Everyone likes feeling valued, and gifts are a common way to show it. After all, who doesn’t feel cared for when a loved one surprises them with a thoughtful token of appreciation?
The same rings true in the business world. Gifting new clients can be a beneficial step in creating a good relationship, getting you off on the right start and setting the tone for the rest of the partnership. Studies also prove this to be true. In a recent Forbes study, more than 80% of companies surveyed said that gifts improved their relationships with clients. Furthermore, nearly 50% said gifting resulted in a substantial benefit, the biggest of which (at 45%) was making the recipient feel valued and also improving customer loyalty (43%). Another study shared by Truly surveyed more than 300 corporate gift buyers and discovered that the majority, approximately 60%, spent more on gifting clients and outside partners than employees and internal stakeholders. The strategy paid off as Truly further noted that 80% of consumers reported they are more likely to do business with a company that offers these types of incentives.
Ensure your company is part of these positive stats when it comes to gift giving with these simple do’s and don’ts:
Do: Know Your Audience
The key to successfully gifting new clients is to listen to your prospect while they’re going through the buyer’s journey. During this time when you’re getting to know them, pay attention if they share that they love a certain restaurant in town, have a specific hobby, or perhaps love going to Disney. If and when they do, note it in your CRM—do this even if you are not certain at that point that the deal will even close. Then, if the deal does close, you can utilize that information you learned about them to provide a gift that shows you listened. Doing so shows you not only care about them, but also that you have your buyer’s, not your own, best interest at heart. As with any relationship, the thoughtful gift can also make your buyer more likely to trust you, and that encourages them to be a long-time customer.
Don’t: Give Too Early
While gift giving with new clients can create goodwill, what’s important to note is that gifts shouldn’t be given to any and all clients or prospects. In fact, gifts should be mostly reserved for new clients or at least prospective clients late in the sales cycle. If you were to buy gifts for every early-stage prospect, not only would your business face exorbitant costs, but it also could have the opposite effect and make it appear that you are attempting to bribe the prospect to purchase from you.
Do: Get Creative
Important to remember is that the gift doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive; it just needs to be thoughtful and (hopefully) creative. For example, did your client recently welcome a new baby? Give them and their spouse a gift card for dinner at their favorite restaurant to give them a night out. Or maybe your client’s child recently graduated? Get even more creative and send a gift to their happy graduate.
Don’t: Lose the Personalized Touch
In a perfect world, you would have a somewhat lengthy list of clients to whom you’d want to send a token of appreciation. Resist the temptation (or happiness about the convenience) of sending the same gift to all clients. Doing so loses that personal touch and works against what you are trying to illustrate in the first place: that you sincerely care about your client and have taken the time to get to know them on a personal level.
Regardless of the specific gift, nothing says you care more than providing your client with a thoughtful gift selected specifically for them. Doing so creates a bond between giver and recipient, cements a positive relationship and increases customer loyalty.