It’s hard enough to shop for the perfect gift when it’s for a relative or a close friend. Gifts for clients are even trickier.
Pens, mugs and umbrellas bearing your firm’s logo are boring and overdone. To find gifts clients will actually appreciate, follow these guidelines:
Make it useful.
If you give your clients something they won’t or can’t use, they will throw it away.
Make it delicious.
There is no better way to reach a client than through his or her taste buds.
Make it sharable.
If clients can share your great gift, by extension they can share you.
Make it personal.
Your female clients are likely sick of male-oriented gifts like cigars and oversized baseball caps. Think about what your clients like to do in their leisure time; this gives clues to what they’ll appreciate.
10 gifts your clients will love and 10 to steer clear of:
Love — Chocolate Covered Fruit:
Now that it’s been mentioned, you want some right now.
Steer clear of — Key chains:
No one wants these. Why would they want one with your company’s logo?
Love — Portable Shoes:
Women often regret their choice in heels by the end of an evening out. Companies are now creating roll-up ballet flats that fit in a purse for a quick, convenient switch.
Steer clear of — Wine:
This is not an every-person gift. Your clients may not drink for a variety of reasons, from religious to health. Wine lovers also are notoriously finicky. If you give this gift, make certain you know the client will appreciate your choice.
Love — Gift Certificates to Local Specialty Shops:
Want to feel the love with your community? Find the best gourmet chocolate, cheese and ice cream shops and load up on gift cards.
Steer clear of — Paperweights:
What exactly is the point of weighing down paper? Last time I checked, my office was inside.
Love — Beauty Supplies:
Are your clients stylish? Professionals will appreciate this mini hair dryer to keep in the office for snowy or rainy days.
Steer clear of — Laser Pointers:
Everyone thought these were so cool 15 years ago. Time for another round? No. Canada’s airline pilots will thank you for not putting any more of these in circulation.
Love — Frames:
Standard picture frames are impersonal and may not fit with your clients’ décor. But a digital photo frame shows you’re up-to-date and care about their families.
Steer clear of — Stress Balls:
You don’t want your clients to associate your firm with stress.
Love — Sports Equipment:
Were your clients enthused by the recent Euro Cup? Do they have kids? How about a regulation soccer ball with your company logo? Avoid the cheap knockoffs, though.
Steer clear of — Clothing:
The ill-fitting company polo is a bad idea. While you’re at it, steer away from clothing altogether. It might not fit. There’s a good chance it’ll be the wrong colour. It might be completely opposite to your client’s taste. Just don’t do it.
Love — Bags:
For women, sleek leather satchels. For men, classic structured carry-ons. They don’t have to be designer to look sharp and they’re easy to fill with other goodies.
Steer clear of — Cigars:
It’s not the ’80s any more. Smoking isn’t cool.
Love — Espresso Maker:
Does your client always have a coffee during meetings? Give her the tool she needs to make her own cappuccino!
Steer clear of — Mini Tools:
If people needed these, they’d buy a Swiss army knife.
Love — Luxury Soaps Baskets:
Many companies package selections for corporate gifting. So give a little indulgence. Avoid single bars of soap—that sends a hygiene-related message.
Steer clear of — Coasters:
These are frequently cheap, and ugly 95% of the time.
Love — Concert Tickets:
Is your client passionate about music? Connect on that level; whether it’s tickets to the symphony or his favourite rock band, he’ll thank you.
Steer clear of — Cruise Ship Desk Clock:
I kinda want this, but trust me, no one else does.