I remember feeling the pangs in the heart when giving a gift a few years back. It was an antique bracelet that the person receiving it had noticed and admired in a shop window whilst away on holiday. I snuck back to the shop, bought the bracelet and had a friend bring it home so it would not be found in my luggage. Imagine my disappointment when the person’s first comment upon receiving this bracelet on her birthday was - oh! It’s used.
But let’s stop for a moment to consider gift giving in terms of energy exchange.
None of us (or very few of us) deliberately give gifts with the intention of offending. Most often we put importance on what we give and do our best to give something that WE see as both relevant and of value to the person the gift is intended for.
If we put this in a business context, we give with the same intent.
So why is it then that we so often look for the catch when receiving ‘Gifts’ from businesses - we view them with suspicion, we inspect them looking for flaws, we are distrustful of the intent, we are in fact looking these gift horses in the mouth. What if there is no catch, what if the only intent of the gift is to make our life better?
So the question for you as a business person - is how and when do you give gifts so that they will be accepted in the way they are intended?
First, use them to acknowledge something important like an anniversary or as a thank you for someone giving you referrals or for their long term custom.
Second, give them genuinely as an EXTRA to what you normally do.
Third, make them of value to the receiver by NOT making them available to everyone.
And lastly, give them in the spirit in which you would like them to be received.
This last point is the most important because it sets the tone of the exchange. Gaining insight into this is as easy as stopping to assess what you feel. If it just seems like a good a way to part people from their money, then this intention will be felt and suspicion aroused. If on the other hand you view it as an opportunity to match the needs and desires of your clients with complementary ones in your business, then a gift is an entirely appropriate thing to offer.
Finally, if you are a small business owner or about to start a small business or health practice, I would like to offer you a small gift of my own: a complimentary half hour telephone consultation about your business issues. I hope you’re willing to accept this gift in the spirit it is offered! Please contact me via my profile to claim it.
Anthony Turner is an Accredited Coach & Speaker with 20 years' experience in sales & business management within the Natural Health Industry.