One thing that everyone who thrives in business can agree on is that relationships are key to
Here are just a few famous quotes reinforcing the importance of people and relationships:
- “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” – Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks
- “Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Damon Richards, customer service expert
- “The bedrock of a great business is based on human capital and that capital is built on human relationships.” – Miti Ampoma, business communications specialist
There are many ways to build the sort of relationships these business experts are talking about. But one very tangible way that has proven to be successful is corporate gift-giving.
Corporate gifts that are strategic, targeted and appropriate will tell your client or customer that you care about them, that you value their business and that you are grateful for the relationship you share with them.
Here are a few tips that can help you adopt a successful corporate gift-giving strategy:
1) Corporate gifts need not be a holiday tradition
The Christmas holidays are a classic – and appropriate – time to give a corporate gift. But consider adopting a year-round approach. At Christmas, your gift risks getting lost in the crowd. Giving an “on-demand” gift (ie, to mark a milestone in your relationship with a client or customer) will clearly communicate the reason you are giving it and will surely be appreciated. If you wish to retain a “once-a-year” approach to corporate gifts, consider March. This may be ideal for your business if it comes near the end of your fiscal year when you can be certain there is room in your budget. It can also be ideal timing for your recipient to receive the gift just as they are deciding on budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.
2) Give the gift to the person, not the business
Unless you are giving a gift that is to be shared by every employee of a business, address your gift to the person who is the relationship-holder at the business. The quotes about the importance of relationships in business speak to the person-to-person dynamic that you wish to cultivate through corporate gift-giving. So give a gift to the person and help them feel their work is being uniquely recognized.
3) Give the gift a story
What is the difference between a good gift and a great one? Generosity can set the two apart, but so too can meaning. The story behind a gift can be as meaningful as the gift itself. Be thoughtful and creative. Did you and the recipient share an experience that could be recognized through a gift? Did something inspire you so much this year that you wish to share it with others? Is there a gift that would demonstrate the ultimate outcome of your client or customer relationship?
Following these tips to corporate gift-giving can result in a priceless gift that sets your business up for long-term and sustainable success for years to come.