Selecting the perfect gift for a friend or loved one can feel like an overwhelming – if not daunting – task. If selecting a gift for someone you already have a relationship with feels that way, it’s even more complicated to select the perfect gift every time for a prospect or customer with whom you have little to no relationship.
The trick to selecting the perfect gift every time is this: creating a bond through personal gifting starts with caring about the person behind the persona.
Each of us has personal interests and passions that inspire and recharge us. Those personal interests are where what makes us unique individuals. They emphasize the person beyond the job titles, responsibilities, and other blanketed demographics our personas assign to us.
We call that space – the space where you can be the person behind the persona – the #5to9™.
The Secret to Selecting The Perfect Gift
The secret to selecting the perfect gift is hidden in plain sight within the #5to9™.
To establish and build bonds with our prospects and customers, the first step is to do some research about what they do and care about in their time outside of the office.
Of course, the fastest way to conduct this research is to use Alyce’s AI-powered research and gift recommendation tool. But, if you’re lacking in tools to help with this #5to9 research, the most logical place to begin this search is social media – LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook are chock full of insights into your gift recipient’s #5to9™.
When doing your own research, there are a few important things to keep in mind to prevent any uncomfortable – or confrontational – situations with your gift-giving.
Things to Avoid when Selecting the Perfect Gift
Caring about the person behind the persona requires a crystal clear understanding of things that could cause some friction in your relationship. Remember: no matter how close you think you are to your prospects and customers, personal gifting is still a professional interaction.
Because of this, there are a view things to keep in mind as you’re conducting research and deciding on a gift to compliment your recipient’s #5to9™.
Here is a list of the most important things to avoid when selecting a gift:
Don’t go too far back in their timeline
If you’re researching your gift recipients #5to9™ or passions keep in mind that circumstances in their surroundings might have changed in the last two months. Anything you reference beyond two months ago with you gift may no longer be relevant or even top of mind for your gift recipient. Gifts that reference something too far back in the past can come across as invasive or downright creepy.
Clothing is tricky.
Just like when you’re picking out clothing for your friends and family, your gift can run the risk of missing the mark. Making assumptions on things like size, fit/cut, and color can make for some uncomfortable interactions.
Sending a gift that’s too small or too big can come across as offensive and even hurtful. And as much as we all wish we could pull off every shade found in the color wheel, some of us aren’t quite as color-fully inclined as we want to be.
If you are opting to send clothing, make sure you’re offering the option to exchange the size, shape, and color of your gift for an option your gift recipient would prefer.
Don’t assume someone’s gender and preferred pronouns.
There’s no faster way to alienate someone and make them feel as though you haven’t gotten to know who they are at their core by using the wrong pronouns.
As you’re researching your gift recipient, pay close attention to the pronouns they use to refer to themselves. When in doubt, it’s always the safest and most respectful option to use gender-neutral pronouns like they/them.
( Pro Tip: This same rule goes for pets and kids too! )
Proceed with caution: kids, alcohol, and gambling.
Kids: Some parents are especially protective of the identity and security of their children. Selecting gifts intended specifically for your gift recipient’s children can infringe on that sense of security. Opting to select “family-friendly” gifts, gifts that the entire family can enjoy together, is a much safer option. Plus it can create many moments for the gift recipient beyond the initial moment in the gift experience.
Alcohol: Simply put – not everyone consumes alcohol. Your gift recipient could an expectant mother or an addict in recovery. No matter the reason behind their decision not to drink, alcohol is not to be considered a “one-size-fits-all” gift.
Gambling: Given that it’s legally restricted by state and federal regulations, it’s safe to proceed with caution on a gift centered around gambling.
Never send a professional gift about:
- Drugs or Illicit Substances
- Political Affiliation
- Sexual Orientation
No matter how close you are to your prospects or customers, these topics are off-limits for professional gifts.
One final thought: the gift itself isn’t as important as the context you provide about the intent, consideration, and thought behind the gift selection. Even a gift isn’t exactly what someone needs, you can still offer the Power of Choice.
The Power of Choice
The goal of gifting through Alyce is for your gift recipient to end up with something they actually want. This might mean the gift you’ve selected ends up being swapped or even donated in the marketplace. When this happens you’re actually in a great position to build a better bond with your gift recipient.
Let’s say you notice your gift recipient likes to travel. To complement their jet setter lifestyle, you opt to send them a weekender bag for their next adventure. Upon receiving this weekender bag, your gift recipient exchanges the bag for a subscription service to Bark Box.
This small exchange told you a great deal about your prospect and what they enjoy in their #5to9™. Without telling you directly, your gift recipient just informed you that they own a dog – a fact you otherwise might not have known.
Armed with this intel, you can now begin to build a better relationship with your gift recipient by asking about their furry companion and sharing stories about your own fur-baby.
Building Bonds Through Gifting
Again, the goal here is to build lasting bonds.
What better way to bond with someone than to spend time relating to one another over our passions, the things that make us tick.
With the right contact, at the right time, with the right gift, you’re going to need to make sure your gift invitation is actually opened. Check out this post to teach you How to Write the Perfect Gift Invitation Subject Line.