Success in sales requires building strong relationships. One way to bolster client relationships is through holiday gift-giving. Most businesses that give client gifts (80 percent) say that gifts helped improve their client relationships, and nearly half say gift-giving delivered a substantial benefit, according to Forbes.

Lydia Ramsay, a business etiquette expert, says that thoughtful, professional gifts can not only help you build and maintain relationships, but they can help you stay top of mind all year long. Choosing what to give your clients depends on several factors, including who’s receiving the gifts, your relationship with them and your budget.

Ramsay notes that she received a logoed mug during the holidays and that it has become her favorite mug. With every sip, she sees the subtle logo and remembers the business that gave it to her. Want to delight your clients this holiday season? Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, where we highlight Ramsay’s quick tips for client gift-giving.

1. Do some sleuthing. What sports teams or colleges do your clients support? Do they have any hobbies or special interests? If you don’t know your clients well, do some investigating to determine what they enjoy. And if you want to send them a food item, find out if they have any allergies or follow any special diets, Ramsay recommends.

2. Give something to keep your name visible. You already know that promotional products can keep your logo front and center all year long. Items like branded notepads, pens and mugs are useful gifts that show you are thinking of your clients. When your clients reach for these products, you just might inspire them to give you a call or send you a note.

3. Plan early. If you haven’t yet sent your clients holiday gifts, try to do it in the next few days. Ramsay suggests delivering client gifts no later than December 17 in case your recipients are taking off the following week.

4. Expand your circle of giving. When thinking about client gifts, remember to show gratitude to others who help you achieve success. Do you work with someone who helps with your emails or website? Think about the people who go beyond the call to help you and give them special thanks, advises Ramsay.

5. Remember your goal. You’re not sending client gifts just to send something—you’re doing it because you want to show appreciation and have people think of you when it’s time to do business, says Ramsay. In addition to sending gifts during the holidays, you could also send handwritten notes sporadically throughout the year or call to say thank you.

Sending your clients thoughtful gifts this holiday season can spark joy and show your clients how much you value their business. You don’t need to have a huge budget to make a lasting impression. You only need to give clients gifts that are memorable and useful. Think about what your clients would like to receive from you and then consider if it’s a gift that would keep your name visible beyond the holidays. Even if you give a gift to be enjoyed in the moment, you will be sending some good cheer to your clients and starting the new year off on a positive note.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Lydia Ramsay is an author, business etiquette expert, speaker and trainer.