Having a professional relationship between the business and the clients is very important and giving gifts to clients on different occasions is a great way to create such a relationship. You should give gifts to those clients who are contributing big to your business. Whether you are an owner of a small or big business, showing your appreciation to these types of clients can benefit your business in the long run.
How much should you spend on client gifts depends on a variety of things. Depending on the types of clients you can spend $50-$500. You also have to consider the lifetime value of the relationship with the client, the client’s position in the company, the client’s company rules, etc. However, when picking a gift make sure it shows respect and appreciation towards the client.
What to Consider when Choosing a Client to Give Gifts
Before you start spending money on client gifts you have to decide whom you should give a gift. Understandably, many business owners try to give gifts to everyone but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every client deserves a gift. For most of the clients, a holiday card may sufficient. So here are a few things that you should consider when choosing a client:
- Consider the time you have been working with your client. Clients who are working with you for years deserve gifts more than one-off clients
- How easy or hard the client is to work with. Does the client pay your invoices on time?
- How well the client compensates you for your work?
- Are you enjoying or have you enjoyed the projects that the client has given you?
- Consider the time and effort you put into the projects
- Are you working on a major project with the client?
- Has your client sent you any business referrals?
- Check and see if the client’s company or organization prohibits employees from receiving gifts or not
- Does the client have a family?
- How many gifts can you afford to give?
Establish a Client Gifts Budget
If you have decided who you’re going to purchase gifts for then it’s time to set a budget so that you’re not overspending on gifts. One of the easiest ways to determine the budget is to spend no more than 1.5 percent of your income on holiday and it includes gifts, food, parties, travel, holiday donations, etc. For example, if you make $100,000 per year then your holiday budget would be $1500 and would be broken down as follows:
- 50% for Gifts: $750
- 10% for Parties: $150
- 20% for Travel: $300
- 10% for Food: $150
- 10% for Donations: $150
You are free to adjust the above percentage according to your needs.
Choose your Amount According to the Client
There are different types of clients available. So you just can’t buy the same gift for every client. Corporate gift-giving isn’t easy therefore bellow I have discussed some of the common industries that most of the business owners have to deal with.
It is recommended to spend a minimum of $50 for your financial clients. Because any gift under $50 means that the client is not worth much. For financial clients, there is no meaning of even buying a gift that is below $50. In fact, it is better to send a greetings card than give a cheap and chintzy gift. There are many professional gift options available for $50 budget like gift baskets, chocolate, small desserts, etc. Many business owners like to spend more than $80 because they have a more personal relationship with the client like a private wealth client or a personal banker. So the amount depends on the amount of money the client is dealing with.
For manufacturing-related clients that include construction, or for enterprises, such as logistics and distribution you should have a minimum budget of $65 for the gifts. However, anything over $120-$130 will be excessive unless you have a personal relationship with the client. The recommended price is suitable for this sector as these are long sales cycles and you should maintain a happy professional relationship with these types of clients. If it’s a holiday season then take the mid-range of $65-$130.
There are wide ranges of service clients available therefore the budget depends on the type of service like:
- Management services: $50-$75
- Software services: $75-$150
- Professional services: $70-$175
- Consulting service: $50-$175
- Training services: $75-$100
- Travel agent: $50-$75
- Event services: $50-$75
- Food services: $50-$75
- Marketing services: $100-$200
- Research service: $50-$75
- Media services: $50-$75
- Distribution services: $80-$100
- Supply related services: $75-$150
- Printing services: $50-$75
- Engineering services: $150-$300
- Design services: $75-$100
- Real estate: $50-$150
- Medical, daycare and fitness services: $50-$75
- Logistics services: $75-$150
- Waste management service: $50-$75
Sometimes salespeople find it a bit difficult to decide how much they should spend on a client. Most of the time, salespeople try to send some personal gifts. Many recipients also appreciate the gifts that have personal touches than how much the gift cost. However, you should set a budget depending on the function of profit/revenue. Annual Recurring Revenue and how much to spend on a client:
- If annual recurring revenue is $500 – $1000 = $50
- If annual recurring revenue is $1000 – $10K = $100
- If annual recurring revenue is $10K – $100K = $125
- If annual recurring revenue is $100K – $1MM = $200
Buying a gift for executives is different as there are different levels of executives available. You can spend a minimum of $80 for any C-level executive. In this budget, a bottle of wine is very cliché because it is a less expensive yet very thoughtful gift. The most recommended budget is an average of $115 through the sky is the limit and it’s totally up to you. Though, most people on an average don’t cross the $175 limit.
What Rules to Follow for Client Gift-giving
There are a few rules that you should keep in mind when shopping for client gifts. Let’s take a look at them:
- When buying a gift try to be personal yet professional. If you send a bottle of wine to a client who doesn’t drink then it isn’t the best gift that you could send.
- Make sure you choose a thoughtful gift over an expensive one
- Make sure the gift arrives in time before the occasion
- If you are planning on giving food and alcohol as a present then gift something that the client loves to eat
- Nowadays gift card has lost its appeal and it is considered as a lazy person’s gift. So if you are planning on giving a gift card then make sure you also send a nice gift with it.
- Don’t send any gift to your clients that have the logo of your company
A nice gift shows how much you value your clients and it’s a great way to build a business relationship with the client. Moreover, it also shows that you are handling their business nicely and you appreciate their business partnership with you.