guide to buying clients’ christmas gifts

While giving gifts to your clients is no substitute for providing a first-rate service throughout the year, Christmas provides the ideal opportunity to thank them for their loyalty and demonstrate how much you value their custom.

Ranging from a classic bottle of wine to the latest technology, the choice of gifts for clients these days seems infinite. Google serves up a huge menu of results when you search for ideas, but before putting the business credit card to use there are a few essential points to consider.

The Bribery Act 2010 states that businesses must not use gifts to influence a client’s decision such as awarding them with a new contract. It’s important that your gift isn’t overly expensive in the context of your industry, so buying your key client a luxury ski break is likely to attract scrutiny even if the gift is given with the best of intentions.

To diminish confusion over what may be deemed acceptable as a client gift, we’ve put together a helpful list of ideas.

The traditional

Let’s begin with a traditional option – gift hampers. You no longer need to pay Fortnum and Mason prices for luxury hampers thanks to the variety available online. To avoid a dietary faux pas, it’s worth considering: does your client eat gluten-free or dairy-free products? Does their religion influence their diet? Are they more of a coffee connoisseur than a wine enthusiast? Are they a vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian? A little extra thought will be appreciated by the recipient.

The practical

Because we often rely on apps for scheduling business meetings, fewer people are buying the beautiful diaries that are on the market. A carefully selected, quality diary looks impressive in meetings, with the trendy ones doubling up as fashion accessories.

From the formal to the floral, choose a diary that best suits your client’s personal style or reflects the company’s brand.

The philanthropic

If you’d rather steer away from the commercialism of Christmas, you can make donations to charity and simply send tailored messages to clients thanking them for their custom. This is an understated but generous gesture that clients will appreciate.

The artistic

Coffee table books are timeless and work well for clients in industries such as architecture, hospitality, travel, leisure, retail and fashion. From collections of contemporary urban photography to sweeping landscapes images, the range of beautiful hardback books on the market is sure to provide you with the perfect gift for a valued client.

The festive 

By holding your own Christmas or new year’s party you’ll create an exciting opportunity to thank all your clients at once. You give them an enjoyable evening, and an excuse to put business to the back of their minds for a few hours.

The flexible

Shopping gift cards are perfect if you’re pushed for time, plus they give your clients the option of deciding how to spend them. You can send clients the gift with a beautifully crafted card to add that festive feeling.

Christmas present shopping for clients should be an enjoyable way of finishing off the working year so don’t let caution interfere too much with the fun. However, we recommend seeking legal advice before you start spending, especially if you’re planning on being extra generous this year.