Avoid DANGEROUS Gift Giving

Gift giving is motivated by many reasons, but the most dangerous reason is a feeling of obligation.  When you give because you feel obligated, you aren’t giving at your best.  You probably feel pressure and you throw something together just so you can check it off your list.  When you do this, it isn’t meaningful.  In business, putting your money into something that isn’t purposeful is dangerous.  You should be mindful and deliberate about everything you spend your money on.

Gift Giving

Gift giving should be purposeful.  When you are gifting in a business relationship, it is vital that it is strategic.  That may sound like it is impersonal, but strategic gift giving is the most personal gift giving you can do.  Being strategic in your gift giving means you want your gift to make an impact on the receiver.  You want it to create a positive memory that from that point on, the receiver will associate with your business.

Gift Giving WOW

What kind of memory do you want to create with your gift?  Most gifts are thoughtful.  When the receiver gets the gift they think it was thoughtful and nothing more.  Gift giving is an investment in your business and in your client relationships. Your investment should be more than a thoughtful gesture.  You want to create a WOW!  The gift should make them tell their friends about it and post it on Facebook.  You want something that every time they use it or see it reminds them of you and that feeling of WOW!


The best way to achieve that WOW is through the details.  The details need to relate to your business.  You also need to personalize it to your clients.  If you have one generic gift that you give to everyone, it is far less meaningful than something you personalize to each client’s likes and interests.


A common gift to give is a coffee mug.  Unless your business is a coffee shop or a coffee manufacturer, you should not be giving out coffee mugs!  It just doesn’t make sense.  Another popular gift is a bottle of wine.  If you are a winery, this is great.  Otherwise, there is no connection to your brand.


Think about what you do for your clients and why they come to you.  A gift that connects that with your client as an individual will really make a statement.  In my personal assistant business, clients came to us to be taken care of and supported.  For their birthday, we would bring them a birthday cake.  That aligns with caring for and supporting them.  In order to really make it touch their hearts, we had our baker customize the decorations to their interests and passions.  Many of our clients were business owners and we had the baker replicate their logo on the cake.  This gift showed them that we really understood them as an individual.  A regular cake would have been thoughtful, but customizing it made it a WOW!

Gift giving should be strategic and meaningful.  If you spend your business budget on gifts that don’t make a difference, there is no return on investment.  Take the time to do it right and your business will reap the rewards of repeat business and word of mouth referrals.


  1. I really liked your approach to meaningful gift giving. That is something that needs to
    be applied to all gifts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    client is king!

  2. DebBrown says

    Thanks, Jill. This can and should be applied to all gift giving, but it is essential in a business setting.


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