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Ideas: Before you buy Business Gifts

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Giving Memorable Gifts

You give business gifts for specific business reasons: to thank a customer for their past business; to cement the relationship; and to encourage their continued business. You want to select and deliver gifts that leave your clients delighted.

To give gifts that are well received and memorable, and avoid giving gifts that offend, here is what you need to know.

1. Know your company
Does your company have a policy on corporate gifts? What is the policy? Do the gifts get charged to your budget or to an overhead account? What is the budget for these items?
2. Know your peers
Is anyone else in your company sending gifts to customers who are on your list? If so, your gifts should complement each other. Consider combining the budget amounts to give the client one nicer gift rather than two separate gifts.

Find out whether anyone in your organization is sending gifts to peers of your customer.

Coordinate to make sure that neither gift makes the other appear inappropriate.
3. Know your client’s company
Does the recipient’s company set limits on the number or value of gifts their employees can accept? Some companies limit it to “token” gifts. Some specify a dollar. Others prohibit them altogether. Find out what that policy is and abide by it. You don’t want to put your customer in the awkward position of having to decline a gift from you because it violates their company policy.
4. Know your client
This is the most important item. What does he like to do away from the office? Which holiday does she celebrate at this time of the year – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, none? Would he prefer the gift delivered to his home or his office? What gifts from previous years has she liked enough to display in her office? Does he have a favorite charity to which you can donate in his name?
5. Know your suppliers
Who are the best suppliers for different types of products? Where can you get top quality items of different types from one source? Who has the best price; the best engraving; the shortest turnaround; the fastest delivery?

Suppliers with whom you have established a relationship understand you and your business. They often can suggest appropriate gifts and help expedite processing or delivery.

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