As the winter holidays approach, individuals and firms alike often struggle to find the perfect gifts. Atlanta Professional Advisors, a group of business owners and thought leaders of which Bonnie is a part, recently discussed the annual challenge and shared our favorite solutions for the present dilemma. We’ve got no idea what you should give your Aunt Susan who hates everything and wants nothing, but here is the collected wisdom of the group as far as selecting great gifts for your most deserving clients:
- You can’t go wrong with food. Whether it’s caramels or cookies, fruit or nuts, local steaks or exotic desserts, you’ll find an appreciative audience for gustatory delights. You can personalize edible gifts to match your own tastes or location, or to reflect the individualized personalities of your giftees. Homemade or high-end, food is an offering that’s not likely to be ignored or unwelcome. Someone in that office or in the families of those who work at it is going to be very, very excited to enjoy the tasty treats you bestow. These are a few of our favorites:
- Alcohol is even better! There are people who don’t drink, but there are more who do. Scotch, wine, craft beer…what’s your favorite? More importantly, what do you know about the tastes of your recipients? Use your judgment here, because a gift of alcohol isn’t appropriate for everyone. For those who do enjoy the occasional tipple, however, it makes a delightful present that inspires warm feelings for the giver.
- Give of yourself, or your expertise. Some firms have knowledge that makes a valuable gift. If you can provide universally helpful advice in a brief time period, consider sending over lunch for the executive team along with an expert to give an hour of information, instruction or explanation.
- A memorable experience is a gift that endures. Want to make an impression that lasts forever? Give experiences that are unusual, exciting or just plain enjoyable. You’ve got a world of options here, from skydiving and skeetshooting to Porsche driving, golf, massages, and helicopter rides over the city. Tickets to sporting events may not sound very original but boy howdy, people surely do like them.
- Combine food or alcohol with an experience. You can offer food- or drink-based fun in the form of winery tours, brewery visits or restaurant gift certificates. You could order lunch to be sent to the client firm, take them to a nice dinner yourself or even give things like chef service or cooking lessons to those who have expressed an interest. How about having custom dress shirts made, after hosting a dinner during the fitting? It’s not an inexpensive option but then again, it won’t be soon forgotten either.
- Support a good charity the giftee will appreciate. For many firms, it’s the thought that counts. Why not support a great cause in the client’s name? This requires careful thought to find a charity that the recipient will truly value, but it’s a wonderful way to help spread seasonal joy to those who don’t have as much. APA members have donated to TechBridge and Heifer International but you might want something completely different. There’s certainly no shortage of worthy causes, so it should be easy to find the perfect match for your client’s style.
- Give them something that’s a pleasure to use. Instead of the booze, consider nice wine glasses or brandy snifters for those you have reason to know will appreciate and make use of them. If that’s not right, think about something else they might enjoy using – device chargers, Polar Bear coolers and Yeti tumblers are all ideas we like. This kind of gift can be personalized, which makes it especially nice. BirchBarn Designs offers a wide selection of handcrafted wood products that can be custom engraved, too. For the best results, think about quality and longevity. The goal is selecting gifts that they will want to keep and enjoy regularly, not stick in the break room or hand off to their children. Pinnacle Promotions and Swagalicious have a wide range of useful gifts that can be branded, if you prefer that approach.
- Still not sure? Let them choose their own gift! You can be sure the gift is perfect by letting recipients choose their own presents. Choose a collection of options at loop & tie, and your giftees can select the one they want to receive and have it shipped straight from the company.
Giving the perfect gift feels good, and not just at the traditional season. Consider waiting until February or any other time of year to send out presents. Your gift will stand out more, for sure, and probably be more memorable because it’s so unexpected. But whenever you decide to give a present, this list should help get you started with ideas for just about everyone. We know we’d be happy to receive any of them!