5 Common Business Gift Giving Mistakes

This entry was posted on November 27, 2011 – No Comments


Business Gift Giving MistakesSending client gifts can be a highly effective marketing and relationship building tool… if done correctly. Here’s a snapshot of the 5 common mistakes people make when sending client gifts.

Mistake #1: You send a branded gift

Don’t get me wrong.  Corporate branding is very important, but it has its time and place.  That time is not when you’re sending a gift to a client or customer.  Why?  Well, quite honestly, when you send a gift with your company’s logo on it (or worse, all over it), the gift becomes about you, not the recipient.

Mistake #2: You send a “chachki”

Alongside mistake #1, chachkis absolutely have their place in business – trade shows, corporate events, etc – but not when you’re sending a gift that is supposed to be a personal gesture of appreciate or gratitude toward a client or customer.  Everyone knows that chachkis are generally cheap(er) in nature, so by giving that as a gift, what does that say about how you feel towards the gift recipient?

Mistake #3: You don’t follow up to make sure the gift was received

Business is messy and here’s the truth – gifts get lost.  Missed shipments, mailroom disasters, unruly employees… we’ve seen it all happen.  If you don’t hear from the gift recipient within 3 business days or so, it’s not impolite to send a friendly reminder that you sent a gift.  For example:


Subject Line: Hope you enjoyed the chocolates


Hi Brian,

I just wanted to make sure you received the box of chocolates I sent last week?  Sometimes they get lost in the mix and wanted to make sure they got to you safely!

Anyway, I hope you and your colleagues enjoyed.

Do you have time to catch up next week?




Mistake #4: You limit yourself to obvious gift giving opportunities

This isn’t so much a mistake as it is being overwhelmed by everything else going on in the, “day-to-day,” mix.  December is the most obvious time of year to send gifts to your clients, but that’s also when everyone else (probably) sending them too.  If you want to stand out, look for opportunities like client birthdays, other holidays (we’ve heard Valentine’s Day, for example), or create your own client/ customer appreciation day.

Mistake #5: You don’t check the recipients company policies on receiving gifts

Federal, State, and Local Law is one thing… company-specific gift policies are completely another.  You can only know so much, especially with new clients, so you might want to check on the company’s gift giving/ receiving policies before you send them.  Don’t feel comfortable asking directly?  Find the executive assistant, or another employee at the company, and ask them directly.  They won’t think anything of it and they’re probably be willing to help you out if they don’t already know.

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