6 Sales Gifts for Prospects & Leads that Actually Work

Sales prospecting can be a difficult, time-consuming process.

At the start of the sales cycle, a small, thoughtful sales gift can go a long way towards capturing the attention of qualified sales leads and nurturing prospects.

Effective sales gifts can turn leads into prospects and move prospects through your pipeline faster due to the principle of reciprocity, which theorizes that we are hardwired to respond positively to an unsolicited gift and reciprocate in some way. Sales gifts also create a positive impression of a salesperson and the company they represent, which helps make a qualified lead or early-stage prospect more likely to engage in a meeting or phone conversation.

Sending physical sales gifts for prospects creates a touchpoint that is more memorable than a cold call or sales email. A thoughtful sales prospecting gift can also serve as a reminder of your last visit, which helps increase the likelihood of follow-up contact.

The Best Sales Gifts for Prospects are Inexpensive & Personalized (or Edible)

Because sending gifts to sales prospects takes up valuable time and money, we decided to scour the Internet to find out which types of sales gifts for prospects and leads work the best – according to actual salespeople from various industries.

In general, we learned that inexpensive, personalized items make the most effective sales gifts for prospects – gifts that can convert leads into prospects and help move prospects through the pipeline.

That’s because many businesses prohibit their employees from accepting gifts that exceed $25 or even $20 in value. To avoid sending a gift to a lead or prospect that can’t be accepted, always make sure to check with a company representative about their gift acceptance policy or search their corporate website.

Inexpensive branded promotional items are popular sales gifts for prospects because they aren’t easy to exchange for monetary value and therefore usually meet the guidelines of a company’s gift acceptance policy along with perishable gifts and business meals of moderate value. Branded logo gifts can also serve as a valuable physical reminder of your company and its unique value.

Effective Sales Prospecting Gifts Include Custom Mugs, Bagels, Shock & Awe Boxes

These are the specific types of sales gifts for prospects that appear to be most effective in the prospecting stage of the sales funnel, according to our research on social media sites like Reddit and LinkedIn:

Personalized Coffee Mugs/Travel Tumblers

According to a Reddit poster on r/sales, sending high-quality personalized coffee mugs or travel tumblers to sales prospects is a tried-and-true way to capture attention and set more appointments: “Putting somebody’s name on a mug gets attention and puts the gift on the right desk. When I call back to follow up, I’d say: ‘Tell him I’m the guy that sent the personalized coffee mug.’ This usually worked, if didn’t already result in the contact calling me first. I put a short note card inside the box asking for a few minutes.”

Sales Gifts for Prospects - Mugs

Shock & Awe Packages

Shock and awe marketing packages have been used for decades to capture the attention of prospects and engage sales leads. A shock and awe package is a mailer box that contains a sales letter; sales and marketing materials such as a booklet brochure, white papers, case studies, testimonials, and promotional CDs or DVDs; and small gifts such as branded notebooks and hats as well as treats like popcorn or snack mix. Lengthy marketing materials like testimonials and white papers can be stored on a promotional flash drive.

Ideally, a shock and awe package will inform and educate yet still feel like a gift. While most shock and awe packages are sent by mail, they can also be dropped off in person.

Food Gifts

There’s a reason that food is used so often by salespeople to nurture qualified sales prospects and keep existing clients engaged. Because it works. Sending over modest food gifts, such as cookie gift baskets or a box of bagels and cream cheese, is a popular way to break the ice and reach out to potential clients.

Note: while small gifts of perishables like donuts, tacos, and corporate food gift baskets are widely accepted in most industries, avoid gifting alcohol as many companies specifically prohibit employees from accepting alcohol as a gift.

Most salespeople only gift alcohol to current clients or as closing gifts. If you do choose to gift alcohol to a prospect, it should only be after confirming they are allowed to accept such a gift and that they are, indeed, a social drinker.

Sales Gifts for Prospects - Food

Branded Industry Specific Gifts

According to a video production services salesperson on Reddit, industry specific and novel gifts are memorable and highly appreciated by sales prospects and clients:

“Couple years back I found these foam microphones and I ordered a couple hundred and got my logo printed on them. I have never seen a gift with such staying power. I see clients all the time who have these things in their office.”

Plants with Custom Planters

Looking for a sales drop off idea that has mass appeal? Try a plant with a personalized note or custom planter. Small plants are a great inexpensive gift to give if you notice desk plants in a potential client’s office during a prospecting visit.

Popular plant gifts include desktop bonsai trees and low-maintenance indoor bamboo plants.

Sales Gifts for Prospects - Planter

Personalized Note with Gift Redemption Code

Looking for a distinctive way to follow up with a prospect after a meeting?

Send them a personalized card (or e-mail) with a promo code or gift code for your online company store that allows them to select a small, branded gift.

An online company store makes it easy for sales prospects and clients to select their own gifts to be shipped directly to their office. Digital gifts like gift cards can also be distributed via an online company store.

Setting up your own company store will also streamline and simplify the corporate gifting process, while reducing waste and cutting costs. Giving your prospects the option to select their own gifts ensures they receive exactly what they can use, while avoiding the faux pas of sending a gift that can’t be accepted to a high-value lead or prospect.

Stand Apart from the Competition with Personalized Sales Gifts for Prospects

Memorable and thoughtful sales gifts for prospects can differentiate your sales team from the competition and make it easier for a prospect to remember your company and what it offers.

For assistance with selecting and personalizing the best sales gifts for prospects and leads, or to set up your own online company gift store, contact us for a consultation today:

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