Corporate Gifting Etiquette

One common way businesses try to forge meaningful connections with their clients and suppliers is through gifts. Providing a nice gift and treating clients well can make them overlook minor issues that may lead them to look for an alternative supplier. In addition, a company may appear more professional if they give a gift to a client for their business at Christmas or as a thank you. In this article, we take a look at the etiquette of corporate gifting and occasions where gifting is appropriate.

Find out the rules

Before going to all the effort to create a wonderful gift for your client or a prospective client, you should find out about their gifting policy. Many companies will have rules around gifting and the amount they’re allowed to accept from a supplier. They may not be able to accept gifts if they’re above a specific value. If this is the case, you can tailor your gift to make sure it's under the value in their policy or send several smaller gifts throughout the year to get around the policy. Some companies might not be able to accept any gifts. If this is the case, you can take your clients for lunch and pay for the meal instead of a gift. This will usually be accepted as a business lunch, or dinner is expected between clients and suppliers. It can also be a great way to connect and help to solidify your working relationship.

Think about the recipient

As a business, you’ll have a contact at the company you’re sending the gift to, or you might have a few day-to-day contacts and someone who makes the decisions. When sending gifts, think about each recipient and their likes and dislikes. When you get it right, it can help to show your contacts that you listen and know them and their business well. It also shows how much you appreciate working with them. A non-personalised, generic gift has less impact and might not go as far when dissuading them from looking for another supplier.

Utilise events

You don’t need to wait for a holiday to show your clients how much you appreciate their business. Many companies host events where they invite their clients to attend and learn more about what they offer as a business or new updates in the industry. A well-organised event can impress your clients and even encourage them to spend more money with your company. Some businesses choose to take clients to picturesque destinations for events, such as Malta. This is an excellent idea if your clients are big spenders and detrimental to the success of your business. You can hire a Malta DMC or destination management company to make things easier. They will do everything for you, including event organisation, catering, accommodation, activities and travel arrangements. This can leave you more time to focus on purchasing the perfect gift for each client. You can give the gifts in person during the event as a token of appreciation for attending and their ongoing business. 

Avoid too much branding

When giving corporate gifts to clients, you need to make them feel like the gift is all about them. Adding your business branding may change your client's view of the gift, seeing it as more of a branding exercise rather than a sincere gift. Your clients will already know about your business and what you have to offer, as well as your contact information. Leaving off the branding will help to make a lasting impression on your clients. Some gifts are acceptable to the brand, such as your company products. However, consider carefully whether the recipient would prefer the item without your company branding before sending any gifts. 

Gifting to clients can be a good way to secure more business for your company. Often the gifts are relatively inexpensive compared to the amount of money the client spends with your company. A luxurious £100 gift basket between the team might be enough for the client to spend thousands of pounds with your company in the following year. Every little gesture helps when you’re building a relationship with your clients, and gifts are one thing that’s relatively easy to get right.