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Gifting Insights to Elevate Your Client Retention Strategy

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If there's one thing we've learned from shipping more than 600,000 custom gifts worldwide, it's that spreading joy through strategic corporate gifting is not just an art; it's a science! 

When it comes to client relationships, gifting is a no-brainer. The theory of reciprocity in psychology says that when you send a client a gift, or do something nice for them, they tend to innately feel the need to return the favor - which in this case could be a thank you email, scheduling a call, or booking a meeting with you.

David Weiss, Chief Revenue Officer of  The Sales Collective uses gifting as a strategic tool to grow their business. “Strategic gifting has emerged as a pivotal method for my teams to not only cultivate our sales pipeline but also to seal some of the most significant deals over the years,” says Weiss. The Sales Collective is an innovative sales transformation company that specializes in sales hiring, process building, and training to create sustainable growth. 

Weiss emphasizes the importance of not just any gifting  - but strategic gifting to ensure ROI. “It's crucial to acknowledge that gifting can entail substantial costs, necessitating a judicious and strategic approach. To maximize the return on investment, we’ve implemented a tiered account strategy, which has proven highly effective. This approach involves categorizing each territory into segments, ranging from tier one to three. For the top-tier accounts, we personalize gifts based on thorough research, such as their alma mater or their personal interests. Second-tier accounts receive a more general but still thoughtfully themed gift that aligns with the solution we offer, whereas tier three accounts do not receive a gift. This method ensures a tailored engagement with our clients, optimizing the impact of our gifting strategy,” 

Here are some of the latest insights that we’ve gleaned from our client gifting campaigns that can help supercharge your client retention strategy and set you apart in a competitive market this quarter.

Surprise and Delight: Gift at “White Space” Moments

Q2 is a great time to gift - even though there are seemingly no typical corporate “gifting moments” or holidays. Here’s why: a surprise gift or a gesture that is unexpected is 1) more impactful and considered more thoughtful, and is 2) not surrounded by your competitors’ gifts or lost in any clutter. Think about it: your clients’ desks are likely covered in wine, cookies, and other gifts from partners and vendors in December, but what about in May? Use the opportunity to stand out: send a fun branded s’mores kit to kick off summer, or a margarita cocktail kit for Cinco de Mayo to share a seasonally relevant gift that’s guaranteed to surprise and delight. 

Practical Picks Win

One of our most popular corporate gifting offerings in corporate gifting is allowing our clients to let their recipients choose their own gift from a pre-curated selection. Our learnings? When given the choice, people choose functionality above all else! We’re talking: Tupperware, a quality umbrella, collapsible water bottles, and luggage accessories. When presented with options, people generally choose the gifts they can get more use out of over something that is more of a trendy novelty, so consider these types of items when gifting.

Quality Over Quantity

Gone are the days of volume gestures done solely for the sake of impressing clients; it's all about quality over quantity. Did you know that about 70% of typical SWAG gets thrown away instantly? Consumers everywhere are recognizing the environmental impact and waste of typical, cheap swag items. Clients value authenticity and thoughtfulness above all else, so it’s better to make a stronger impact with more quality, useful items than trying to impress them repeatedly with SWAG they’ll never use.  

Personalization Prevails 

In an age where customization is king, generic gifts - think a logo on a plain white ceramic mug - simply don’t cut it. Clients absolutely adore gifts that were clearly selected or created for them - that’s why we recommend incorporating personal touches like a handwritten note in our gift campaigns. Opt for gifting at a moment you know matters to them specifically (i.e. a “rest and recharge” kit after tax season if you have tax accountants as clients). Even better - customize the gift to their interests - as they’re much more likely to post a “thank you” shoutout on Instagram or LinkedIn when they were personally considered, which just drives more reach for your brand.

“In one particularly successful gifting campaign we generated over $25 million in the pipeline,” says Weiss. “We profiled our top accounts in each territory, pinpointed the key decision-makers within those accounts, and conducted research to discover where they attended college. With this information on hand, we purchased college-branded coffee mugs as the gift. Alongside the mug, we included a case study relevant to their industry, a concise overview of our services, and a personalized note explaining the rationale behind the gift.”

Weiss’ strategic approach proved impactful.

“This strategic and ultra-personalized gesture not only resonated with the recipients but also significantly contributed to our revenue, enabling the team to meet its quota from this single campaign alone,” he said.

Q2 Corporate Trending Gift Items

It’s always fun to see what our corporate gifting clients are requesting and what’s making an impact! Here are some top trending items we’re sourcing for our clients - mostly focused on functionality and the warmer seasons ahead.

  • Eco-friendly branded collapsible drinkware (easy for travel and on-the-go), 
  • Convertible duffel bags that go from classic formation to backpacks
  • Owala brand water bottles
  • Branded pickleball sets 
  • Custom branded picnic sets 
  • Custom branded footwear

Learn more about Happy Box’s corporate gifting offerings here, and view a recent client gifting example here

Learn more about The Sales Collective and their offerings here.

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