Small business owners are thinking about buying gifts for their customers and suppliers with the occasion of the holidays again – what to buy, for who, how much and why? We recruited a specialist and we will help you take a decision.
Passover shopping fever is in full swing, and every year it seems that the decision on what to buy and for who, gets harder – and no, we’re not talking about individual needs of purchase – we are talking about small business owners who are breaking the head with questions of what gift to buy for their customers and suppliers. So what they buy , to who and why? To remove one task from your busy schedule we recruited the expert Rafi Shamir, CEO of Font, a specialist in marketing of gift certificates for over 20 years.
What is exactly the rationality of buying holiday gifts to customers? Julia Ingram, Etiquette expert, explained to The New York Times : “There are two very real reasons to buy business gifts that are not necessarily warm and fuzzy,” Ms. Ingram said. “One is obviously to thank someone for their business for the year. The other is to make sure you remain on top of the mind, and to get your name in the front.”
What about the suppliers? Good relations with major suppliers of a business is vital to the prosperity in the same way as the relationship with your customers, “Why?” The supplier also enjoys receiving positive feedback, feeling that he belongs to and contributes to your business’ growth.
So you have decided to encourage customers and suppliers – but who do you give the gifts to? CEO, the organization conducted by him or both? To the secretary that receives you with the coffee and a smile every time you come to a meeting? Could be much better to buy a gift to the office? Shamir recommend keeping the things simple – and to purchase a gift for the person who you are in daily contact with. You need to show appreciation for those who you work with, explains the CEO of Font, they will continue to work in front of you long after the holiday is gone, and will continue to bring you good business collaboration throughout the Year.
How to use customer’s funds? To purchase different types of gifts? This, Shamir says, is unacceptable gesture, and it is not recommend. Shamir provides another golden rule and recommends giving all customers the same gift for avoiding unpleasant situation of double standards in case your clients meet and talk.
What and how?
This is actually the million dollar question. On one hand, it seems that there are endless possibilities, on the other hand, when you start to examine every option it turns out that the abundance indicates plenty of money. Since this is not an easy purchase decision, you should decide in an orderly manner – pre-set budget, make an organized list of gifts according with the price and proceed from there. Which budget to take into consideration? According to Shamir, the real budget for gifts per customer is up to 10 EURO- but of course there are those who invest more.
With modest budget you can buy custom-designed products, to give away a book or a bottle of branded wine. If you are in a pretty close relationship with the clients, and you know their hobbies and preferences, you can purchase them a personal gift card.
What you should not give? Do not give money or expensive products like TVs and laptops. And in case you’ve wondered what are the tax consequences of giving gifts to customers, Shamir explains that you should check the legislation of the specific country where the business activity is.
If there is a possibility, we asked Shamir, would you suggest to distribute the gifts personally? ‘Giving the presents personally is an excellent opportunity to meet with the customers, and there’s nothing like a face-to-face situation that strengthens and warms the relationship’.