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How Much Should You Spend on a Client Gift?

Packed with Purpose | June 21, 2024

We all know that gifts are tangible expressions of gratitude — in both personal and professional settings! Client gifts are particularly helpful in the workplace because they connect you to your clients while fostering even stronger relationships down the road. 

However, you have to balance a couple aspects when determining a budget for your client gifts:

• The significance of showing clients your appreciation

• Staying within your means 

By allocating your budget the right way, you ensure the monetary value of your gifts are balanced with the thoughtfulness behind the gesture. In turn, you’ll leave a lasting impression on each unique client. 

So, how much should you spend on a client gift? Let’s get into it. 

[Related: Purposeful Gift Giving — Gifts That Make an Impact Year Round]

Understanding Gift-Giving Dynamics

When it comes to client gift-giving, consider how long your customers have been working with you. The ways you express gratitude to a loyal client you’ve had for years may look a bit different than those for a customer you’ve recently acquired. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Remember, both long-term and new clients alike are important. But recognizing the length of your partnerships will ultimately help you establish your gifting budget.

[Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Corporate Gift Giving Etiquette]

Long-Term Clients

Long-term clients are the backbone of any successful business. They provide both a steady stream of revenue and invaluable brand advocacy. After all, they’re loyal for a reason — they’re clearly satisfied with your work and services! 

Noticing your clients’ steadfast loyalty is one thing. But recognizing it via gifts is another. 

It’s a gesture of appreciation as well as a strategic investment in nurturing those long-lasting customer relationships. 

With loyalty in mind, consider commemorating significant milestones, such as the anniversary of a client’s contract signing date. A personalized gift reflects the depth of your relationship and the journey you’ve embarked on together since first partnering. 

[Related: Employee Care Packages: Recognition, Retention and Appreciation for the Long-Term]

New Clients

Meanwhile, new clients deserve acknowledgment for deciding to entrust your company with their business. Gifting recognizes your new relationship at hand. 

Although you haven’t worked together long, don’t underestimate the impact of their trust and collaboration. 

Rewarding new clients with gifts encourages meaningful connections from the outset. Consider a celebratory gift marking the successful completion of your first project or campaign. Or perhaps send a holiday-themed gesture that lends festivity to your interactions. 

A gift goes a long way when laying a foundation for an enduring partnership.

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Considering the Occasion for a Client Gift

As we mentioned, buying gifts for a long-term client vs. a new client may look a little different. 

Begin considering special occasions that stand out to you as well as your client. Those occasions serve as your collective guide on what to select and how much to spend!

Traditional holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s offer ample opportunities to be creative and fun in your gift-giving. You can even embrace the spirit by curating themed gifts that resonate with your client’s everyday lives. 

In turn, you foster a sense of camaraderie and shared celebration.

Additionally, don’t overlook the significance of milestones in shaping your gift-giving strategy. Here are some standard milestones to consider:

• Successful achievement of objectives or goals

• Celebration of significant client anniversaries

• Referral thank-yous

These moments warrant recognition and celebration! 

You demonstrate your commitment to shared success and reinforce the bond between your clients and your company when you celebrate those moments. 

Excellent gifting also cultivates stronger, more enduring partnerships that lead to greater growth.

[Related: Why Sending Gifts Outside December is Smart for Your Business]

Getting To Know Your Clients

Personalized gift-giving goes beyond mere tokens of appreciation — it reflects your commitment to honoring each client’s unique preferences and cultural background. But honoring your long- and short-term clients requires you to understand them. 

In other words, to appreciate someone, you have to know them first.

To reach a personalized gift-giving level, simply start getting to know your clients on a human level (business aside). One effective approach is creating a questionnaire to gain insights into their general interests, celebrated holidays and culture. 

By inviting clients to share their preferences and traditions, your gift-giving is ethical and specific to each client’s values and tastes. 

This proactive approach gives you invaluable insights for establishing general price ranges for their preferred gifts.

[Related: Ethical Gifts: Socially Conscious Gift Ideas]

Caring About Cultural Norms

Furthermore, you must consider cultural and social norms when determining which clients receive which gifts and how to price your gift ideas accordingly. 

For example, while Hispanic Heritage Month may hold significance for some clients, others may not identify with it. The same goes for Black History Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month. By respecting and acknowledging diverse cultural backgrounds and sensitivities, you can avoid unintentionally offending your clients.

Additionally, note events and holidays — such as Small Business Month and Veterans Day — that may resonate with some clients more than others. This ensures your gift-giving efforts are equally inclusive and meaningful.

Achieve effective and ethical gift-giving by taking action:

• Solicit feedback.

• Respect cultural nuances.

• Tailor gifts to individual preferences.

Creating memorable experiences that resonate with clients on personal and emotional levels is ideal!

Tailoring your gift budget

Before embarking on your client gift-giving journey, lay the groundwork. Establish a realistic budget that aligns with your financial capabilities and with industry norms.

First, assess a few areas of your financial situation:

• Revenue projections

• Operational expenses

• Available discretionary funds

Once you define your total spending range, you can strike a sustainable balance between generosity and fiscal responsibility. You can certainly still make each gifting occasion special while staying within your means. 

For example, you might allot 1% of your revenue per client on gifts. So if you earn $2,000 on average per client in your industry, it’s acceptable to spend $200 yearly on their gift.

However, you may want to give more than one gift per year to each client. In that case, divide your allotted dollar amount by two, three, four and so on to match your gift-giving frequency with your budget.

You can also consider spending more on a single gift rather than spreading your budget across multiple gifts in one year. 

Consider buying cycles, communication patterns and other factors that may make a one-time “Wow!” more special (and sometimes more appropriate) than occasional surprises. 

Considering Industry Norms 

Considering industry-specific norms, your sector typically has an average monetary flexibility. Certain industries generally spend more money on gifts than others. 

For example, investment firms may exhibit higher average spending on client gifts because they earn more annual revenue

Still, don’t overlook budget flexibility. Accommodating special occasions for high-value relationships may warrant additional investment. 

Whether it’s a milestone celebration, a lucrative partnership or simply a gesture of gratitude for unwavering loyalty, spending flexibility allows you to seize gifting opportunities. And in turn, it further strengthens key relationships.

[Related: How To Show Appreciation for Workplace Leaders and Rising Talent]

How Much Money Is Reasonable? How Much Is Right?

Based on the results, we can potentially recommend gifts that cost at least $50 but don’t exceed $100. Spending less than $50 might not relay sufficient appreciation, yet gifts over $100 might instill a level of guilt in the client (it could also come off as flashy). 

Consider Making a Calculation for Your Client Gift

1. Take the total dollar amount of what you’re comfortable spending on client gifts. 

2. Divide this amount by the number of clients you are gifting. 

3. Review the amount you can feasibly spend on a client gift. 

4. Multiply your answer from step 2 by 2 if you’d like to gift each client at least twice yearly. 

Balance Generosity and Fiscal Responsibility With Packed With Purpose

Establishing a realistic budget for client gifts requires carefully considering your financial situation, industry norms, client base and gifting frequency. 

When you do, you’ll soon be on the right path to cultivating even longer-lasting relationships built on trust, appreciation and mutual benefit.

Packed with Purpose not only provides fantastic corporate and client gift options, but also employee gift options for an array of occasions. And don’t forget to explore our gift deals

Contact us to learn more!

Featured image via Pixabay

About Packed with Purpose

Packed with Purpose is a Certified Woman-Owned and B Corp business that embeds social and environmental impact into the everyday act of gift giving. These distinctly curated gift boxes source products from over 140+ purpose-driven organizations that transform more than 750,000 lives, resulting in a unique gifting experience that is as inspiring as it is impressive. Strengthen relationships with clients, employees, or friends with gifts for every budget or occasion through seamless ordering, branding and customization. Discover why the nation’s leading brands choose to send gifts that are Packed with Purpose.

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