Every year during the holiday season, I strive to send thoughtful gifts to all my clients. And, it gets tougher each year not to spend a fortune while being thoughtful. Gifts can be to employees, clients, bosses, or vendors/contractors. There are so many ways to acknowledge your business partners; while it doesn’t have to happen during the holidays; it’s the time of year for me when I do it.
The Internal Revenue Service only allows $25/gift as a deduction. At the end of the day, it’s because of your clients that you actually have any income, so staying within that paltry limit is not feasible or generous.
For my clients with whom I’ve had a long-term relationship (average 8-10 years), I spend about $100. I begin shopping months in advance, and when something strikes me in a catalogue, I tear out the sheet and keep the page until it’s time to send a gift. (I also send a referral thank you gift to peeps who send me prospects who become paying clients.)
I like to send the deliveries to arrive any time in December so people can enjoy the foodstuffs or flowers or something prior to leaving on holiday.
This year, I’m torn about what to gift my clients. I’m looking at:
- Heifer International – I can purchase a few chickens or a lamb or even a quarter sheep or cow so people in underprivileged regions in South America can use the animals for their livelihood.
- Wolfermann’s – I gave these astonishing muffins last year, and everyone snarfed. For families and larger offices, this is perfect.
- Coffee, wine and cheese – I always look at these types of baskets, but I have to say, I received one once, and it was done up so prettily with a lot of empty colored boxes and tape. The items inside were cheesy.
- Fruit from Harry and David – In the past I’ve ordered these (Fruit of the Month), but I was disappointed because the fruit didn’t match the order form. They were forever switching out the really good fruits for pears.
- Kiva – I have been on the receiving end of Kiva, and what a great gift. You put money into micro-loans around the world, and the business owner slowly pays back the money with interest and you reloan the money. I have probably financed 10 business owners across the world. It’s a really cool service.
- Personal items – If you really know your client well, you can get a little more personal. I know one of my colleagues loves good tequila. She is also a fanatic for Himalayan salt. So, I found Himalayan salt tequila shot glasses; she thought they were candle holders and when I told her what they were, she nearly dropped the phone in excitement! That was worth it!
What do you gift your clients? Anyone have any good ideas, please?