By Jack LaRue
Nearly all of us give business-related gifts from time to time. Maybe you need to thank an employee who has gone above and beyond. Maybe you need a prize for a contest. Or maybe you need to thank a client. Whatever the reason, choosing just the right gift can be a challenge.
Often, we tend to think that a more expensive gift expresses greater gratitude, but this isn't always the case. I've found it's helpful to think about gifts in terms of two key factors: the immediate reward and the lasting experience.
The immediate reward is the feeling the recipient will get immediately after he or she receives the gift. This is the easy part. We all like receiving gifts, and we all like to be recognized for a job well done. So even if your gift is something generic, such as cash or a gift card, your gesture of thanks is likely to be well-received.
The challenge lies in creating a lasting experience the recipient will remember, a positive association that will stay with the person. A one-size-fits-all gift isn't likely to be very effective in this area.
For a longer-lasting impact, I think it's worth considering a more personalized gift, maybe an experience the recipient will remember for a long time. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Tickets to a play or concert, dinner at a nice restaurant, or a nice bottle of wine can produce lasting memories.
A while back at myPay Solutions, we gave away two-pound chocolate bars as a token of appreciation to clients. They weren't all that expensive, but I can tell you they created a very memorable experience for the recipients. Most of them had never even seen a two-pound chocolate bar before. And since the bars were big enough to share, it created a memorable event for the recipient's entire office.
The next time you need to purchase a thank-you gift or prize, try to create an experience the recipient will remember. It's likely to result in a happier recipient and a better relationship for a long time to come.
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About the author:
Jack LaRue is the senior vice president of myPay Solutions at Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting.