client giftWe often give gifts around the holiday season to our valued business partners, clients and customers to show our appreciation. But, since most companies get gifts around that time, yours can easily get lost in the holiday shuffle. So, a great way for your business to stand out is to give out your client gifts at a different time of year. Here are a few things to consider:

Timing is everything.
When trying to determine the best timing for giving client gifts, look to your own business offerings to maximize the impact of your gift. For example, if you are an accountant, you could give “Tax Break” gifts before tax day. You can get really clever with this and even tie the actual gift to the timing, like sending out calculators or even a spa gift card with a witty note about wanting to help your recipients relax from the stress of tax day for the above example.

If you can’t think of any obvious holidays that tie in with your product or service offerings (or even your company’s name), just look to the internet! Do a search for bizarre holidays and there is a day for just about everything that you can think of. If you have a bakery, give gifts in honor of National Doughnut Day. If you’re a tailor, give gifts in honor of Sewing Machine Day (yes, these are actually real!).

It’s best to time this when no other major holidays are going on. Remember, the purpose is for your gift to stand out and be memorable, so the more creative you are, the more your business will be top of mind with your recipients.

Give something unexpected.
We’ve all gotten standard gifts, like fruit baskets or flowers, and they probably don’t stick out to you that much. While any gift that you give is going to be appreciated, the more unusual your gift is, the more it will make a lasting impression.

If you have a really important client (and your budget allows for it), wow them with something extravagant. Give them an experience that they’ll remember and that way, they will associate that memory with you and your business. Be thoughtful if going this route, as giving a helicopter tour to a client that is afraid of heights won’t exactly create the impact that you’re looking for.

Really think about your client’s likes and dislikes; make sure that you know your client before splurging!

It’s the thought that counts.
Everyone loves to be thought of and appreciated, so don’t worry if you can’t afford to give all of your clients a full 60” HD Smart TV or a Microsoft Surface Pro*. Even if you don’t have a big budget, a little can go a long way.

So, even if your budget only allows for a $5 Starbucks gift card, if you include a hand-written note with some sincere words of appreciation, it will help make your gift stand out. If you don’t have a budget at all, consider giving your own products or services away. Personalizing even something small, like a pen or a water bottle, with your client’s company logo can also make an impression without breaking the bank.

Giving client gifts beyond the holiday season can really make you and your business shine. And the more thought that you put into your client gifts, whatever your budget, the better the outcome.

What other tips do you have for client gift giving beyond the holidays? Please share them below.

Thanks to Michelle Geib of Xperience Days, Elura Nanos of Lawyer Up, Stephanie Hackney of Chief Brander and Bob Shirilla of Personalized Tote Bags for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.

*Disclosure: this company has a client relationship with or its affiliated entities.