A company decides to give gifts as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for the relationship it enjoys with a business partner. In that sense, the company is strengthening this relationship through the gifts that they have decided to give. If the relationship was not valuable, they would not have decided to give the gift in the first place!
I am amazed that very little thought is put in deciding this crucial gesture – either the gift is not appropriate, or the gifts are sourced from a vendor with a poor reputation or sometimes, a poor-quality product is chosen. Having been a recipient of many gifts over the years, I have not retained more than 25% of what I have received. The entire exercise is a wasted one if the recipient does not appreciate the gift!
Here are two aspects to keep in mind when a company is looking to choose a gift:
1. What to gift – Explained in detail in my other article called “10 Golden Rules to help you choose”
2. Choosing the right gifting partner
I am going to explore the second aspect here in this article.
It’s important to note that choosing the right gifting partner is as important as what you have chosen to give. After all, what’s the point in deciding to gift during Diwali and the vendor delivers it a week late! Here are some pointers to keep in mind while choosing a gifting partner:
1. Choose a reputed company - For obvious reasons. Ask for references, look for past instances of this vendor having done a good job.
2. Verify the prices - If you are selecting unbranded products, be 100% sure that you have chosen a product whose price is commensurate with the quality. Very often corporate gift suppliers will offer you an unbranded product that has no reference of price on the internet. It means that you are on your own – in determining the correctness of the price.
3. Choose a branded product (if you have the option to do so) - Not only would it have a better impact on your recipient, it would also allow you to refer to the maximum retail price in the market while negotiating with the vendor.
4. Be wary of unbranded electronic goods - Since the transaction with a corporate gift supplier is usually one-off, the vendor may tend to cut corners and pass off a poorly built product that stops working a few weeks after use. This reflects very poorly on the gift giver.
5. Ensure your supplier has a back-up (in case there are quality concerns) - Very often, some products may turn out to be defective. But, if you are dealing with a small operator who has no infrastructure, you have no option but to discard the product.
6. Proper compliance - Today, with GST, a customer can take input credit only if the vendor has paid his dues correctly. Ensure that you are dealing with reputed vendors who have a track record of paying their taxes and dues correctly. Else, your input credit may be disallowed!
7. Don’t just look at the price - Yes, it may seem counter-intuitive. But considering going with the vendor who offers the lowest price without due care given to all other factors (delivery date, packaging apart from those listed above) could instead prove costly.
There you are! Armed with this information, you are in the best position to make the right choice and most importantly leave the right impression with your customer or business partner!
The next article contains my top picks for Diwali 2019. Happy Diwali!
- Nikhil Ranjan