By Martin, Davinci Virtual
Tis the season to be jolly—and generous. The holidays are a strategic time to show appreciation to your best customers. Of course, there are a few things you need to know before you make moves to express your goodwill. Yes, there is gift giving etiquette—even for holiday cards—in an age that celebrates diversity. Consider these guidelines:
1. Make it personal
Personalizing a gift, if possible, may speak louder than the gift itself. That’s because it demonstrates you have taken the time to really get to know them. If all else fails, seek advice from your client’s secretary or look on their Facebook page if you’re connected. If you can’t personalize gifts for all your clients, at least write a personal note in the card.
2. Don’t overspend
You should have a budget for client gift-giving, but don’t be so extravagant it puts the receiver in an awkward position. Some of your clients may not be able to receive a gift value over a specific amount. Do your homework. Find out what is acceptable before you send the gift.
3. Consider faiths
Not everybody believes the same as you do. You may celebrate Hanukkah, but your clients may celebrate Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanzaa or some other holiday in December. You don’t want to be offensive when you’re trying to be kind. Find out what your client celebrates if you can, or just send the generic “Season’s Greetings.”
4. Deliver on time
Just as you would deliver a product or service on time, be sure your holiday gift is delivered on time. Typically, a December 20th deadline is ideal because it falls in the sweet spot of the holiday season for people of various faiths.
5. Don’t rely on food and wine
There’s nothing wrong with falling back on food, wine and liquor if you know your client has a special affinity for a good wine or chocolate, but generally speaking it’s generic and forgettable. Remember, make it personal.
6. Avoid gift cards
If you are dealing with employees, gift cards may work fine. But when sending client gifts, don’t opt for this route. The gift card option basically says, “I couldn’t think what to give you, so I’m giving you cash.” It’s impersonal.
7. Don’t send company T-shirts
Gifts with your logo scribbled all over them are not gifts, they are promotional tools and will be viewed that way. Likely, they will go in the circular file. Instead of classy, you may be seen as cheap and self-serving.
8. Re-gift carefully
Thirty-two percent of all Americans re-gift, which means they give a gift away to someone because they didn’t need or like it, according to an American Express survey. You can easily hurt the feelings of the gift-giver if they find out.
Martin has been enjoying the creation and successful execution of many technology and service related ventures over the past 25 years. He is very passionate about building businesses from the ground up by leveraging cutting edge technologies, innovation and smart, driven people. Martin currently leads all business operations at Davinci Virtual Office Solutions. He credits his international upbringing and Swiss approach for many of his successes. Stress relievers include skiing, tennis, mountain biking and blue oceans.