At the heart of a growing business are your clients. Developing great relationships with your clients and the people that help you grow your client list is key for creating a successful business. One of the ways I like to nurture these relationships is by saying thank you with thoughtful client appreciation gifts.
I learned this lesson many years ago when I was on the receiving end of a beautiful flower arrangement. It wasn’t extravagant in size but could tell by the style and colors it was selected specifically for me. The personalized touch made this thank you gift memorable. And all these years later I still refer people to this very successful small woman-owned business.
Personalization can come in many different ways. Of course, monograms are always a possibility. I find that putting in a little effort and giving a gift that shows you took time to get to know the person nurtures a relationship more effectively.
Another tip is to track what you gift this person in your database. Don’t stop reading because I said the word database. When you own your own business database shouldn’t be an ugly word. I’ll talk about databases in another post but I really want to encourage you to track what you give so you don’t give it to that person again. Unless its flowers and she loves flowers. Because for flower lovers you can never give too many flowers. But even then you want to make sure you change up the bouquet.
I worked at an organization that did a great job at tracking the things it knew about its clients and the gifts it gave. The gifts were always fresh and had an opportunity to be meaningful. They used an expensive complex database but a simple to use inexpensive option works just as well. I use ProsperWorks which is extremely user-friendly. Client gifts up to $25 can also be tax deductible so keeping track of your gift giving can serve multiple purposes. (Always talk to your accountant about what you can deduct – if you don’t have an accountant see my tips on how to find one here)
Now let’s get back to the fun part – shopping. Knowing a little bit about your client can go a long way. Do they have a family, do they have a favorite sport or sports team? Do they run, do they garden or are they planning a trip to the beach? If you don’t know much about the person you can still gift great and meaningful appreciation gifts.
Unique Client Appreciation Gifts
One of my favorite places to shop for great gifts is Coton Colors. From their Happy Everything line to their feminine tabletop options this is my go to store for gifts. Some of my favorite gifts from their collections include
Gold Scallop Mug. This pretty white tea cup with a gold scalloped bottom will be appreactd by a tea or coffee drinker. My preference is to gift this as a set of two.
Happy Everything Ice Cream Scoop and Small Bowls. Does your client love ice cream or sweet things? If yes, this is a great gift. Send this ice cream scoop with two or four bowls in their signature colorful dots pattern or classic white and gold design.
Endorphins Make you Happy Tervis Water Bottle. For the runner, yoga-loving or gym going client, this is a perfect option. Who wouldn’t be excited to receive this cheerful dishwasher safe water bottle?
Another company that I have found some great thank you gifts from is MacKenzie-Childs.
I am currently in love with this Cabbage Rose gardening tool set from MacKenzie-Childs. If your client has a vegetable or flower garden this charming pattern is likely to bring a smile to their face.
This set of MacKenzie-Childs Stainless Steel Round Deep Pot – Enamel Courtly Check Black and White Print Gardening Herb Pot – Multipurpose – 3.25″ Tall, (8oz) – Set of 3 would make a great client or mentor gift. Both a gardener or someone who loves to cook can appreciate these classic pattern herb pots. If you are giving the gift in person adding a basil or thyme plant completes this gift.
Someone who loves cook is always fun to shop for. This 100% cotton Choose Joy apron from Cotton & Bay is a fun gift for someone who loves to spend time in the kitchen.
If your client has a beach vacation or cruise planned Hayden Reis sailcloth bags and clutches provide a water resistant way to tote their things.
This clutch is perfect for carrying on beach walks. It comfortably holds a cell phone, keys and other valuables brought to the beach. I carry my phone and keys in one while keeping up with my toddler at community splash pads.
Beach or pool goers will also love the Ombre Blue Middy bag. It is fashion forward and extremely functional. Sand easily brushes off this light weight bag that packs flat in a suitcase for cruises or beach vacations. This bag is on the more expensive side but might be the perfect thank you for someone who consistently sends new clients your way.
Gift Card Ideas
What if you don’t know your client that well yet? Or your budget is a little tight? There are still great options including gift cards. Almost everybody will genuinely thank you for a $20- $25 Starbucks gift card. But there is no reason to rely only on Starbucks gift cards with so many other options including
Uber. Who doesn’t use Uber these days? This also works well if you need a gift for a man or someone who travels often. You can stay in the $20 dollar range and provide a very useful gift.
Shipt or Instacart. Any busy over-scheduled person will appreciate groceries delivered directly to their doorstep. This is also a good gift to tell someone you are thinking of them during an illness or a particularly stressful time.
And the same goes for dinner delivery. Grubhub is in over 1,600 US cities and Ubereats continues to expand. When my daughter was born an out of town friend sent us a gift card for a local restaurant delivery service. As exhausted new parents this was very much appreciated. This is another great option if you need a gift for a man.
Shutterfly. If you client has kids or a pet child I can promise you their phone is full of photos. Inspire them to get those memories out of their phone with a Shutterfly gift card.
Gift giving is a great way to develop and nurture relationships. The key is to try and give a gift that is personalized and meaningful to the recipient. If your client loves to cruise give a gift that enhances their trip. If you client likes sweets indulge their sweet tooth.
Consider asking a local store that you rely on for gifts if they have a corporate discount or buying program. Realtors rely heavily on gift giving so it’s likely your local go-to gift store or company may already have a program in place. It cost nothing to ask – the worst they can say is no.
Do have a favorite gift that you give? I’d love to hear what it is. I’m always looking for new ideas for meaningful client gifts.