It’s that time of year. Everyone is scrambling to make sure their holiday shopping is done, and after scouring for gifts for family and friends, you likely have little energy left to even think about client gifts. Truth is, it is easy to skimp on customer gifts during the holidays. Too many people treat it as an afterthought, resorting to just another Starbucks gift card or bag of branded SWAG from the dusty boxes in the office closet.
Customers are truly special, and it is the right thing to go the extra mile for them. A thoughtful gift from a salesperson is memorable and is a symbol of the exceptional customer service they provide on a regular basis.
We should all be able to agree on this principle. But why do mediocre, thoughtless gifts still get given? Why are all of the sales gift guides suggesting the blandest corporate gifts imaginable? If I see another article recommending I buy my clients a succulent terrarium, a USB battery charger, or business card holder, I might just give up on holiday gifts altogether.
Why do gifts for clients and businesspeople have to be so predictable, lame, and boring?
During my time writing for a luxury magazine, we would publish the “ultimate gift guide” every year. One of the first times I saw content go truly viral from the inside was when we covered a company that offers a $30m backyard stadium that people with Bill Gates-level money could construct in their backyard for full-size football field fun.
A backyard stadium may be a little extra compared to what your prospects are expecting as a gift this holiday season. However, tis the season to be giving, so we thought we would put together a list of second best choices if your local store is all sold out of bespoke backyard football field installations. All of these suggestions are in the stocking-stuffer price range, and I promise none of them are a succulent garden.
When is the right time to give your prospects or customer a gift? Whenever you value the relationship and believe it would benefit from a personal touch, it is the right time to give a holiday gift.
There is never a wrong time to give a gift (assuming it is socially appropriate) but with sales, there is a wasteful time to give a gift. A few years ago my manager walked in the office carrying a giant box – this package was apparently a gift to me from a major marketing vendor that was trying to win my business. I had gone through the demo process for their software and apparently they thought I was a compelling enough prospect to receive a barbeque set, as in a full size grill. No, I am not making this up. I wasn’t as good of a prospect as they thought, because I didn’t buy their software. I still use the grill though.
For those prospects and customers who are a good use of expense funds, we have a compiled a list of 8 interesting gifts that are sure to be memorable and appreciated to keep you top of mind.
Artisan Roasted Coffee
Chances are, your recipients are caffeine addicts. Who doesn’t appreciate something a little different as their drink of choice from the same old K-cups and Starbucks orders? Try something outside the norm like one of these artisan coffee roasters listed by Epicurious.
A vinyl record
I’m an audio nerd so maybe this is just a gift idea that I want, but vinyl records are cool again – they are the only growing physical music format – and they are a fantastic gift idea, even if your recipient doesn’t have a turntable. Just find out what their favorite band is or what they are listening to now, and chances are the band is selling a vinyl record. Better yet, they are cost-effective to mail within the US due to media mail pricing.
Food & drink
It may seem cliche, but the gift of food and drink is never old, because your clients and prospects have to eat too! Find a tasteful arrangement of wines or order food delivery for your customer’s entire team. They are sure to appreciate the chance to share something tasty with their colleagues during the holiday season.
Who doesn’t love legos! I recently read the book Brick by Brick about the LEGO brand’s amazing journey from the brink of bankruptcy in the 2000s to being the world’s most admired brand in 2015. As a part of this read, I learned the term AFOL – Adult Fan of LEGO – is used to describe non-kids who like LEGOs. They are out there, and chances are, your prospects are AFOLs. With the advent of things like LEGO Architecture, it is easier than ever to order a set containing an iconic building or structure that your client will assemble and proudly display on their desk.
Fidget toys were all the rage just a few short years ago, and they are still fun today! The market is awash with cheap fidget spinners and fidget SWAG, so why not buy your client something quality that they have never seen before? Fidgetland, featured on Shark Tank, is a company made by an adult fidgeter with the goal of making super high quality toys that executives would be comfortable fidgeting with in board meetings. They look unlike any other fidget toy, and are sure to be a regular feature on your clients’ desks.
Lace your face facemask
For the skincare-minded customer, something creative like Lace your Face by Dermovia is a great fit. Their lace masks are designed to offer improvements in skin texture, firmness, wrinkle reduction, and better hydration. Dermovia offers products different than your typical skincare solution – it nourishes the body while looking great and is easy to use.
Something personalized from Etsy
If you are really aiming for something your customer will appreciate and set up on the office shelf or their desk, find something personalized, one of a kind, and handmade on Etsy. There are no shortage of interesting options available from the creative people that sell there, and your customer will appreciate the message that something handmade will send.
A box subscription
“The gift that keeps on giving” is a tired phrase, but it really applies if you consider a box subscription that will arrive at the office once a month. Many subscription vendors offer one-month and 3-month packages, so you don’t have to commit to 12 months just to get your clients something. Box subscriptions are a great solution for clients that are hard to shop for, because the packages by nature include a variety of things, not just one. Check out www.cratejoy.com for a variety of options suited to every customer.
Happy Holidays from ringDNA!
Let us know with a comment below if you have any additional creative gift ideas that we missed! We wish all of you a very wonderful Holiday season, and we hope that you all return refreshed and ready to tackle 2019 with renewed vigor!