December 14, 2011

Business Gift Giving Etiquette

Since that the holiday shopping season has officially kicked off, let’s talk about the business of gift giving. No, not all of the cool gifts you have lined up for your family and friends. I mean actual business gifts you should bestow upon your best company associates and clients.

Showing your clients how much you appreciate their business goes a long way. If you plan accordingly, you can give a gift that will make a lasting impression. Before you begin your online shopping search though, keep in mind that giving business gifts can be a tricky business. You don’t want to be impersonal but you don’t want to be too personal, either. Just like everything else in business, doing your research will make you better prepared.

Some companies have specific gift giving policies. Either their employees aren’t able to receive gifts at all or they’re only allowed to accept a gift that’s within a specific monetary value (e.g., less than $100, etc.). Your company may also have a gift giving policy, so you should investigate that, as well. What you don’t want is for your client to have to send their gift back. No matter how good the intention, that’s pretty embarrassing for both the gift giver and the receiver.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the calendar. It’s easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in all things work related and before you know it the whole month of December has passed you by and then it’s too late to send out your gifts. Give yourself plenty of time for shopping and shipping to make sure that your gifts arrive at their destination before your clients close up shop for the holidays.

When choosing gifts, the process can feel a bit overwhelming. You’ll want to be respectful of your clients’ religious beliefs and cultural traditions. You don’t want to give anything remotely considered inappropriate, so keep the personal gifts to your friends and family. This doesn’t mean that your gifts should be generally boring, though. The point of giving business gifts is to show your appreciation. Putting thought into your gift says that you put thought into your client. Lastly, double check all spellings. Nothing kills a great gift than a misspelled name.

Your business gift reflects your business. Quality gifts that connect with your clients and associates will help to spread good will and keep you top of mind throughout the year.

P.S. Need some gift ideas? Try Red Envelope, Godiva, Fairytale Brownies, See’sMoleskine, Amazon, Plaxo, etc.

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About the Author

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Cori Pasinetti

Director of Marketing

As the Director of Marketing for Plaxo, Cori is a brand advocate for all things Plaxo. Have you Plaxo'd today?

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