Choosing the perfect gift for your colleagues and clients always turns out to be more complicated than you first imagined. Many factors play a role in selecting a suitable gift, but where to start? No matter where or when you do your shopping, there are rules you can follow that will guide you towards giving a gift that is appropriate, appreciated and remembered for all the right reasons. Here are 11 etiquette tips for giving business gifts.
1. Follow the corporate guidelines
Before you go out and start purchasing, check your company's guidelines and policies about gift giving. Some companies exclude gift giving altogether while others may have policies on what can and can’t be received. If you have any doubts, ask.
2. Consider your client’s interests
Like any gift, it's always best to consider the receiver’s interests. Do they have a favourite wine or food? If you can’t work out this type of information yourself, contact a colleague of theirs. You want your gift to stand out.
Give an inexpensive gift and you can look cheap. Giving a gift that's seen as too expensive could be embarrassing or isolating. Furthermore, a gift that's too expensive may not even be allowed due to company policy. Do some research on the business policy to be sure. The worst scenario possible could be a gift returned or refused.
4. The company logo
If you're going to have your business logo on the gift, make sure it's understated enough that it doesn't come across as a piece of advertisement. Also, consider removing your logo altogether, this will benefit its value and stature as a gift.
5. Be appropriate
Typically, a gift that's trying to be funny will be the gift that is considered inappropriate. A gift given in innocence can be taken the wrong way. Get to know your client's sense of humour long before giving a humorous gift. If you're giving a gift to the opposite sex, avoid anything that has the potential to be considered unsuitable.
6. Consider a charitable donation
Charitable donations are a great alternative to a tangible item. If your client is a heavy supporter of a charity or cause, making a donation in their name will save you the worry of giving something they don’t like.
7. Presentation is important
Ensure that your gift is wrapped and presented beautifully as the packaging is considered part of the gift. Anything that adds to the overall experience of the gift will help, particularly a handwritten note with a personal message.
8. Keep the goal in mind
What is the purpose of giving a gift? When you give a gift, you're aiming to show appreciation. It's an expression of gratitude. Secondly, you want them to think of you when the opportunity for new business arises.
9. Exchanging gifts with colleagues
Giving gifts within the office can be done with good intentions, only to cause problems and confusion. Establish a set of guidelines to maintain order.
10. Do you need to give the boss a gift?
Maybe a cake and gathering will suffice. If you and your colleagues do choose to get your boss a gift, you don’t need to make it extravagant. Choosing something within a moderate price range will avoid any awkwardness.
11. Not giving everyone a gift?
In the case that you're giving something special to a deserved team member in your office, make sure to do it away from others. Don’t let other team members become jealous, give the gift in private.
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