If you’re a small business owner and want to incorporate gifting into your overall client experience strategy, or if you’re a seasoned client gift-giver who is always looking for extra tips – you’ve come to the right place!
Here are the top ten strategies that the best of the best gift-givers use to wow their clients. If there are any that you’re already using, we want to hear from you! Share this post on LinkedIn and tell us which strategies you use, or which ones you’re going to start using.
1. They get to know their clients and make the gifts personal
Don’t worry, this one isn’t as daunting or time-consuming as it sounds! It’s actually very easy to get to know your clients if you listen and write down notes about them while you’re chatting. You don’t have to know their life history to know they’d probably prefer something fun, or if they’re a little more
2. They follow the rules
Before you spend any time searching for a personalized client gift, you need to make sure that your client is allowed to receive it. If you deal with individual people, like a photographer might, you shouldn’t have any gifting restrictions. But if your clients are companies or organizations, like a marketer or consultant would have, you need to check every company’s policy and make sure there are no gifting restrictions.
Also be sure to stay up to date on any restrictions set in your own industry. Real estate agents, for example, are not legally allowed to send some types of gifts over $50 to non-licensed people.
3. They set a budget and leave room in it for spontaneity
Deciding from the get go how much you’re going to invest in client gifts is crucial. Not only is it important for those costs to stay significant for the sake of your business’ finances, but it will cut down on the time it takes to look for gifts when you stick to a set price range.
Whatever you send up dedicating to your client budget, we recommend taking 80% of this amount to use on a go-to gift option for set stages in the process (like a booking or a project wrap up gift). Then, use the other 20% set aside for spontaneous surprise and delight gifts. If a client mentions a coming down cold, send them a $10 Panera gift card to go get themselves some soup. Little in-the-moment things like this go a long way!
4. They create a gifting process that saves time
After your budget is set, you should create a process around your client gifts that allows you to outsource as many things as possible without sacrificing the personal elements. This looks different for everyone, but some easy ways to build a time-saving process are to:
- Find a gift that doesn’t require much assembly time on your end
- Find a vendor with lots of options or customizations, so that you can send variations of the same thing to multiple clients without looking like you’re running a boring mass-gifting strategy
- Find something that can be customized quickly (under 10 minutes per gift is the sweet spot)
5. They take the time to write notes (different ones for everyone!)
I know, we just talked about getting things done quickly, but this is one thing you shouldn’t skip over. Whether you’re writing it out by hand, or typing it out to include in something you order online, make sure a personal note is always included in your client gifts.
Even if you have a standard template to follow, make sure you add details like their name, the project you’re working on with them, and try to reference any recent conversations you’ve had.
6. They get creative with their packaging
Sending a client gift that is beautifully packaged changes the whole game! It’s an important first impression that gets your client excited, and it reminds them of the attention to detail and flawless execution that led them to choosing you in the first place.
Pro tip: find a gift provider that allows you to choose and customize the packaging in a matter of minutes, and then packs it up for you. Then you’re really on a roll!
7. They never send ‘swag’
The best in the biz at client gifting know this to be true – there is a big difference between branding and swag. Incorporating your logo onto a thank you card that is supplementary to the main gift… great! Sending a stress ball or mug with your logo taking over the whole item… who wants that?
8. They keep it useful
Useful does not mean boring! It means, once again, that people probably don’t need another branded stress ball. Whether it’s an edible treat that won’t go to waste or a self care product like a face mask / candle – air on the side of something that has a lower chance of collecting dust.
9. They skip the post office lines
The post office can be a real no-man’s land, plus the time it takes to get there and back. We highly suggest finding a gift online, or preparing one that you can easily send from home to cut this step completely out of your gifting strategy. Believe me, you’ll never look back.
10. They keep sending gifts, even when the work is over
Even if it’s something small, or just a handwritten card, sending a follow up gift as a touchpoint after your work is complete is a super expert pro move (yes, that is a scientific term).
Think about it. The longer you can stay top of mind and keep the connection going with clients, the more likely you are to be the first one they think of when they need repeat work, or when it’s time for them to give someone a referral!
How’d you stack up?
We want to connect with you! Don’t forget to share this post on LinkedIn an humble brag to us about all the client gifting strategies from this list that you’re already crushing. Plus, which new ones you learned and are excited to try out.