Quick Tips to Client Gifting

At the end of each year, most organizations send expressions of gratitude to their clients and partners. Gifts abound! How can you stand out? FPA can help you make it count!

Corporate gifting with those bright colors and pretty packages can be seen as not much more than a marketing ploy–or worse–a bribe! You want your gift to show sincere appreciation for your business relationship. Here are some tips to ensure your gift is noticed and valued.

  • Forget the chachkies. The surest way to have a gift end up overlooked and probably discarded into the trash bin is to send something that will never be used. You might think that $1 teddy bear with your logo on its shirt was super cute and a great way to save money, but will your clients really even notice it? And do you really want a stuffed animal on your desk?
  • Don’t get too personal. You may know that your favorite client has been eyeing that beautiful crystal decanter and tumbler set with the brass inlay that allows for a tasteful monogram, but for a business relationship, this may not be the best approach. First, it reveals that you may know a little too much about your client’s private life. Second, it does not allow for your generosity to be shared (more on that later). Third, this is one expensive gift!  Which leads me to my next point.
  • Don’t be overly lavish. If you cannot afford to spend a large amount on every client you have, you shouldn’t spend it on just one. No matter what industry you are in, people within it know each other…and they talk. You do not want to send the message that Client A is more valuable to you than Client B. That just destroyed all the goodwill you had intended! Not to mention, many company policies do not allow gifts over a certain value to be accepted.  And worse, a client may end up feeling like you are trying to buy their business. Out the door went that warm fuzzy feeling again.
  • Give a gift that allows your clients to share in your generosity. As I mentioned above, a sharable gift is a better bet than a personal one. Good executives know that the people who work for them deserve as much thanks for being a good business partner as they do. This can be challenging in really large offices, but even a small basket of fruit or cheese and crackers will go farther than a bottle of wine. Make the gift you give something that everyone in the office can ooh and ahh over… and enjoy!
  • Personalize your message. While it is tempting in this busy world to sign all your cards with a generic “Thank you for your business,” statement, the sincerity of your gift gets lost. Take a few moments to add a personal tidbit that will add warmth and express genuine appreciation for those who help sustain your business. They are important to you; make sure they feel that way.

And to thank you–our very appreciated and valued FPA members–we have partnered with some amazing gift companies. Click on the logos below to learn more about special FPA member discounts and all the tasteful and beautiful options that they offer. Happy gifting!  Our best to you and yours.

Buffy Fletcher
Corporate Relations
Denver, Colo.