Does your business give gifts to other businesses and
individuals? Giving gifts may seem easy especially during
December when it seems everyone is handing one another
gifts and Christmas cards. However, many businesses waste
money and opportunities by haphazardly giving out gifts
without a clear delineated purpose.
Corporate gift giving should be designed to benefit the
company at least in the message that is conveyed.
Unfortunately, many times gifts are bought quickly and
randomly because competitors are seen doing it. A strategic
gift giving plan will convey appreciation and solidify
The following mistakes are commonly made when giving
First, many people give the wrong gift. For example, cheap
pens and trinkets do not have enough life span. Give
something that they will use and think positive and
appreciative thoughts of you and your company. If you give
pens, choose a nice heavy duty one that people tend to keep
track of instead of losing before the day is over.
Second, some people give gifts to the wrong recipient. If
your main contact is a middle manager, your interests may
be better served to give a gift to an administrative
assistant in addition to the manager. That's because that
manager may not be in that position very long before they
move somewhere else within the organization. However, the
administrative assistant may have their position for a
longer time span. Therefore, your gift may have a more long
lasting affect on your relationship with your customer.
Third, the wrong occasion is a typical mistake. The
Christmas season is crowded with expressions of
appreciation. Let your competitors get drowned by the mail
volume at Christmas.
You would not choose to advertise in a crowded medium
because your message would not get through. For the same
reason you should give your gift of appreciation at a time
other than the typical Christmas season.
Consider showing thanks at Thanksgiving. Or if you are
going to give gifts to administrative assistants, plan to
give your gifts during administrative assistants' day/week.
Your expression of appreciation will have a greater impact
because it will not be drowned out by a tidal wave of
The fourth mistake that people make is they display the
wrong attitude when they give their gifts. You want to
express thanks for who the recipient is and how they have
been helpful to you. You never want to show an expectation
of anything in return. The right expression of gratitude
will build the relationship because of its sincerity.
The last mistake is utilizing the wrong giver. Usually you
will make more of an impact if your gift is from one
individual or a group of individuals. Have each person sign
a card for the recipient. A card creates a personal touch
that evokes an emotional response. Everyone understands
that a company is an impersonal entity. People build
relationships with the individuals within a company.
If you are in sales and your accounts are local, it may
make an impact if you personally delivered the gift. This
act is an opportunity to spend a few moments in a relaxed,
less formal setting that you may not have previously
Giving corporate gifts is an opportunity for you to
strengthen relationships with individuals in another
company. Your gifts can have a greater impact both on the
receiver and for your own company if you strategically plan
your gift giving activities. Following these corporate gift
giving guidelines can have an impact on your company's