If you are a salesperson, you may maintain contact information on dozens, if not hundreds, of customers and sales leads. Contact management software often provides for recording the birthday of your contacts so that you can single out individuals for special recognition at least once a year. If you happen to sell items of some value, you may feel it necessary to include modest (or even not so modest) gifts with your birthday greetings. But that creates the salesperson’s dilemma: what to give?
Think about it – you want to give something that is not necessarily expensive, but is imbued with a quality look and feel. Nothing turns off a customer or prospect faster than a cheap or ill-considered gift. But if you are competing with other salespeople and they give gifts, you can’t afford to do nothing. You, then, are a perfect candidate for giving a gift purchased from a museum.
Museum gifts are a great idea. First of all, just about everyone loves museums of one kind or another. If your contact manager keeps track of customer interests and hobbies, you are halfway home. The next step is to visit the gift shop, either physically or over the Internet, of a museum that encompasses your customer’s area of interest. There are museums for just about everything, from golf to medieval weapons. The people who stock museum gift shops are selected for their interest and knowledge in a particular area, and know how to differentiate items of value from cheap throwaways.
Jewelry or diamond rings are a popular item, and museums that display priceless gems and jewelry often sell tasteful reproductions at a very reasonable price. A pair of earrings that hearken back to Elizabethan England is sure to make your contact (or your contact’s wife) thrilled and impressed with your good taste. A small statue that reproduces a Mayan artifact will please clients who are interested in interior home decorating. Many salespeople join one or more museums so that they qualify for member discounts, which can add up over time.
Of course, it’s nice to know that museum gifts help a worthy institution. Many museums cannot sustain themselves on ticket sales alone. Museum gift shops make an important contribution to an institution’s bottom line, ever more important in these times of meager government financing. It’s also good to support the artisans and craftspeople that create many of the items stocked in a museum gift shop. Without your patronage, many of them would be unable to pursue their art. So, the next time your contact manager alerts you to a customer’s upcoming birthday, check out the wares at a museum gift shop – it’s a thoughtful gift from just about any perspective.