November 13, 2012

Prevent Gift-giving OOPS, know what to give your clients for the holidays

For years now, around the holidays but a little early so readers can plan accordingly, I have been making suggestions about gifts that businesses could give to clients as a thank you for their business (or to give as motivational rewards to employees).  I make these suggestions because I know how difficult it can be to decide what to give other than a food basket (although I have occasionally recommended that as an easy-go-to for local customers).  Most of my suggestions were based on what I was given in the past and appreciated or NOT.  A few were based on good and bad gifts business associates have told me about.

So you can imagine I found it quite amusing when I read the business gift faux pas in Rules of the Hunt.  One example was a firm that sent expensive bottles of Scotch to all their clients – one of which was Mormon and who sent the gift back to the sender.  Another example was a company that sent Christmas Hams to all their clients only to find out the owners of one of the client companies were Orthodox Jews.  What can you learn from these mistakes?  Do not send all your customers the same gift unless you know it is something that will benefit any organization.  Food and liqueur are often dubious gifts that should only be sent to  people you know very well and are sure will utilize what you send.  You do not want your gift to be passed on to a subordinate or tossed it in the trash – you want it remembered and your organization brought to mind each time it is picked-up.

So what are some gift suggestions for your customers?  What about ideas for your team?  Check out these older posts to find out:

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