Give Client Gifts That Give Back
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services

Give Client Gifts That Give Back

June 5, 2023

by Tony Vidler  CFP logo   CLU logo  ChFC logo

How much do clients really value the “business gift”?

It is a nice gesture and usually generates a level of appreciation…but often it is a very very fleeting moment in the clients’ mind and quickly forgotten.  There is a limit to the level of gratitude that can be achieved with a set of barbecue tongs or tiny box of chocolates isn’t there?   Client gifts are often things which create no lasting impression for the client really.

We really have to ask ourselves if the client gifts we have been traditionally giving are worthwhile from a marketing perspective. If it is a relatively high cost per client to achieve very little in the way of lasting impressions or any particular feeling of special treatment on the part of the client, then you’d have to say that it is probably largely a waste of money.  That becomes a gift that gives nothing much to anyone involved….for the giver there is little discernible return….for the client is little that is memorable or special.  It was an expensive non-event.

In addition to that there is certainly an increasing public social consciousness regarding “waste” which will increasingly affect the publics attitude to brands that create it.  Distributing “corporate gifts” which are percieved as invaluable but which create waste tarnishes a brand reputation, and that will increase in ferocity I suspect.

You can avoid this risk and change clients perceptions of the value of your tokens of appreciation by giving “experiences” instead.  Experiences create memories because they generate emotions and involvement on the part of the clients.  A night at the movies…a pampering session at a beuty salon….perhaps half an hour having fun on a Go-Kart track.   These create memories that last a while and gets people talking about their experience – and cost broadly the same as that set of barbecue implements. It is even more memorable and generates far greater appreciation if it involves the people the client cares about, rather than being a shared experience with you, the adviser.  Giving the family an experience together is more powerful than givng just Mum & Dad an experience with you.  It is far more powerful emotionally if it is an outing for the clients and their kids than if it is an outing for the clients and you.

Instead of thinking corporate gifts, think of creating client experiences.  Get people involved….create an opportunity for them to be emotionally engaged, and have fun, and have something to talk about….that is powerful and effective relationship building.   It is also gifting that gives back to the giver with positive word-of-mouth…and that becomes an effective marketing spend.

You might also be interested in this related article:
Thoughtful Thank You’s Generate More Referrals
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