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Choosing a gift can be challenging under any circumstance and doing so for business associates can be even more difficult. This is perhaps why many companies decide not to give presents to clients. But don’t be put off, because giving a valued client a gift this festive season is a great way of showing that you appreciate them. Taking the time and effort to do it will set you apart and build up good will.

Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you find the perfect gift!


Personalise it.

Take the time to think about what your client or business associate’s interests are. That way you can cater your gift specifically to them and the gift will be more meaningful. Another option for personalising an gift is to have their name embossed on it.

Consider cost

It’s not necessary (or advisable) to spend a huge amount, but you don’t want your gift to send the wrong message either. If you routinely shout extravagant business lunches for instance, sending a client a cheap bottle of wine will come across as stingy. Gifts are an opportunity to show your gratitude, so if you can afford it, get them something nice.

However, if you really can’t afford to spend much then this shouldn’t stop you showing your appreciation. You can get around this by doing something thoughtful instead, such as a personalised card or video message with your team wishing the client a Merry Christmas.

Follow guidelines

Some organisations have firm guidelines around the value and types of gifts employees are able to receive (if it all). So, it’s a good idea to be across any rules and regulations before you give a gift to save inconvenience or awkwardness for your business associate. For instance, most government officials can’t accept much in the way of gifts. You don’t want your gift to be interpreted as a bribe, like in the case of former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell who ended up resigning after failing to declare a $3,000 bottle of Grange Hermitage wine he was given.


Go for a humorous gift

It may feel like some gifts are universally funny, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. Humorous gifts are best left for close friends and family, it’s a better idea to play it safe with clients. I once gifted my dad a singing ‘Big Mouth Billy Bass’ (if you don’t know them, look it up!) which was a bit of a risk, but he luckily found it hilarious too.

Make it promotional

Marketing may have a bunch of company-inscribed key rings lying around, but that doesn’t mean you should send them out as Christmas gifts. If you use promotional material instead of a well-considered gift for a client, you’ll only be doing yourself a disservice. The client won’t feel appreciated.