A guide to corporate gift giving on special holidays

You have probably received corporate gifts before, but how many do you still have, could make use of, or even remember before they ended up in the bin? Business thank you gifts, usually sent during holiday periods are all too often instantly forgettable and of little or no use to anyone.

Choosing an appropriate gift

It is possible to send business gifts that stand out from the rest, it just needs a little imagination to choose gifts that will be appreciated, remembered and perhaps even strengthen the relationship between you and your clients. It is important not to go overboard, you do not have to purchase a gift commensurate with the value of the business they have done with you, or the business you hope to do with them. It is always best to go for a gift of a modest value; after all it is the sentiment that is important here. But it should never be so cheap it appears tacky or a gift given out of duty, rather than one that you wanted to give.

The Christmas period is the most popular time of year for gift giving and business Christmas e cards are a popular way to send sentiments to a large number of business clients. Cards may be sufficient for some clients, whereas you may want to give a little more to others. Try to buy a gift that demonstrates you have thought about what might be useful to the recipient, for example something that might be useful in that persons business. It can be something as simple as giving good quality stationery, pens, pencils or other items that they use heavily.

Next time you are on their premises look around and see if there is something of reasonable value that you could upgrade, demonstrating that thought has gone into your gift. Perhaps explain to them why you chose this gift, that it is personally chosen for them by the giver, for a particular reason, that way it will mean much more to them and remain memorable.

A few notes on etiquette

It is also a good idea to check out corporate policy first. A lot of companies, especially the public sector will have policies which limit the value of gifts, or forbid them altogether. It is better that you check this out, rather than have your recipient have to return the item to you. You may do a lot of international business and may be buying gifts for people of a different nationality. Do some prior research on cultural differences, as different cultures will have different rules for corporate gifts and you may be in danger of causing offense!

If you have gone to the trouble of choosing a special gift, don’t neglect the packaging. Wrapping the gift beautifully shows that you care and if you lack the wrapping skills, there are plenty of gift wrapping services available, especially around Christmas time. If the gift isn’t too big, try and deliver it personally. It will help the recipient associate the gift with you each time they see it.

Lilian Toal writes regularly on business etiquette for a range of business websites and blogs. To see some great corporate gift ideas click on this page.


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