What is the best time to actually arrange a gift for your client or supplier? Chances are this is a question you’ve asked yourself before and one you will probably ask again in the future. In this article I’m going to outlay a few opinions on when I believe the best time to give a gift is. We all know handling corporate contracts is difficult, and client relations isn’t the easiest thing to manage in a business. But done correctly client management and the giving of meaningful corporate items can actually make your business more profitable in the long run.
The general theory is as follows – You should send any item to each of your clients at least once per year. Whether this is at Christmas time like most people do, or in the summer it doesn’t really matter when. The idea behind this shows the client you are actually thinking about them, and more than that, you actually value them being a client. There is nothing worse than talking to an individual weekly through emails but never feeling like you are valued or being valuable. To aid this send a gift once or twice a year. This is the easiest way to improve client relations.
The gifts themselves aren’t the most important element, but one thing that is important is you don’t give something that is seen to be cheap and for your own personal benefit. For example a pen with your logo on. This just comes across as if you are trying to market your brand (badly) and hence most of the items will end up in the bin. It’s possible to have items that are in fact seen as valuable. For some ideas check out our last blog post for 21 of these ideas.
Next you want to give something that is useful and will be either a.) Used on a daily basis. Or b.) Come in very handy on specific occasions. The selection of this product is totally up to your business manager and should be based on the budget per client and the type of individual your sending a product too. For example sending a fine paper-weight to someone who doesn’t work at a desk is a bad idea. Look through your client portfolio and select a gift based on the individuals needs and wants. If you don’t know, then you need to improve your client management & reputation skills!
Finally don’t do too much. If a client has paid you £10,000 through the year and you go out and spend £500 on a gift for them, this means you have “money to burn” and although you might only be doing this from the kindest of your heart, what it will look like is a poor investment or incorrect money management of a business. As a result the outcome will be negative. So ensure you keep gifts around the 0.1-1% of total client paid mark. This way you will avoid any awkward situations like this!