Exchanging gifts with family and friends is mostly a pleasure-filled activity that reflects love and affection and a true understanding of the recipient’s likes, hobbies and desires.
Exchanging gifts with business contacts, well, not so much pleasure and perhaps even a little stress.
· You rarely have the same sort of intimate relationship as you have with family and personal friends.
· You need to be careful that your gift will be taken in the spirit in which it was given (i.e. gag gifts rarely evoke laughs from clients!).
· You need to convey a professional impression (this is a much more contrived gift than that which you get your cousin!)
· Spend too much? Spend too little? (Both are wrong!)
It’s kind of a minefield but it doesn’t have to be.
· Remember it’s the thought that counts. Surprising someone with a well thought out gift is far superior than simply buying something that costs more money but shows no thought or appreciation for your relationship.
· Take the time to learn a little bit more about the person for whom you are buying the gift. If you know people in common ask them what the person does in their spare time. Take a look at their social media pages because often people will post things about their personal lives on these pages. Do they have knick-knacks in their office that reflect a favorite hobby or past-time?
· Don’t get anything that smacks of politics, sex or makes fun of anything or anyone, or could in any way be misconstrued.
Some business gift ideas include:
· Charitable contributions are always well received but make certain to learn what specific charities your recipient supports.
· Do they have a family with children? A gift that includes the entire family is considerate and fun. Tickets to a family event (i.e. Big Apple Circus) can provide pleasure for the entire family.
· A business book that has been well-reviewed and that you found relevant and inspirational is a terrific gift and enables you to have some key points for discussion over the coming months.
· A beautiful plant that can be placed in their office or brought home is always a great gift.
Once again, it’s the thought that counts. Follow these few simple “rules” and you’ll be certain to get something that is well-received and appreciated.