The words “corporate gifts” usually brings to mind thoughts of customers and clients. But they’re far from the only ones who help keep your business in the black. One oft-overlooked group of business associates worthy of equal appreciation? Vendors and suppliers.
Let’s take a closer look at why vendors and corporate gifts are a perfect match, along with highlighting some things to keep in mind when implementing a corporate giving strategy.
Why Give Corporate Gifts to Vendors?
Many businesses overlook the importance of vendor management. After all, you pay them for a product or service and they provide it. Does the relationship really need to go beyond that? Yes, as it turns out. Because while corporate gifts are a terrific way to say “thank you” to vendors and suppliers, they have the potential to do much more than that when viewed as part of your comprehensive business objectives.
From fostering loyalty and optimizing performance to mitigating supplier risk and boosting your brand, acknowledging the role your vendors and suppliers play is an investment in their ongoing partnership.
Still not convinced? How about if you think of it this way: The next time you need customer service from a vendor or a supplier, wouldn’t you like to deal with someone who feels sufficiently valued by you? Viewed through this lens, vendor management in the form of corporate gift giving moves from the category of nicety to necessity.
Four Things to Keep in Mind When Gifting to Vendors
1. Corporate gifts aren’t just for Christmas.
Gift giving and the holidays go together like tinsel and twinkle lights. But this doesn’t mean corporate gifts for vendors should be limited to the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. While holiday gifts are indeed appropriate, so are corporate gifts throughout the year.
Perhaps a vendor went beyond the call of duty in rushing an order, participating in a company event, or providing something extra. Giving a corporate gift — winter, spring, summer or fall — is a simple yet significant way to acknowledge their contribution. In short, any time you want to say “thank you” is the ideal time to give a corporate gift to a vendor or supplier.
Not only that, but a gift given outside the conventional season of giving is certain to get noticed.
2. Choosing well matters.
While “It’s the thought that counts” is a nice sentiment, the truth is that the best gifts have real substance behind them. Deciding to give corporate gifts to your vendors and suppliers is just the first part of the equation. Your next step? Selecting the right gift.
On the surface, it may seem challenging to shop for vendors and suppliers. After all, you may only interact with them in the context of the product or service they supply to your business. And yet the imperative in today’s gift giving culture is toward all things personal and customized. So how do you bridge the gap?
If you have more than a passing relationship with your vendors, you’re in luck. You’ve got a base point for selecting a gift. Perhaps your paper vendor loves going to the theater, or your produce supplier is a would-be foodie with no time to cook. Tickets to a show or a gourmet meal of steak or lobster from one of the country’s best restaurants courtesy of a gourmet mail order food gift company are guaranteed to please.
If you don’t know the recipient well, however, this doesn’t mean you have to go with something completely generic. Rather, work with what you do know. Research tells us that food gifts consistently top the list of most popular gifts, according to recipients. Not only that, but people like to share. By selecting a food gift which your vendor can share with his/her own family, team or other group, you’re hedging your bets in a practical and productive way. From breakfasts and brunches to office lunches, there’s no shortage of ways to say thank you…and then some.
3. Make a list…check it twice.
Even the jolly fat man checks his list twice. The same goes for you when you’re deciding who should receive corporate gifts — particularly during the holidays. Overlooking an important vendor or supplier can damage both your relationship and your bottom line. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to corporate gift giving.
4. Build corporate gift giving into your budget.
Clients, customers, employees, vendors and suppliers are responsible for the success of your business. Because of this, keeping them happy is not optional, but mission-critical. The takeaway? Just as you budget for all other mission-critical business practices, so should you budget for corporate gift giving initiatives.
Thanking vendors for high-quality, reliable products and services not only ensures that your expectations will continue to be met moving forward, but also has the potential to deepen your business relationship, cultivate new opportunities, and ultimately get the very best bang for your buck. Browse our most popular delicious food gifts to get your corporate gift giving off to a good start today.