Buying a perfect gift for your clients has never been easy, especially with the kind of sources from where you can actually buy the corporate gifts. You can go to various retails shops and you can even go in for online shopping. But, of course as with all the other gift buying, corporate gift buying is also a cumbersome task. You have a vast array of choices. Before you actually go in for buying corporate gifts, you should be quite aware of the statistics of corporate gift buying.

Some Facts Relating to Corporate Buying

1. The sale of corporate gifts has risen to 71% in 2005.

2. The major items relating to corporate gifts are:

» Cards or calendars (49%)

» Gift certificates for retail or restaurants (26%)

» Company branded items (23%)

» Fruit/food basket or charity donation (both 18%)

» Flowers/plants and wine/liquor (tied at 10%)

In addition, before you actually go in for buying corporategifts, you should also consider these essentials of buying business gifts.

1. Know your Company: You should be aware of the fact that whether your company policy supports the practice of giving corporate gifts. You should be well aware of the terms and conditions of the policy. Are gifts that are bought for giving to clients, get charged to your budget or to an overhead account. If charged to a budget, what is the budget for these items

2. Know your Peers: Does everyone in your company sends gifts to various clients that they are catering to. If so, then all your gifts should be of the same price, similar items, and similar in some respect to each other. This is necessary because it is a corporate world and everyone knows everyone else in this world. Thus, they would also know what gifts you are giving to your other clients. Consider combining the budget amounts to give the client one nicer gift rather than two separate gifts. Find out whether anyone in your organization is sending gifts to peers of your customer.

3. Know your Client's Company: You should also be aware of your clients company. Does your client?s company accept that their employees can accept corporategifts Some permit certain type of gifts, whereas some others only allow token gifts. Some altogether prohibit these gifts. You should be well aware of the policy of your client?s company. You do not want to put your customer in the awkward position of having to decline a gift corporate from you because it violates their company policy.

4. Know your Client: Determining the interests and likes and dislikes of your client are also very important. You should find answers to the following questions. What religion does he belong to What festivals does he wish to celebrate Would he mind giving a gift at his office or at his home

What giftcorporate from previous years has she liked enough to display in her office Does he have a favorite charity to which you can donate in his name

5. Know your Suppliers: Who are the best suppliers for different types of products Where can you get top quality items of different types from one source Who has the best price; the best engraving; the shortest turnaround; the fastest delivery

6. Consider Cultural Differences: This is of utmost importance in corporate gifting. If your client is international client, you should be well ware of their culture of gift buying. For example, in case of China, a gift should never be wrapped in white since it symbolizes death.

7. Go for Quality: Any business gift you send reflects on the image of your company. Avoid lower quality gifts that can impair your image. Purchase quality products without breaking your budget.

8. Use Hand Written Cards: To give an impression of your sincerity in giving a gift you should always add your signature or a thought to your card. It is true that in today?s age everything is written on the cards themselves. Still to add a personal touch you should always add your signature or your wishes to your gifts.

9. Spend on Packaging: Some people overlook the packaging altogether. In corporate gifting, packaging of the gift is as important as the gift itself. Spend a good amount of time and money on the packaging also. The ideal packaging should reflect your true relationship with your client. If you lack the talent for gift-wrapping or have no time, use the many gift-wrapping services available from retailers and shopping malls.

10. Deliver Personally: If your business gift list is not too large, consider personally delivering the gift to the intended party. A personally delivered gift will keep you at the top-of-the-mind with your clients.

11. Give to All-important Clients: As far as possible give gifts to all the clients. If you have the funds to give gifts to all your customers, go for it. If you are like the rest of us, give gifts to:

» Your best customers

» Customers who regularly refer others to you

» Good customers you know well

Do not give gifts to prospects clients to just woo. It can really become a token of bribery, which may

turn them off ? or they may come to expect that something extra for every job you do for them.

Some Common Gift Types for Corporate Clients: Giving gifts can really turn to be fruitful for building long term client relations with both customers and valued employees. Selecting appropriate business gifts is not always easy. Gifts should reflect the taste of the person receiving the gift and still be appropriate for a business environment. Some good business gifts include books, desk accessories, travel accessories, food or gift baskets or tickets to the theatre or sporting events.

When to Give Gifts: As Christmas is approaching, it becomes an obvious festival of gift giving. However, you are more guaranteed to stand out from the crowd if you send gifts at a time when businesses are not deluged by gifts. Consider giving business gifts on:

» Anniversaries (yours or theirs)

» Referrals

» Conclusion of a project

» The customer's birthday

» Other holidays (Thanksgiving, New Year's)

Gift Giving Etiquette: There are not a whole lot of rules when it comes to giving gifts, but you want to make sure that you present a professional image. Include a

» Hand-written note
» Wrap the gift
» Present the gift in person, if possible