In our strategic gifting infographic, we analyzed how gifting helps businesses attract new prospects, influence pipeline, and retain customers. Here, we flip things, and look at the impact of gifting from the perspective of the buyer.
The modern buyer is equipped with more information than ever before. With the power of the internet, social media and review sites, prospects can self serve during much of their technology evaluation process.
Most sales processes haven’t adjusted to this and reps still reach out to prospects like they need education and guidance…rather than listening and working with them to solve their actual needs.
The way prospects act in their typical early sales experience reflects this.
From deleting automated, homogeneous emails, to ignoring spam-like messages on LinkedIn, buyers have become more adverse to sales tactics. There’s a negative generalization of sales teams because of the sheer volume of digital outreach that buyers must sort through.
To counter this, corporate gifting can be a sales channel that creates a unique, personalized buying experience, that creates trust and establishes brand loyalty over time.
18 Ways Corporate Gifting Elevates the Sales Experience
1. Gifting can interrupt normal buying behavior
Consumers have their own unique buying habits that are sometimes hard to break. Gifting can play a role in breaking this pattern, given the delivery of the item and messaging are on-point. Our VP of Sales, Patty DuChene, goes more in depth about the science behind pattern interrupt in this Forbes article: “Pattern interrupt is an extremely effective technique in sales that can change behaviors, assumptions, opinions and decisions in an instant, as it pushes people to not rely on their go-to responses.”
2. Most buyers aren’t satisfied with the level of personalization they currently receive
Only 22% of buyers are satisfied with the level of personalization they receive, because often times sales teams miss the mark on what personalization really entails. Gifting provides a tremendous opportunity to provide personalization that goes beyond the expectations of the buyer. The element of surprise is a psychological trigger that can spark buying decisions and create lasting impressions. Gift something to your prospect or lead that is so genuine, they won’t be able to forget it anytime soon.
3. Establishes trust with buying committees
It’s a widely known statistic that the average number of stakeholders in a B2B deal is somewhere around 6.8. As the sales rep, you are definitely the odd man outside their circle of trust. Don’t send the same gift to each key stakeholder, but rather send personalized gifts to a handful of them. Be strategic with what you send…for instance, send a bottle of wine with a personalized note asking the recipient to think about it. When done correctly, they will tell each other about how thoughtful and kind you’ve been in negotiation. The result? More trust established among the buyers.
4. 83% of Americans have positive responses to receiving packages
Surprise is an emotion that gifting is known to induce. Corporate gifting can build anticipation as the recipient waits for their gift to arrive. In the meantime, maybe they have time to think more about your offering…or maybe even how nice of a gesture it was for you to send you something. Surprise is the foundation of curiosity and is one of the most personable ways to interact with someone because it reflects the fact you were courteously thinking about them.
5. Enhances customer experience
A survey of B2B companies in Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends Report disclosed that customer experience was the most exciting business opportunity of 2020. After closing a deal, think of gifts you could send periodically throughout the lifetime of the customer for an amazing experience with your brand. As the subscription or contract closes, it will be much easier to justify why they should renew their contract.
6. People value something they can see and touch 24% more than something they can only see
A neuroscience study found that physical advertisements stimulate much deeper emotional processing than digital advertisements. This plays into how much people value tangible items over digital content. Our brains naturally interprets gifts and other physical items as more “real”, which can lead to better memory and higher brand recall.
7. Inboxes are overloaded
57% of email addresses are abandoned because the users receive too many marketing emails. Furthermore, the average office worker receives over 100 emails a day and it’s estimated that spam makes up 45% of all emails. While email may forever be an integral part of any sales strategy, an offline counterpart can be super helpful.
8. Resonates well with C-suite executives
Over 80% of C-suite executives believe that business gifts generate positive measurable ROI in addition to intangible benefits. Most leaders in organizations won’t have time to respond to an email or LinkedIn message, so they are often very appreciative of gifts. However, make sure the perceived value of your gift you are sending isn’t too low…this can be a deterrent. One best practice is to avoid sending gifts with a perceived value of under $11, as they’re likely to reflect poorly on response rates and the company sending the gift.
9. Conveys reciprocity
We subconsciously expect some form of gratitude when we provide something. When someone takes time out of their day to meet with you, they usually wouldn’t expect anything in return. Maybe a follow-up email, but certainly not a reciprocating act. This is why gifting can be a great way to show appreciation for someone’s time.
10. Gifts can be shared among buying committees
Creating relationships with each individual in a buying committee can be difficult. It’s a better approach to rather create a connection among the committee as a whole. Gifting can accomplish this, especially if the item somehow brings the stakeholders closer together. For instance, in a high-value deal, try sending out a few drink kits asking the key stakeholders to discuss their thoughts over some virtual cocktails.
11. Empowers the buyer
Usually, the buyer is the one who feels like they are the victim of another templated email or automated sequence. They really don’t care about your solution, even if it benefits them, because the way you try to reach them is meaningless. Gifting empowers buyers to see that your brand acknowledges interactions with other prospects.
12. Creates brand parity when used with digital efforts
There’s a reason why companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers, while companies with weak customer engagement strategies retain on average around 33%. Gifting adds another channel of communication that can be an opportunity to extend the image of your brand.
13. 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences
Everyone loves personalization. Incorporating this into the gifts you send can be that additional effort it takes to get the results you are looking for. Personalized offline experiences can make a positive impact on someone when they are least expecting it. 70% of buying experiences are based on how a customer feels they are being treated.
14. Stands out from competitive clutter
According to Business Wire, automation maturity is at it’s highest level ever in the US, as 61% of organizations are making extensive use of it. Furthermore, only 38.5% of B2B companies are using direct mail as part of their strategy. To stand out from the rest of the automated clutter, gifting can be a great channel to leverage and will add a layer of authenticity to the narrative of your brand.
15. 90% of consumers indicate they find personalization appealing
Again, personalization can be a powerful buying trigger. The fact that nearly all consumers find it appealing speaks to how personalized gifts can be a tremendous benefit to the sales processes. It’s not about what you send, it’s about the timing, relevancy, and the meaning to it.
16. Creates emotional connections
Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% better lifetime value. Tangible items such as gifts are proven to stimulate deeper processing and emotional connections. The result? Impressed prospects and happy customers.
17. Can be an enjoyable experience for recipient
Gifts don’t always have to be something physical. For instance, send your high-value prospect a gift card to enjoy their favorite cuisine, or provide the option for them to make a donation on your behalf. Charity on Top is a great choice as it provides access to over 1.8 MM charities. Choose your denomination and the recipient can allocate the funds to the charity of their choice!
18. Gifts are memorable
Do you still remember the best present, perhaps from a decade ago, you got for your birthday or a holiday as a kid? Some gifts will be cherished forever because they represent a real-world experience. Similarly, on the corporate level, gifts can help reflect your feelings towards your prospects, leads, and customers.
Buyers in this era have the upper-hand. As sales reps, all we can do is look for new strategies to establish more trust and loyalty.
Digital channels are starting to show diminishing returns across the board as everyone is competing to be found and heard.
Engaging in the offline via gifting contributes to a better buying experience, giving your organization a better chance to hit every sales goal.
If you are ready to implement a gifting strategy in your organization, sign-up with Postal today for our no-risk 15 day free trial or request a demo so we can better understand your situation to help you generate more leads, increase your sales, and improve customer retention.