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At Saul Good, we often mention that gifting is more than just a tool to appreciate your clients. Gifts are relationship building tools that can be used to grow your business.


We all know intrinsically that building business relationships is a good thing. However, doing this in a strategic, methodical way that produces ROI is a little harder. How do you know which relationships to nurture, and how can you optimize your corporate gifting program for the most impact?


Today we’re taking a deep dive on how to use gifting as a growth tactic for your business.


1 - Why focus on building relationships to grow my business?


One of the ways building business relationships contributes to growth is by creating brand evangelists. A brand evangelist is a person who believes in your product or service so wholeheartedly that he or she will actively promote it to others. This belief comes from more than satisfaction with your product or service. A brand evangelist has an emotional connection to your business that biases them towards you over your competitors - often without them realizing.


They’re convinced of your value as a business, and will champion your value to others for you. This helps you expand mindshare and build brand awareness for a low cost.


Gifting is one of many strategies to help you build brand evangelists. A perfectly chosen gift with a heartfelt message and a timely delivery demonstrates your appreciation and respect, and shows how much you value the recipient. The gifting process creates an emotional connection between you and your recipient, which helps to nurture a relationship.


And we all know that people will go above and beyond for people they have a good relationship with. For businesses, this can translate to increased referrals.


2 - Who should I build relationships with?


For most companies, the obvious answer is, clients! Growing your business means getting more clients and it also means retaining the clients you already have.


However, there are a lot of other people that contribute to your business’s greatness, and they deserve appreciation too.


Employees


Your employees are ground zero for public relations. Your employees are the people that will tell people all about what a great company you are to work for, all the awesome positive initiatives your company partakes in, will share your social media posts with friends and family, and will generally be a source of good PR for you throughout their career - that is, if you build a good relationship with them. Employees can be champions of not only your corporate culture - they can act as brand evangelists too.


Plus, employee retention is of paramount importance. Employee turnover costs businesses money and opportunity, and employees that feel appreciated are more likely to stay.


Partners


Who are the people (contractors, other businesses, etc) outside your employee pool that make your business possible? There are a lot of moving parts to any project and it’s worth it to make sure the people that make your business happen feel appreciated and positive towards your company. That way, if anybody ever asks them what it’s like to work with your company, they’ve got great things to say.


Referral Partners


Many businesses rely on referrals to gain new clients. For lawyers, accountants can refer them new clients. For orthodontists, family dentists bring them new patients. Any business that refers customers to you contributes to your company’s growth and it’s in your best interest to show your gratitude. These businesses could give business to anyone - but if you have a good relationship, and they trust you, your name will come up first.

3 - How do I choose the right occasion for gifting?


Christmas might be the most obvious time to send gifts, but it’s not typically the most memorable.


When looking back at some of the most effective gift programs we’ve done for our corporate clients, many of them have capitalized on unexpected timing to make the biggest impact with their recipients. For example, you can:

  • send gifts to celebrate a company milestone,

  • send gifts to welcome new employees or celebrate employee anniversaries,

  • use gifting in collaboration with a PR or social media campaign, or

  • send gifts to your partners and employees upon completion of a project.


Sending gifts at any of the above occasions encourages your recipients to celebrate these occasions with you, which can bring you closer together. Some other seasonal gifting occasions could include:

  • Valentine’s Day,

  • Aboriginal Day,

  • Tax Season,

  • Thanksgiving,

  • International Women’s Day, or

  • Administrative Professionals Day.


4 - What should I send to make the biggest impact?


We know it can be hard to choose the perfect gift to start building these meaningful business relationships  - especially when sending gifts to multiple recipients and locations. However, there are a few ways you can make your gifts as personal as possible - even if you’re placing a bulk order.


Is the gift going to a group to be shared, or to an individual?

If the gift is going to a group, the items inside the gift basket need to be shareable. If it’s going to an individual, think about where this individual might use their gift - olive oil and jam are hard to use in the office, but perfect for making delicious meals at home.


Can you make the gift feel personal?

Every Saul Good gift includes a greeting card that includes space to write a personal message. A message like, “Merry Christmas” might be convenient for you if you’re sending out 100 gifts, but it doesn’t feel personal to your recipient. Think of ways your message can feel personal to your gift recipients - and if you need help, check out our blog post, “How to write the perfect greeting card message.

 



Need a hand to get started using gifts to grow your business? Complete the form below, and we'll follow up with some ideas.