The Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner Theory to Gifting.
Prospecting as a whole can be tiresome, so when you find a potentially big client you should have a corporate gifts strategy in place to make sure you have all the tools necessary to land them as a client for years to come. Perhaps you do have marketing materials and gifts in place to help you along the way, or maybe you're unsure of how much to spend throughout the trust building process. This is where the breakfast, lunch, and dinner method comes into play.
This strategy is a guide to how much you should be spending on your clients during the process of landing your deal. One thing you should always remember is that it is a gift, not a marketing ploy, so it's okay to have a few items included with your logo or brand. However, you do still want them to enjoy the items and not toss them as soon as you leave the building. One way to do this is by giving practical branded items, such as notepads or pens, but ultimately you want to use your logo on the gift card and include a hand-written gift message. This comes across as genuine and invested rather than 1 of 100 copies.
When it comes to a cold call or drop in for the first time, you want to spend the same you would on breakfast or perhaps a coffee. The idea here is to get them interested without losing too much of your money if there's no return. When it comes to prospecting with gifts, just because they might not be interested now doesn't mean that you wasted your resources. They are now part of your pipeline, and by giving a strategic gift you've stood out above the rest.
Now, hopefully you've made it to the decision maker and landed a meeting with the potential client and it's time for you to shine. Giving a second gift that costs as much as a business lunch would is a great way to show the client that you are also serious about doing business with them. This gesture makes you stand out, because odds are that the client has meetings all day everyday, but not everyone comes with a gift that they will actually use or enjoy, but rather something branded and "junky."
At the end of the day, you want to take this client to dinner, whether it's to land the deal or celebrate a new partnership. At this point you have built trust with the client and you off to celebrating the victory by reassuring that you're going to take care of them and by giving a gift that costs as much as a dinner, you're already kicking off a friendship that will potentially last for years to come.