When money and job security are precarious topics, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is the stress from holiday gifting. All that money and time spent on obligatory gift giving is about as joyous as eating last year’s fruitcake. Still, there is the need to warm the relationships we already have, along with the ones we eagerly want to acquire for our businesses.
Thinking in a two-for-one, kill-two-birds-with-one-stone mentality is a great way to show costumers that you appreciate them. The right gift gives you the opportunity to show that you’re astute and detail-oriented, but also not over-the-top with your spending when most companies are cutting back. It’s the art of the subtle quid pro quo. Giving something actually useful shows your client that you’re a savvy and bankable person to do business. Here are seven gift ideas that don’t break the bank and but totally impress the bankers.
In-office golf. You’re not admitting to taking time away from all that hard work, you’re just encouraging others to work on their swing for when they meet you on the green next Spring. Golf Launchpad is a golf simulator that works on the PC and Mac using a USB port. The launchpad works with EA Sport Tiger Woods PGA Tour so you get to play the best golf courses on the chilliest days of the year. This is your most expensive purchase but probably gets you the most mileage. $199.99.
Talking coffee pot. Sounds a bit cheesy, yes, but it’s much more affordable than a personal assistant and you can throw things at it without worrying about a lawsuit. The chrome metal design is slick and more attractive than those plastic ones. You won’t be accused of being the crazy on in the office either once everyone hears the coffee maker speak. Tell your grounded coffee beans when to percolate and Primula Speak n’ Brew will kindly let you know when the brewing begins. Primula Speak n' Brew retails for $79.99.
A discrete, low maintenance travel case. Traveling heavy is a tremendous hassle and a real pain in the neck. I’m a fan of using only a carry-on, so packing toiletries is an art form. The ballistic nylon shelled Ace Excursion Bag packs some impressive storage space with two compartments to separate the necessities and unmentionables, along with a mesh pocket for the little random items. The shell keeps its shape but it also collapses if you end up with more in your suitcase on your return home. $15.99.
Some carbon offsetting. Show the other CEOs how globally conscious you are and purchase carbon offsets for them to balance a bit of that fuel inefficient jet setting they do. Belgrave Trust has a fancy algorithm that calculates a person’s carbon footprint and guides them on how to work toward a carbon neutral life through a portfolio of climate change-focused companies. Prices vary depending on that algorithm but can be as lows $14 and go up in the hundreds.
A protective case for the most sacred technology. The iWood cobra by Miniot steps iPhone protection and accessorization up a few notches with their Padouk/Maple and Wenge/Maple wood-blended casing. While you’re contributing to deforestation (Miniot states the wood is taken from “well managed forests”), why not show your clients that you care too. iWoods can be monogrammed and logoed. Inscribe a company motto onto it too. These cost 120 euro or roughly $180.
All-in-one moisturizer. All that work and not enough sleep is not so good on the aging process. Belacrema’s One moisturizer is good for people who need a day and night skin lift. It’s perfect for those on the move who don’t want to be bogged down by carrying multiple products. One is true to its name. The cream can be used on the face, neck, and all over the body. Belacrema also claims to help repair sun damage for those who work hard, play harder and forget to put on their sun block. $100.
A personal assistant for the day. Perhaps the nicest gift of all is making the workday easier for a client. Hire a personal assistant for a few hours of much needed administrative work and you’re sure to get a winning thank you note at the very least. Lambent Services, a personal assistant boutique offers sessions four hours or longer at $40 an hour in New York and $35 an hour in LA for members of their service. A la carte services average $75 an hour. Those who are really thoughtful and clever will hire a personal assistant to do the entire holiday gift brainstorming, shopping, wrapping and sending for themselves and for their clients.