Gift policy to follow for corporate gifts

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Follow gift policy for corporate gifts so you don't commit a business faux-pas

Some companies bar all gifts, including companies in financial services. Restrictions may be made on the value of the gift or a gift policy for corporate gifts may specifically spell out the situations in which gifts may be given. Do not give lavish gifts, such as a car, which raises suspicions and should only be resorted to after very careful debate. Do not give gifts during bidding processes. Be aware of the IRS rules. It allows companies to deduct the value of a business gift up to $75.

Etiquette is involved in corporate gift giving. The gift should be appropriate to the relationship that you have with the customer, client or employee. For example, gift baskets that are carefully selected are always appropriate and thoughtful. Etiquette refers to the closeness of your relationship. If a relationship is new, do not send a lavish gift or anything personal. Only give gifts on special occasions and major holidays. Otherwise, it may appear that you are bribing the client.

The National Business Association advises that you follow these rules of thumb when it comes to gift giving:

First, find out if the client is allowed to receive a gift from you. Check with his employer. Never use gift giving as a way to recompense a client or an employees for wages or services that were less than expected.

A gift policy may dictate that gifts should not be personal. Do not get carried away and buy items that you really cannot afford. By the same token, do not give cheap gifts that you picked up in the 11th hour because you forgot to go shopping earlier. The gifts you give should be in accordance with the budget of your company.

Before sending a holiday gift to a client find out what his cultural or religious background is. If he does not celebrate Christmas, sending him a Christmas gift may be inappropriate. If you would like to give the gift in person, determine what the schedule of the recipient is so that you can meet up with him at a good time, when he is not rushed.

Prior to buying the gift, find out what the recipient likes. Does she love to read books? If so, what kind? Does she spend her spare time in the garden? Does she love to travel? Buying a gift that the recipient will cherish and enjoy shows that you took the time to find out what her interests are and inquired about her taste and style. If she loves the Beatles and you give her a country western CD she probably is not going to be thrilled.

Timing is important when giving corporate gifts. You should remember birthdays and acknowledge it with a gift. The birth of a child or other important occasions, such as the anniversary of a business start-up, can be noted with a gift.

Write a personal note and include it with the gift. You do not have to deliver the gift personally; it can be mailed. The gift should be nicely shaped, showing that you took some time in preparing the present.

Gifts are given to boost a relationship between a company and a client as well as to recognize what the client means to the company. When a gift is given to an employee it is a way of showing her that her hard work is appreciated and valued.

A gift it not an incentive. It is a token of appreciation. A gift differs from an incentive in that the recipient of the gift did not set goals in hopes of getting a reward or incentive. Incentives are given for achieving levels of activity.

Some companies consider corporate gift giving an integral part of their marketing strategy. If done the right way, gift giving is a wonderful way to create a good partnership with those customers that you value and want to keep.



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