Corporate gift giving is an actionable way to increase customer retention, build critical relationships with clients, and express your gratitude to employees. Despite the confusion around the term, it’s a very simple concept: Showing your gratitude to the business network you operate within increases your opportunities.
Why You Should Give Gifts
Programs for business gift giving have been around much longer than you may think and for one reason: They work. Studies by the Promotional Product Association International have shown that businesses and soloprenuers alike were twice as likely to be contacted by the recipient than those who sent a sales query alone.
If you think about it, it’s no surprise. Business gift giving creates a more personal connection with the people you’re working with and for. They feel appreciated. They feel valued. There is no better way to strengthen a working relationship.
Here are a few of the most popular reasons for corporate gift giving I’ve received from clients over the years:
- A realtor sends a gift basket to her client in Calgary who has sold her first home. Not only does the recipient refer her sister to the realtor, but she also returns years late when her family is ready to upsize to a bigger house.
- After a business partner meets with a client, he sends a fruit gift basket to Okotoks to thank the potential client for their time. The client feels this approach set him apart from the other applicants and hires his company for the job.
- Your loyal Executive Administrator is having a child. You send a gift basket filled with baby essentials to him and his expecting wife. This employee feels valued for the work he does.
Gift giving is a powerful investment in your business.
When to Use Corporate Gift Giving
Just as important as implementing a corporate gift-giving program in your business is understanding when it’s appropriate to send a gift. Don’t bombard your clients with gifts. After all, you want your recipient to feel your gift is sincere.
When it’s appropriate to give business gifts:
- When someone has made a high ticket purchase from you.
- Around the holidays to thank your clientele for their patronage.
- When your clientele has reached a milestone, such as opening a new location.
- When a client or employee has a birthday gift. Nothing strengthens a relationship like showing someone that you’ve taken the time to learn a thing or two about them as a person.
- When you’ve given an employee a promotion, for the holidays, and for personal milestones when it’s appropriate.
- To thanks a network connection that has traveled to do business with you.
When it’s not appropriate to send corporate gifts:
- During a bidding process. This can be taken as bribery.
- When a relationship is brand new. In all honesty, it can be uncomfortable to receive gifts from a person you are just beginning a working relationship with.
- Your industry discourages gift giving.
In the same light, you need to understand that incentives and gifts are two very different things. When you send a gift, it needs to be a gift- not a coupon or gimmick to get someone to purchase your product. This is an opportunity for you to connect with a person.
What to Send for Corporate Gift Giving
Now we’re to the ‘what’ part of this equation. You have a lot of different options for what you can send clients as business gifts. Here are a few corporate gift ideas for clients and employees alike:
- Gourmet food. Who doesn’t love food? This is a solid go-to for any gift basket.
- Wine gifts. Whether these are paired with snacks are not, wine gifts are a perfect gift for new homeowners and business owner’s opening a second location.
- Themed. Know Scott in accounting love’s the Stampede? Get a gift basket themed around it.
As a rule of thumb: If you think it’s inappropriate, it probably is. Don’t overstep your bounds while trying to personalize.
How to Send Corporate Gifts
Now to the final detail- how to send corporate gifts. The first step is making sure you upkeep your address book. Though you may be able to schedule certain corporate gifts for employee appreciation, most of your gift-giving will be reaction based. Second, it’s time to shop! Our catalog of gift baskets has nearly everything you could imagine and more. If you’re buying more than 10 gift baskets, you can use our bulk order form for an easier ordering process.
We can even help you manage your gift reminders and structure a gift-giving program in your business. Reach out to us or call directly. We’re here for you 😉
Do you have a corporate gift giving program? Are you interested in starting one? Share your thoughts about business gift giving in the comments.