Blast from the Past

A lighthearted look at our industry’s storied history.

The Gift of Gifting

I find it interesting that there are still buyers out there who never consider sending their clients business gifts, whether at the holidays or some other time of the year. When you mention the idea, they look at you like you’ve been hitting the sauce a little too heavy.

Business gift giving has long been an important aspect of this industry. Back in the earliest days of Counselor magazine, the topic was often bandied about in columns and articles. And you know what? Some of the information is still relevant today.

Jack Campbell, an executive vice president for a distributor firm called Friendliness Inc. (who wouldn’t want to buy from them?), wrote an article in 1955 offering up four things to consider when presenting business gifts to your clients. One, the product should be useful. Two, it should have a long life – “will it live with the recipient over the months and years, continually building a feeling of intimacy and reflect the sender’s good wishes and appreciation?” (Yes, he wrote that.) Three, it should be in good taste; and four, it should have value – something that a person would like to receive but not buy for themselves.

And while taste and value can mean different things to different buyers, and what constitutes a fine business gift has changed over the years, the practice is still important. And you need to convey that to your stubborn clients. So, enjoy these business gifts gleaned from Counselors more recent than 1955.