Be a Sleuth, Not a Sloth

When you are given the task of picking out the perfect gift, it can seem a little daunting.  It may be for a client or colleague that you don’t know well.  It may be for a relative that you know too well and have long since run out of ideas.

When thinking of a gift for someone you know fairly well, ask yourself some questions about them:

  • What are their hobbies?
  • What are their interests?
  • Do they have a favorite food, color, TV show, or musical artist?
  • Who are the most important people (or animals) in their lives?
  • What are they known for? (a certain saying or a special recipe)
  • Do they have a cause they are passionate about?
  • Do they collect something?
  • Where do they volunteer?
  • What is their background?
  • How are you associated with them?  Are there any special memories you have shared?

If you need to find out about someone you don’t know well, do some “detective work.”  Start by doing some searching online.  Do they have a LinkedIn or Facebook profile?  Is their bio on the internet somewhere – like an about page of a website or an author or speaker profile? You can also do an internet search and see what comes up. 

As you look through all these things, watch for themes that describe the person. Use those as keywords to search for and develop a gift theme.  As you search, use your budget to narrow down the options.  Your price range will determine the quality of the gift. 

Another way to find out more details is to talk to someone who knows the recipient well.  Do they have an assistant who works for them?  Can you reach out to a family member, friend, or colleague of the recipient to get more information?

Sometimes the best gifts focus on a small detail that not everyone would know.  If you can discover a detail from their past or a secret dream they have for the future, you can pick out something that will take them by surprise and make a big impact.  Perhaps they were a football star or the school mascot in high school.  Maybe their lifelong dream is to retire to an island.  These types of details can be turned into a fun gift.

Taking the time to find out about the person you are giving a gift to can make the difference between a generic gift and a gift with WOW.  If you are going to spend the money to give a gift, spend a little more time to give it a bigger impact.

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