Sales prospecting isn’t easy. Many reps admit that it’s actually one of the most challenging parts of the job. Forty percent to be exact. Yet, the first personal connection with a potential buyer is essential for any healthy customer-centric relationship.
Typically, touchpoints with prospects look something like a generic email or a scripted phone call. It’s impersonal, and customers can see through it. They simply press delete or ignore your outreach, and the relationship ends there.
Sales prospecting gifts are different. Strategically chosen gifts targeted to your ideal audience help your prospecting efforts stand out, make genuine connections that last, and start more conversations that lead to sales. It’s a prospecting strategy that’s personal. You’ll begin to notice a stronger foundation being formed for longer and deeper relationships with prospects.
So what are sales prospecting gifts and how do you send your own? Keep on reading.
What are Sales Prospecting Gifts?
Sales prospecting gifts aren’t just any old gifts. They are strategically and personally selected items given to prospects during the prospecting process. No, these aren’t just branded giveaways. They should be thoughtful and intentional gifts. The goal is to make a genuine connection with your prospect before the sales process even begins. This will create a level of trust that your potential buyer will remember and value as you nurture them through the funnel.
Why Send Them?
We know what you're thinking...Sounds great and all, but how do I know that sales prospecting gifts will actually help build my prospecting efforts? Luckily there’s some data around it.
Take a look at some of these stats found from a corporate gifting survey conducted by the sending platform Alyce:
- 70 percent of respondents believe that a uniquely picked gift will encourage them to do business with a company.
- 8 in every 10 people have said that uniquely picked gifts will create a positive impact on behalf of the gifter.
Gift-giving, in general, is psychological. Sales prospecting gifts are no different. It’s all about the concept of reciprocity. When you give a gift of value to someone, they feel psychologically indebted to you and have a need to replace the favor. That’s the power of corporate gift giving.
So what kind of gift items are we talking about? It all depends on your buyer. But there are some strategic ways to make your gifts feel more personal.
3 Steps to Personalizing Your Sales Prospecting Gifts
1. Chose a Customized Gift Box
One of the most overlooked aspects of corporate gifting is the actual packaging. Sure, it seems boring. But packaging is actually just as important - if not more - than the gift itself.
Why’s that? Well for one, well-designed packaging makes the gift feel like a gift. There’s just something about opening up a present that comes in a colorful package. Why do you think we, as consumers, spend so much money on wrapping paper during the holiday season?
Well-designed packaging also sticks out in people’s minds. According to Ipsos, 72% of American consumers say their purchasing decision is influenced by packaging design. Not to mention another study by Dotcom Distribution proves that 50% of shoppers will recommend your product if it came in a gift-like or branded packaging.
Presentation is important, and a crucial part of sales prospecting gifts. But don’t forget about the personalization aspect. That’s why we recommend customizing your box design to your specific prospects and gift-giving goals.
Your design shouldn’t be company-focused, but relationship-focused. You’ll want to use the packaging as an opportunity to introduce prospects to your brand, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be all about you. Make your packaging and design more about what your brand can do for them.
And, when you can, include some personalization features like adding a prospect’s name, or incorporating traits of the geographic location they’re in.
2. Personalize Your Gift Items Towards Your Prospects
Now that we have the packaging squared away, it’s time to think about the actual products. This part can get a bit tricky. Remember, the key is personalization. But how do you give personal gifts if you don’t truly know this prospect yet? After all, sales prospecting is the very beginning of the sales journey and happens before a relationship has been established.
We have a few ideas that can help.
Consider Your Buyer Personas
First, when in doubt, think about your buyer personas. That’s why you have them after all. Your company’s buyer personas should clearly outline who your ideal customer is, what their character is like, and what types of things they are interested in or spend their time doing.
For example, maybe your ideal customer is an IT professional. You know that, typically, this prospect is in the 30-40 age range, obviously thrives on technology, and is always interested in the latest and newest tech-related items. So, maybe your sales prospecting gift is a high-quality wireless charger or a personalized laptop backpack.
Whoever your persona is, you’ll want to think hard about their interests and their industry. You probably wouldn’t gift a tech gift if your persona scales on the older side. On the same token, if you're targeting Generation Z, you probably would stay away from gifts for the homeowner.
Want to Target a specific persona?
Take a look at our Shop By Industry page to browse hand-picked selections based on your persona.
Use Social Media for Inspiration
If you're looking to get a bit more granular with your personalization, try looking at your prospect’s social media pages for inspiration. When doing your research think about some of the following:
- What does your prospect like?
- What do they do with their free time?
- Where do they live?
- What type of job do they have?
- Any specific interests that stand out on their pages?
Social media platforms vary. You’ll want to be strategic about where you look. Here’s a quick breakdown of what platforms can be helpful in finding what:
LinkedIn - Find more professional information like their alma mater, current position, professional interests, and specific organizations that they belong to.
Instagram - Find out if your prospects like to travel, have pets, or value family time. This is great, not only for fueling gift ideas but finding a common connection to build a relationship off of.
Twitter - If your prospects are active on Twitter, this is a great platform to gather more up-to-date insights on their work-life and schedule. You’ll also gain further knowledge on their interests, and maybe even their day-to-day schedule. This is helpful in knowing when to reach out, and when might be the best time to send a gift.
Google - Let’s not forget about the tried and true Google search. Admit it, we all do it. A quick Google search of your prospects can tell you a lot like: professional awards, authored books, past conferences they’ve spoken in or attended, and other organizations they might be a part of.
Mutual Friends - Don’t forget to take a look at who they’re friends with. There’s nothing better than finding a common connection with a prospect and using that to build this new relationship into a friendship. Having an understanding of who they associate with, will also give you insight into what type of gifts they might enjoy.
Play Up Company Branding
People are selfish. It’s human nature. Tap into it by branding your sales prospecting gifts with their company and/or brand. This works especially great for Account-Based Marketing, or when you're trying to target a specific business account.
Get to know their company, their brand, and their values. Then try and incorporate this in the gift that you give. For example, if you're targeting a financial firm, maybe your gift is money-themed. Incorporate their own logo into whatever it is you give, and you’ll find they’ll be a lot more likely to use the gift you're giving.
And that’s what it’s really all about, right? Giving something that’s useful and appreciated. Corporate gifts don’t always have to be inward-facing. And sales prospecting gifts, especially, should be prospect-focused.
Tap Into the Power of Cause Marketing Gifts
If you have some insight into what your prospects are passionate about, cause marketing gifts could be an excellent way to personalize your sales prospecting efforts. These are gifts that support a cause bigger than the item itself. By showing your prospects you align with a societal cause they are passionate about, you’ll create a valuable appreciation that can turn into brand loyalty.
Find out if there’s a specific cause or mission that they are passionate about. Then search for gifts that support this cause. Look specifically for gifts that are trackable. For instance, Miir is a branded drinkware company that gives recipients a Give Code that can be registered online. Proceeds from the drinkware item go to support various clean water projects and can be tracked using this code. This helps your prospect feel a part of something, while also associating your brand with a societal cause that’s important to them.
Cause marketing takes the psychology of gift-giving to the next level - and it works. 77 percent of consumers are more willing to do business with a company if they demonstrated a commitment to addressing social, economic, and/or environmental issues. Use this strategy to inspire your sales prospecting gifts.
Browse Cause Marketing Gifts:
Find a gift that aligns with your prospects and their values in our handpicked cause marketing gift collection.
Consider Geographic Location
When all else fails, you can usually rely on their location to be a sweet spot with your prospects. Especially if your company is based somewhere else. If you give a gift that reminds them of their home state, it shows that you’ve done your homework, and you care about getting to know them, not just winning their business.
Find out their base location and send them a locally-focused gift. These can come in many different forms. Maybe you do a little research into what’s the best restaurant in town and give them a gift card. Or, you can customize a gift based on some of their hometown’s geographic traits. For instance, if your prospect is in Boston, maybe you brand your gift with the Boston Red Sox logo or the city skyline.
3. Don’t Forget to Include a Personalized Message
A handwritten note shows the human side of your company and tells your prospect that this isn’t just a marketing ploy. You're truly interested in getting to know them as people.
It also gives you the opportunity to let them know why you're giving them such a gift. For example, you might include a note like, “Saw on Twitter you’re quite the hiker. Here’s a new hiking backpack, hopefully, you can use it on your well-deserved vacation.” This gives your gift some context and, if you get it right, will be the icing on the cake to a great, personalized gift that they’ll truly enjoy.
Handwritten notes are also a great prospecting tool in and of themselves. If you don’t have the budget for a true gift package, simply popping a message in the mail is an easy alternative that’s still pretty powerful. While doing your research, take note of any accomplishments your prospects might be posting about on social media. Celebrate these successes by sending a personalized note that compliments their accomplishment and encourages continued growth. This is a great way to connect with your prospect on a personal level and show them your human side. People buy from people, not sales reps. A handwritten note has the power to show prospects that you’re not just in it to win a deal.
Build Stronger Relationships with Sales Prospecting Gifts
Prospecting is hard, but there are ways to make it easier. Set yourself apart by going above and beyond the average sales rep. Sales prospecting gifts can help you stand out and make a statement with your prospects.
Don’t overthink your gifts either. Treat your prospects like friends. That’s how you make your gifts genuine. In return, you’ll set the foundation for a relationship based on trust. And this is the basis of any successful customer relationship. Delight your prospects by being human, personal, and just who you are. In return, you’ll create better relationships built to last.