18 Additional Answers
(Business Writer - Ghostwriter, Tuscawilla Creative Services LLC)
Gifts that show some thought went into them are very much appreciated, as are hand-written, personal thank you notes.
Another great way to thank someone for professional performance is with a recommendation on LinkedIn or a public endorsement for that person's website.
(Director of Business Development, Worldwide Panel (WWP))
Starbucks gift cards.
(International Sales and Information Systems, Insulating Coatings Corp.)
The best gift I believe that someone can provide would be a referral or recommendation - and of course that may not be easy, but (especially in the world of B2B) if you were able to tell your client that you were actually so familiar with or that you were thinking about their business that you let someone else know about their business, it would show that you are invested in them as a client. Recommendations can also go both ways in the supply-chain.
A thank you note that is personalized would be the second choice.
(eMarketing Specialist, AAA)
Food is generally good, but I like useful things too. I have a ton of travel mugs, don't need any more of those. iPads are good of course. :)
(Managing Partner, Retail Systems Research, LLC)
Memory sticks, wine, and I think the best one I ever got (which I actually re-gifted) was a tiny little iPod shuffle. It was really cute.
(IT Governance Evangelist, Romero Consulting & BOT International)
The best thank you gift (for speaking at a conference) was a Visa Gift card. I have received other types of gift cards and I have enjoyed each of them. I have received nice picture frames but I find them unusable given they are always marred with a gaudy logo. We give out gifts when I speak at Marketing Events and the ones people seem to like the most are the upscale pens and custom handmade chocolates.
(CEO, Bridle International)
Bearing in mind restrictions on what you can take aboard an aircraft these days, there are a lot of hotel maids that have had very good bottles of wine from me over the years :)
Two things I like:
1. Someone that has taken the time to know me and found something about me and catered to that. eg. someone found out I had two grand-daughters and gave me two sets of pink gloves. Very personal and I was touched
2. A book token. It puts me in the position to buy a book of MY choice and not have the weight to carry it back on a plane
(President, Bellwind Consultants)
I absolutely agree with Dave that the best gift is a thank you note.
Very few of us work in a vacuum; we have co-workers, a team, and/or collaborators who have helped us in one way or another. It has always seemed unfair when I got a gift that could not be shared with them. Would I be in the position to be given a gift without them? Unlikely.
Since I work with people all over the country and some internationally, it is virtually impossible to share with them anything other than the thank you note and then add my own personal thank you. So as part of my company's Code of Conduct I made the rule that we don't accept types of gifts that cannot be shared unless the value is less than $10. That way it precludes jealousy and anger and everyone has the same expectations.
In any case, a potential gift giver should be aware of any company policy on gifts to save them the embarrassment of giving a gift that cannot be accepted.
(CPA CGMA, Wray Rives, CPA CGMA)
I am with Rob Starbucks cards are great.
(HR, Training and Development Consultant, Self-Employed)
The best thank you gift I ever recieved was a bottle of nice bourbon and two beautiful cut crystal glasses.
But... it felt a bit over the top even though we'd just won a client a large chunk of business. I'm more comfortable with a thank you note, which feels personal without going overboard.
(Work Psychologist & Business Coach, Dr Bruce Hoag)
I appreciate receiving a book that's been read by the presenter and that that person thought I would particularly enjoy. It's as personal as a thank you note, but has more gravitas.
(Marketing Manager, BAASS Business Solutions Inc.)
Books, Books, Books! Love them! Your choice in books says a lot about your background, interests, and the subject matter we're going to be engaging in. A company by the name of Angel Vision produces a line of Impact Books that are normally best sellers that can be customized with your brand.
I prefer credit for what I have contributed, i.e., something that I can cite on my CV. A personal thank you note is nice, too.
(President, Lionshare Software, Inc)
The handwritten notecard is nice, but also something that shows the person has taken the time to get to know the personal me. Not too long a go a vendor brought me a jar of blackberry jam from their home state :-) Very appreciated :-)
(MD, Knowles Warwick)
Sometimes getting paid on time is enough. This is the best compliment to get
(Founder, Small Business Bonfire)
A thoughtful, personal gift is always appreciated. I also never complain with a good ol' Amazon gift card.
(BDM, Chameleon Group)
The best way to say thank you to me is to provide excellent customer service after the sale. This tells me that my supplier is smart enough to recognize that as a customer I am the most valuable asset their company possesses.
Don F Perkins http://donfperkins.com
A gift that really helps their career is a public thanks with Laudits. A boost to their career is worth thousands; chocolates get eaten in a minute. LinkedIn recommendations are also good, as long as the giver has the time and the writings skills.