’t buy loyalty and a team who are prepared to go through difficult times with you deserve to hear your ‘thanks.’
Remember to spoil yourself a little too.