Business Gifts

Mind Your Manners

Giving the perfect business gift can be the cement that binds customers to your business. Whether it's a personalized gift or a promotional item, it must be something of value to your customers. Here is some business gift-giving advice from etiquette expert Letitia Baldrige, author of Letitia Baldrige's New Complete Guide to Executive Manners (Rawson Associates, $35, 800-716-0044):

  • When giving a personalized gift, keep in mind that the best kind of gift is chosen with the recipient specifically in mind and shows great thoughtfulness.
  • When the gift will be a promotional item from your company, it should never be shoddily designed or manufactured. Even if the item cost only $1, a giveaway should never be allowed to detract from your company's first-class image.
  • When offering gifts bearing your company logo, the logo should be small and unobtrusive. This is especially true for those items that will be part of someone's personal life, such as those that sit on a desk or are kept in a briefcase. People usually don't mind using an umbrella with a large, handsome logo, but they are not going to keep an engagement book with the large logo of another company on it.

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This article was originally published in the November 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Business Gifts.

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