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Ten Gifts to Avoid Giving Key Clients

Ten Gifts to Avoid Giving Key Clients

I love John Ruhlin. He is the author of Giftology, a book I have often said that I could have written myself. Much respect to this man! I agree with all 10 except for gourmet food and wine gifts. After being in the gifting business for 27 years, people LOVE to get delicious gourmet foods and nice wine. Sorry John!

Here are John Ruhlin's top ten gifts to avoid giving key clients:

10 Gifts to Avoid Giving Key Clients

  1. Imported Trinkets – No one wants cheap stuff from China cluttering up their home or office. If you want to be “green” don’t give things that will end up in the landfill in a few weeks.
  2. Branded Merchandise – The gift should be all about the recipient, not about the brand and giver. If you put your logo on it, it is a promotional item and marketing tool, not a gift. Don’t deface and devalue a great gift with your brand.
  3. Easily Accessible – If you can go to your local Walmart or Amazon to purchase a product, it is not likely to make someone feel special. Choose items that are best in class and are a bit rare.
  4. Gift Cards – Nothing says, “I didn’t care about you enough to put thought and effort into getting you an actual gift” quite like a gift card.
  5. Apple – Tech is always hot and Apple is a common choice but that is part of the problem. It is overdone. Everyone does it which makes it lack uniqueness. Plus it has a limited shelf life in many cases as the new version comes out every 4-6 months.
  6. Food – This is where John and I disagree. Delicious gourmet food goes a long way and can make a huge impression. Cheap grocery store food on the other hand is a terrible gift, and I agree with John on that.
  7. Alcohol – Alcohol is a risky gift. People have a wide variety of preferences in alcohol, and some people don’t drink at all or are recovering alcoholics. If you choose to gift alcohol, make sure you know that they drink.
  8. Plants – You get a few days or weeks of impressions out of them at best and you don’t know someone’s style and decorating preference in many cases, so the investment is often wasted.
  9. Apparel – There are rare times when apparel works well but is typically over gifted. It is often done with average quality with the same polo, jacket, or hat being given over and over again. And it is usually branded with a logo, which means it is likely to get donated to Goodwill and is a wasted investment.
  10. Money – Yes it is important and needed by all of us, but at a certain level it becomes a horrible motivator and an even worse way to appreciate people over the long term. All the research on the planet has pointed to the fact that people want to feel acknowledged and genuinely appreciated by their company and in general by those around them. Money does not solve that need or problem.
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