Grey Market Wine Serves Up Some Simple Tips to Help Navigate the Murky Waters of Successful Gifting in the Business World

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Giving gifts within the business realm can feel like a minefield. Grey Market Wine ( serves up some simple tips to successfully navigate the sometimes-murky waters of gifting.

The cardinal rule of gift-giving is ‘theoretically’ simple,” GMW’s Colleen Fanning said. “Be thoughtful. After all, the entire point of giving a gift is to show appreciation.

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Giving gifts to clients, bosses, associates and staff members can overwhelm even the most veteran of business professionals. That’s why Grey Market Wine ( is offering advice as the gift-giving season looms.

“The cardinal rule of gift-giving is ‘theoretically’ simple,” GMW’s Colleen Fanning said. “Be thoughtful. After all, the entire point of giving a gift is to show appreciation,” adding that, “Generic gifts are unacceptable in today’s world of instantaneous information about anything and anyone.”

Fanning offers these simple tips:

TIP #1: First, do some research. What do the people on the gift list do in their spare time? Do they have children or pets? Which neighborhood do they call home? If you can’t answer those three questions with ease and certainty, strike them from the list.

TIP #2: When considering a gift for a boss, intention means more than what’s spent. It’s important not to go over the top: Flashy gifts will seem desperate. (Hint: No jewelry.) Stick with something experiential that he or she will enjoy. If you know a boss entertains at home, a great bottle of wine or scotch is a no-brainer. If they love golf, a round at a local course may fit the bill.

TIP #3: Gift giving is a must for staff. Fairness counts, so all gifts should be in the same price range. Be more creative than giving gift cards; for example, paid time off. (Everyone appreciates the gift of time.) With an amicable group, an activity may be a wonderful stand-in for a traditional gift. Examples: Concerts, live theater, and museums are ideal for an artsy-crowd. Duck-pin bowling, a progressive dinner with transport, or a private wine tasting may fit the bill for a hipster crowd.

TIP #4: Client gifts are becoming more and more expected. With budgets under fire from a slew of economic woes, it’s more important then ever to be creative. No need to be fair here: More important customers should get better gifts. Supporting local businesses is the best way to be as perceived thoughtful, but it’s also the right thing to do. Consideration is key. (The days of logo-laden key chains or paperweights are over.) Client gifts shouldn’t be work-related; they should reflect a customer’s tastes. For an adventurer, how about two passes to a zip-line course? Movie buff? Give show tickets to a nearby theater. Is a client obsessed with a pooch? Gift a few nights at a pet-boarding facility for then they go on vacation. Cigar aficionado? Ask the owner of a local cigar bar for a gift certificate for a private humidor tour.

“Giving gifts is a true art,” observes Grey Market Wine’s Fanning. “Doing it well makes a wonderful impression on those at the office, even if they aren’t on the receiving end. Being thoughtful will go a long way towards showing people you care about them beyond a business relationship. Great gifting can strengthen bonds, deepen loyalty, and go a long way towards long-term success.”

For more information about Grey Market Wine, visit or call (317) 515-4397.

ABOUT: Grey Market Wine is an Indiana-based business venture serving wine lovers. Members pay $99 and are able to purchase a minimum of 12 bottles at a discounted price of 25 percent above wholesale value.

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Colleen Fanning
since: 04/2012
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