Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Do's and Don'ts for Successful Gift Giving in Corporate America

1) DO talk to experts about appropriate gifts for your clients. Discuss budget and types of gifts that are appropriate.

2) DON'T send a group gift unless everyone knows each other. If your client is a large company and you work with multiple people at that company, sending a group gift is appropriate if they all work in the same area and can share.

3) DO consider another time of year (other than year-end) to send gifts of appreciation to your clients. Your gift will be remembered and is an excellent tool to market your business during the year.

4) DON'T send personal items to clients or staff. It could be misinterpreted.

5) DO be conscious of cultural and health restrictions. Hindus, for example, don't use any cow products. Traditional Chinese believe a gift of a timepiece means death. Diabetics need to watch their sugar intake, while people with food allergies need to see ingredient information.

6) DON'T overlook international etiquette. If your gift is sent overseas, make sure you ask your gift professional to advise you on local customs first. Cultures differ by country and by area of the world, don't assume you know about an area you are not familiar with.

7) DO check company policy for dollar limits on gifts. If a corporate gift policy prohibits gifts, ask if you can still send a fruit basket for everyone at the company to share in.

8) DO consider bulk shipment. Other than saving money on shipping and handling, you add the personal touch by hand delivery to your customer. The additional benefit - you thank your customer in person for their business and it helps form a good solid business relationship.

9) DON'T send gifts wrapped in black and gold. Traditionally, these are colors of mourning. Gifts or wrapping in purple are considered a symbol of bad luck. Talk to your gift professional for advice on appropriate gift ideas.

10) DO keep your gift neutral. You don't want to offend anyone. Be religion neutral.

11) DO thank your customers for their business. It's not how much you spend, but the thought that counts! Thanking your customers will build solid business relationships.

This article was written by Patricia Desiderio, founder and owner of Patty's Gifts and Baskets LLC, a corporate gift consulting firm. Patricia writes articles for various organizations on business topics for small businesses. Contact information at:

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