Corporate gifting is a longstanding way to let clients, contacts and employees know they are important to your success. The right gift, given at the right time, makes the right impression; it says that you are thinking about them and that they matter, which in turn enhances the client experience, amplifies client loyalty, increases referrals and builds allies.
Where do you start?
Start by assembling a list of your most valued clients, relationships, referral sources or prospects. When you are trying to determine the right gift, it’s smart business to understand the financial impact that these people create for you. Review the current and potential lifetime value that individual has to your business.
When in doubt of who to include, or if you have a limited budget, focus on your top percent. It’s also essential that you know if their organization has policies about employees receiving gifts, and if they do, find a more creative way to show your appreciation, like sending letters to their superiors about what an excellent representative they are of their company.
Next, add allies. Include important allies like managers, assistants and/or other team members who influence the relationship with your client. Don’t underestimate the power these allies have in the lives of your clients and, potentially, in yours. Create a gifting strategy for these influencers who can be real advocates for you.
Now that you have the list, identify what matters to each person. Equipped with this intelligence, you can personalize their gift to connect to something that really matters. It may take a little longer to identify the right gift, but when you do, it will really make an impression because it’s thoughtful and stands out from just another fruit basket or company-branded water bottle.
Fresh gifting ideas
- Family is important to many, and sending a gift focused on family entertainment is becoming popular.
- Personalized gifts engraved with their name says you took the time to get a gift just for them.
- Create a gifting redemption portal with a selection of products, brands and items. Then invite your contacts to go online and choose the gift they would most appreciate.
- Company-branded technology gifts are increasingly trendy, but they must be quality products.
- Consider charitable gift cards, where your contact selects a charity that matters to them and you donate to that cause.
- Stay top of mind and celebrate special occasions like contract anniversaries with your clients. Send cards and promptings to demonstrate your appreciation.
Consider incorporating the power of gratitude into your marketing strategy because it’s a savvy, cost-effective way to build deeper relationships with clients, employees and referral sources. Expressing your gratitude is not just for holidays — it’s smart business to show how you appreciate your contacts more frequently throughout the year. There is always a good reason to say thank you. ●
Judy Bodenhamer is Founder & Managing Director of Client Experience Group