What’s the best and worst thing you can do for someone else? Give them a gift.
When you give something meaningful and thoughtful, you’re golden. But the number one thing people unfortunately do when gifting others is going with something obvious, standard, or just ordinary. Flowers. Cigars. A bottle of wine…
Yes, even a bottle of wine can be un-special if there’s no motivation behind it beyond the act of the thank you. Don’t get me wrong! Wine is always something welcome but hear me out: Find that nice bottle of wine that means something to the situation, the person, the relationship. Maybe you just invested in a pizza chain and you send a bottle that you had in Rome at a classic pizza place with a note that says “Goes great with pizza! Had this in Rome at the Trevi Fountain with a lovely Napolitano.”
Step 1: Do your research.
Hopefully you did the proper research on your new client, account, or investment so that you can fully understand their ethos, what makes them tick, what their potential for growth is, and all the factors that made you want to partner in the first place. The same goes for gift giving. Don’t just buy something popular or expected or, daresay, generic, even if it might be very expensive and impressive. It’s better to give a small meaningful token that shows you thought about your connection rather than something that shows off.
A blatantly simple example is this: If I did a deal with Mark Cuban and he decided to give me a Lamborghini to say thanks, I’d be impressed. But if he did some deeper research and found out or figured out that I love old fountain pens and he instead dug around to find a unique, moderately priced (say $2000) antique fountain pen and put it in a box with a personal note, I’d be moved. And that’s the difference. Being impressed versus being moved.
Step 2: Expensive isn’t everything.
See the example above. Just because you CAN buy something expensive doesn’t mean you HAVE to.
Step 3: What would you want to receive?
This is a great exercise in being conscious of how you gift. What would you think is a unique, cool thing to receive – something that would surprise YOU. Here is where you’re probably thinking that a box of cigars might not cut it, right? Or even (gasp) a random bottle of wine. Yes, I said it again.
This can hopefully get you thinking about conversations you may have had with your new partner/client or your inside knowledge of the significant person you’re trying to find something for. Did they tell you a powerful, personal anecdote about their family that could translate into a unique gift? Something like this is perhaps best of all because it shows that you’re engaged with that person and truly listening! Which leads to…
Step 4: Think about the future.
Think about something that you could perhaps celebrate at a future milestone, not just the one at hand. This way you can not only be incredibly thoughtful, you can kill two birds with one stone (or bottle, or watch, or) by having a meaningful gift that covers your current affair AND stays in the mind of your giftee as you’re striving for the next level. It’s the equivalent of an “in good faith” contract!
Okay, now get out there and gift uniquely! Remember, money can’t buy happiness and it can’t buy the perfect gift.