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Although it doesn’t seem to be a major topic that’s discussed in the industry, it’s one that can be emotional and quite polarizing. We’re talking about client gifting. Is it necessary? Or is client gifting an extra expense that is just cutting into your income?

Don’t Forget The Actual Goal

Sending a gift to a travel client as a travel agent is a thoughtful way to express appreciation. It adds a personal touch, shows recognition and gratitude for their business, and strengthens the client-agent relationship. By creating a positive experience and fostering loyalty, the gift conveys your genuine appreciation and encourages long-term partnerships. However, the goal is to make your client feel appreciated. You don’t need to spend a large sum in order to achieve this. A thank you note, a call or a small gesture can also create the same impact as a more elaborate gift box.

Keep Brand Consistency In Mind

When it comes to giving a gift to your clients, it’s important to keep it in line with your company’s brand in a fun and light-hearted way. Why? Well, think of it like this: your brand is like your unique personality, and the gift is an opportunity to showcase that personality! By aligning the gift with your brand, you create a consistent and memorable experience that leaves a smile on your clients’ faces. It’s like giving them a little piece of your brand’s awesomeness that they can enjoy and share with others. So, let your brand shine through in the gift, and watch as it adds an extra sprinkle of joy and laughter to your client relationships!

An Amenity Is Not A Gift

There. We said it. There’s no taking it back now! While a hotel amenity is a nice touch, it’s important to remember that the hotel is providing this because of your relationship. While you may feel that it should appear to come from you, remember that the hotel is most likely also paying a substantial fee for your consortium affiliation and the amenity is a reflection of the relationship- not just you as an advisor. A true gift is one that surprises and delights (and actually comes from your bottom line and doesn’t come at the expense of a partner).

Account For Gifting In Your Fee Structure

A planning fee ensures that the travel advisor’s time, expertise, and effort are adequately compensated. Planning a trip involves extensive research, itinerary customization, communication with suppliers, and handling various logistics. By charging a planning fee, the advisor can cover their overhead costs, including the cost of the gift, without incurring financial losses. It allows them to provide a high level of service and personalized experience to clients without compromising their own business sustainability.

Including the cost of the gift in the planning fee emphasizes its value and purpose. Rather than treating the gift as an additional expense, it becomes an integral part of the overall service provided by the travel advisor. This approach ensures that the gift is carefully selected, thoughtful, and aligned with the client’s preferences. By transparently incorporating the gift cost into the planning fee, the travel advisor can maintain the integrity of their business model and provide a memorable, all-inclusive experience for their clients.

Create A Tiered System For Guidance

When selecting a client gift, travel advisors should consider the level of investment the client has made in their trip. Matching the size of the gift with their investment ensures a fair and proportional gesture, showing appreciation for their trust and commitment. This approach maintains a positive client-advisor relationship, fostering trust, loyalty, and potential future collaborations. One idea is to create a tiered system that specifies the trip at each level so that you don’t have to question what to get your client each time.

Do you send gifts to your clients? Share about your guidelines in the comments below!

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