Whether you’re a freelancer or a business owner, there’s a good chance you have a few clients on
your roster that mean a lot to you (and your income). Valuable clients can make a huge difference to
your profit margin, and even help you to find new customers through periods of advocacy or referrals.
Now and again, it’s nice to show your appreciation with the occasional gift.
Unfortunately, gifting can be a tricky experience at the best of times. Even if you’re buying for
someone you know pretty well, it’s often difficult to get your choice just right. When you’re
purchasing a present for someone who you’re only professionally connected to, things get even
If you’re struggling with buying gifts that don’t make it seem like you’re trying to buy your
customers, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Get the Timing Right
You don’t have to wait until the end of the financial year, or the holiday season to give a client a
thank you gift for all the work they’ve done with you. The chances are that your customers will
already receive a decent number of gifs during these times of the year. Catching your customers off
guard at a different time of year means you don’t have to work as hard to stand out.
Think about the best time to give a gift based on your relationship with this customer. For instance,
you could give something on the day when your client renews their contract for another year, or when
they sign off on your most recent project. Just like you would when buying for employees who
reached a particular goal or milestone. Perhaps you could send a present on the anniversary of the day
you started working together?
2. Think about the Price
It’s difficult to know for certain how much you should be spending on your client. Ultimately, you
should start your search after thinking about the amount of money your client is spending on you. For
instance, a customer that might be spending £10,000 per month on your company would probably
expect to receive more than a cheap box of chocolates. On the other hand, sending an expensive gift
that’s worth thousands of pounds may seem like you’re trying to buy their loyalty.
Ideally, you’ll want to stay somewhere in the region of £100 and £200, depending on how much the
client spends with you. In that range, your customer is a lot less likely to feel embarrassed, and you
won’t look overly stingy.
3. Consider Their Preferences
When you’re interacting with someone in a business setting (and not in a social environment), it’s not
always easy to get a true insight into their interests and preferences. Try to pay close attention to what
you can see on your client’s desk, or in their office during video conferences. You might notice
something that they collect that you can contribute to.
If you regularly have friendly discussions with this customer outside of business, then it’ll be much
easier to figure out what they’re likely to respond to best. Alternatively, consider asking a member of
staff from that company what kind of gifts the leader likes.
4. Make it Personal
For a client gift to come across as valuable and meaningful, it needs to come from the heart. Your
customer doesn’t want to feel as though you’ve just sent them a random present that was arranged by
your secretary. Make the experience a little more personal by including a handwritten card or letter.
More than eight in ten adults in America say they see handwritten notes as more meaningful and
thoughtful than texts or emails.
Something simple, even just your name signed at the bottom of a card with a little message can make
the world of difference to your clients. You don’t need to spend a lot of time here. Just be careful that
your message doesn’t come across as an advertisement. Try not to reference your products, or suggest
further work together too much.
5. Think About Packaging
Finally, remember that the first thing your customer sees isn’t actually the present you bought – but
the packaging you’ve put it in. If you want to show your clients how much you care, it’s important to
get the presentation right too. A little care and attention with your wrapping is all it takes to ensure
that your client gets a memorable experience whenever they receive something from you.
Think about adding a bow or tissue paper to the inside of the box in the colours of your brand or
business. This will act as an extra reminder that the gift is coming from you.