50 Great Reasons to Give a Gift (#11-20)

#11 – It’s your client’s birthday.  No matter how old we get, everyone feels special on their big day.  If you remember your client’s birthday every year, there is no way they will forget you.  Even if you send a card, they will appreciate that you remembered.

#12 – If  your client is retiring.  They’ve given you so much business over the years and now they are off to a life of leisure.  What’s their favorite thing to do in their downtime?  If it’s camping, send them camping gear.  If they will be traveling, luggage and other travel-related items would be perfect.  Don’t forget that they will advise whoever fills their position that they should do business with you.

#13 – Your client has reached a company milestone, 10 years, 25 years, etc. with the company.  Their company will recognize their loyalty, but you will shine if you remember them too.  Think about: vases, watches, specially etched champagne bottles, or a celebration-themed basket of assorted goodies.

#14 – Your client is injured or ill and needs some cheering up.  An inspirational book would lift their spirits.  How about a necklace that says, ‘Courage’, ‘Hope’, or ‘Survivor’?  A tea cup, sent along with some specialty teas could be sent with your “warm wishes”. 

#15 – Your client got a new pet.  Leashes, pet snacks, dishes and the like come to mind.  But you can also be a little different by sending a doggy t-shirt imprinted with the new puppy’s name and date he/she arrived.

#16 – It’s the anniversary of your client’s product or invention.  Send a book or calendar featuring famous inventors and predict your client’s own fame in the future.

#17 – Your client is taking the trip of a lifetime.  They’re excited.  Be excited for them and show it by sending them a book about their destination.  Other ideas: logoed flip flops or towels.

#18 – Your client earns a vacation for excellent sales performance.  Take him/her out to dinner and present them with your own award.  Or give them a CD with music from their destination.

#19 – Your team hits a company goal or complets an important project.  Salespeople usually don’t earn their successes on their own.  Reward everyone who helps out, from the company receptionist to the sales assistant, to the customer service reps.

#20 – Your client raises money for a charity, or creates an alliance with a charitable organization.  Why not send them a gift of appreciation for their helping your community.  A bobble head of them as a superhero comes to mind.  Also make a donation yourself to their cause.

Published in: on December 21, 2007 at 1:54 am  Leave a Comment  

50 Great Reasons to Give a Gift (#21-30)

#21 – Your product is bought or your offer is accepted by the first 10, 15, or 25 people.  Whatever number you choose, be sure to let everyone know beforehand that the first to respond will get a special gift.  Think Gift Cards, food baskets, spa gifts.

#22 – Your client or his company is honored with an award. 

#23 – Give a gift to your client for a lesser known holiday (like Thanksgiving, New Year’s or Flag Day).

#24 – For green-minded clients, plant a tree on Earth Day or Arbor Day and send them a card with the details.

#25 – Dignitaries or other important people are visiting the company.  You want them to have the best impression of your company and to spread the word.

#26 – Your client celebrates a milestone wedding anniversary.  A set of crystal flutes, engraved with their names and the wedding date would be lovely and appreciated.

#27 – Your client introduces a new product or service.  Some ideas include a dollar sign key chain; or something that will highlight the “launch” of their new product. 

#28 – If your client enjoys a sport or hobby during a particular time of year, such as the start of winter for an avid skier or the beginning of growing season for a gardener.

#29 – Your client’s child graduates from high school or college.  Send a gift the whole family can enjoy.  Food baskets or candy usually works for everyone.

#30 – Your client gets married, remarried or has a commitment ceremony.  If it’s appropriate, how about a gift for a breakup or divorce?  This should be a humorous gift, after all laughter is the best stress reliever.  It all depends on how well you know the person.

Published in: on December 15, 2007 at 7:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

50 Great Reasons to Give a Gift (#31-40)

#31 – If you know your client is obsessed with a particular sport, send them a gift related to that sport.  A stadium cushion or tailgating mug with their favorite team’s logo on it would be ideal.

#32 – Bring a thank you gift (or send a thank you card) to your doctor or dentist’s receptionist or office staff.  They are some of the most underappreciated but important people in your life.

#33 – Send a “just because” gift or card to someone you do business with, just to let them know you appreciate them.

#34 – Send a “What’s Up?” gift or card to a client you haven’t heard from in a while.  Let’s face it: everyone’s living in the fast lane these days.  A present or card from you will force them to slow down for a moment and remember you’re there to help.

#35 – Give a gift or send a card to commemorate a deal between two companies. A client appreciates when you pay continuing attention to what’s happening on their end, not only when you’re looking for an order from them.

#36 – Give a gift (or send a card) on the anniversary of your client’s first order with you.  There are all kinds of anniversaries you can celebrate with your client — choose one and celebrate it.

#37 – Give an “I’m sorry” gift or card to your client if you mess up an order.  Another reason to give a gift or send a card is when a client has been gracious after an order or a deal goes wrong.

#38 – Send a gift or card to your client when they open up new sales contracts for you at their company.  This should be something they would personally enjoy.  After all, they made the effort to get you more business and likely will again.

#39 – Leave a gift when you visit your client’s business.  You’d bring a gift to a friend’s house if you were visiting their home, wouldn’t you?  Why should your client, who is hosting you also, be any different?  A logoed desk accessory would make a perfect gift.

 #40 – Give a gift or send a card to clients when your own company crosses a milestone. 

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

50 Great Reasons to Give a Gift (#41-50)

#41 – Give gifts to your employee’s children on their birthdays.

#42 – Give gifts on administrative assistant’s day to your client’s support staff.  They are the key people in maintaining a healthy relationship with your client.

#43 – Give a good luck gift when your client starts a new job.

#44 – Give a gift or send a card on your client’s corporate anniversary.  (if you don’t know when that is, ask!)

#45 – Leave a gift when you visit a business prospect.  The gift should include information such as a promotional product so that the prospect has the contact information they need to get in touch with you.  It could be something as simple as a coffee mug.  A small token, but one that will probably sit around on their desk or cabinet for a long time. 

#46 – Give a gift or send a thank you card to a client when they order from you for the first time.

#47 – Give a gift to employees when they demonstrate incredible teamwork. 

#48 – Encourage gift-giving as a form of appreciation between employees to foster a team environment.

#49 – Give a gift at your company’s yearly picnic or other special event.

#50 – Give a “welcome to the team” gift.  A beautiful pen with their name engraved on it would be a small gesture, but one that would make them feel welcome. 

 Stay tuned for the next 10 reasons…..

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chocolate sales set to rocket this Halloween

Halloween is one of the top holiday in terms of volume sales for confectioners, as consumers will spend more than $2.1bn on chocolate and sweets later this month in the US alone, states a new report.Children across the globe will be handed out sweets and chocolates as they carry out the US tradition knocking on doors and calling “trick or treat”, making the Halloween holiday one of the most important trading periods for confectionery companies.

“There’s no doubt about it, when doorbells ring on October 31, consumers respond with candy, and lots of it,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president at Neilsen, who compiled the report.According to Hale, US sales of chocolate and sweets, or “candy”, are expected to increase 63 per cent compared to the previous ten weeks.

“Nielsen’s data shows that 29 October and 15 April, the day before Easter Sunday, were the top two days in terms of dollar sales last year, but Halloween also ranks in the top ten,” he added.

Consumers seem to prefer smaller treats to hand out to the children that knock on the front door, as the greatest increases in volume sales are in the miniature confectionery category.The category of smaller chocolate bars and sweet packets generated 39 per cent of its annual sales during the Halloween season in 2006, Hale said, while the overall confectionery candy generated 22 per cent of annual sales over the same period.

Not surprising, seasonal confectionery demonstrating a spooky or scary theme is also very popular at this time, with 28 per cent of lollipops sold during Halloween featuring images of “scary” characters such as witches and ghosts.“For retailers and manufacturers, Halloween is a concentrated selling period for seasonal items, and our research shows consumers putting a strong showing at the cash register,” Hale said.

Published in: on October 28, 2007 at 2:30 pm  Comments (1)  

Chocolate Cravings May Start Deep In Gut

Digestive Bacteria Could Change Tastes

POSTED: 11:20 am EDT October 12, 2007

WASHINGTON – If that craving for chocolate sometimes feels like it is coming from deep in your gut, that’s probably because it is.

A small study is shown to link the type of bacteria living in people’s digestive system to a desire for chocolate. Everyone has a vast community of microbes in their guts. But people who crave chocolate on a daily basis show signs of having different colonies of bacteria than people who are immune to chocolate’s allure and don’t seem to crave it much. 

That may be the case for other foods, too. The idea could eventually lead to
treating some types of obesity by changing the composition of the trillions of bacteria occupying the intestines and stomach, said Sunil Kochhar, co-author of the study. It appears Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Proteome Research.

Kochhar is in charge of metabolism research at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. The food conglomerate Nestle SA paid for the study. But this isn’t part of an effort to convert a few to the dark side (or even milk) side of cocoa, Kochhar said. In fact, the study was delayed because it took a year for the researchers to find 11 men who don’t eat chocolate. Kochhar compared the blood and urine of those 11 men, who he jokingly called “weird” for their indifference to chocolate, to 11 similar men who ate chocolate daily. They were all healthy, not obese, and were fed the same food for five days. The researchers examined the byproducts of metabolism in their blood and urine and found that a dozen substances were significantly different between the two groups. For example, the amino acid glycine was higher in chocolate lovers, while taurine (an active ingredient in energy drinks) was higher in people who didn’t eat chocolate. Also chocolate lovers had lower levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL.

The levels of several of the specific substances that were different in the two groups are known to be linked to different types of bacteria, Kochhar said. Still to be determined is if the bacteria cause the craving, or if early in life people’s diets changed the bacteria, which then reinforced food choices. How gut bacteria affect people is a hot field of scientific research. Past studies have shown that intestinal bacteria change when people lose weight, said Dr. Sam Klein, an obesity expert and professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Since bacteria interact with what you eat, it is logical to think that there is a connection between those microbes and desires for certain foods, said Klein, who wasn’t part of Kochhar’s study. Kochhar’s research makes so much sense that people should have thought of it earlier, said J. Bruce German, professor of food chemistry at the University of California Davis. While five outside scientists thought the study was intriguing, Dr. Richard Bergman at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, had concerns about the accuracy of the initial division of the men into groups that wanted chocolate or were indifferent to it. What matters to Kochhar is where the research could lead. Kochhar said the relationship between food, people and what grows in their gut is important for the future: “If we understand the relationship, then we can find ways to nudge it in the right direction.” 

Published in: on October 12, 2007 at 4:13 pm  Comments (3)  

Kraft Foods recalls White Chocolate baking squares

On Wednesday Kraft Foods recalled its Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Squares distributed throughout the United States due to possible salmonella contamination.

The company reported that the recalled product is in 6-ounce packages with UPC Code 0043000252200 and the following “best when used by” dates: 31 MAR 2008 XCZ, 01 APR 2008 XCZ, 02 APR 2008 XCZ, 03 APR 2008 XCZ.

 About 24,000 cases of the product involved in the recall were produced, Kraft spokeswoman Cathy Pernu said. So far there have been no reports of illness.  Kraft was notified of the possible contamination after testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration detected the presence of salmonella in some 6-oz. packages.  Kraft is continuing to investigate the source of the problem.

Published in: on October 4, 2007 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why do we Love to eat Chocolate?

Do you ever wonder why we love chocolate so much? The answer may seem as simple as because it tastes good, but there may be more to it than that. There are actual studies to back up some of the physical effects you can experience while eating certain kinds of chocolates. The stimulation your body gets provides a pleasant feeling to your taste buds, making you always come back for more.

Chocolate is known to be a mild mood elevator, stimulating brainwaves and pushing your stress levels down. This is probably why alot of people will stuff themselves with sweets when they are angry or upset. Little do they know it, but they are actually helping themselves out by eating chocolates. When your stress levels lower, you become more relaxed which in turn is beneficial to your health.

Chocolates also raise antioxidant levels in the blood, which in turn help fight any foreign bodies that can cause illnesses. With healthier levels, you are much less likely to come down with viruses or other things that could affect you at various times of the year.

And of course there is the benefit your taste buds feel when consuming your favorite candy bar or other chocolate treat. Eating sweets just puts you in a better mood, keeping you in touch with the child within. Whether it is peanut butter flavored chocolates, chocolate covered raisins, or creamy white chocolate you will be experiencing utter satisfaction when you indulge yourself. It’s hard to explain, but only true chocolate lovers will understand this.

Giving the gift of chocolates is a very rewarding experience. You know that the person who receives it will enjoy it many times over and be grateful with every savory bite. There is a tremendous variety of gifts today, from chocolate flowers to boxed treats. And many are low priced making them an even more attractive option. Several companies specialize specifically in this area, personalizing and shipping items direct for you.

One thing to remember though is that there are some negative effects on your body, should you consume it often. There are generally high levels of sugar in chocolates, mainly due to the other ingredients that are added. Too much sugar will result in extra calories and fat which can lead to higher cholesterol if you don’t regularly exercise. One of the largest problem plaguing our society today is obesity. Eating too much chocolate will put you in this category and increase your risk for serious health problems.

So the next time you are enjoying your favorite candy bar or talking to a fellow chocolate lover, you can ponder why it is you love eating it so much. The simple answer is the taste, but you now know that there is much more to it. There are even some physical reasons for this, almost forcing your body to eat it. And fortunately for you the chocolate choices are endless.


Published in: on October 1, 2007 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Build a Stash of Emergency Gifts

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I’ve always had a difficult time finding small gifts for co-workers, employees, or friends that wish to do a gift exchange.  With a well-stocked treasure chest, you’ll never panic for a last-minute hostess gift or a welcome token for a new neighbor. If you make careful choices and add to the stash throughout the year, it could be your source for hassle-free Christmas shopping.

1. Designate a closet or cupboard to hold your gift stash, or buy an attractive trunk or cabinet.

2.  Buy a small notebook and jot down the names of people to whom you routinely give gifts, whether on birthdays, Christmas or other holidays. Include details such as sizes, favorite colors, hobbies and special interests. (Even if you forget to carry the book with you, having committed the information to writing should spark your memory.)

3.  Keep your eyes open in your travels, on routine shopping trips or when you’re surfing the Net. When you see a book on steam locomotives that would be just the ticket for Uncle John’s birthday, or a handwoven coverlet your mother would love, buy it and add it to your treasure chest.

4.  Add a range of high-quality generic gifts. Homemade preserves and mustards, bottles of wine, hand-dipped candles, reference books and attractive picture frames are all good choices.

5.  Don’t return unneeded gifts to the store when someone gives you a book or CD you love but already own, or a beautiful scarf that clashes with your eyes. Instead, add it to your gift stash; if you like it, chances are it will please someone else you know.

6.  Keep a few toys and children’s books on hand, even if you don’t have children.

7.  Include an assortment of gift bags, wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, gift tags and greeting cards.

8.  Prewrap a few items to serve as truly last-minute gifts, and tuck a note into the ribbon identifying the contents.

  • WARNING:  If your stash includes presents you’ve received, attach a note to each one saying who gave it to you; you’ll avoid the embarrassment of giving it back to the giver.

Published in: on September 26, 2007 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

New chocolate bar healthy for your heart, claims manufacturer

21/09/2007 In a bid to take advantage of the boom in demand for fortified chocolates, a manufacturer claims to have developed a product that benefits those with Type-2 diabetes or high cholesterol.Developed by Innovative Life Sciences, the Heart Chocolate contains an ingredient called CM-X, a combination of cinnamon and bitter melon, which the company claims can lower blood sugar and lower cholesterol.Food manufacturers are continually looking to build on the demand for low fat and low calorie foods, a market that is currently showing strong growth worldwide following obesity concerns.“Heart Chocolate with CM-X is a great-tasting, low-calorie, chocolate bar, and is the only chocolate bar equipped with CM-X, an ingredient scientifically and clinically proven to lower blood sugar and high cholesterol, act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant,” claimed Innovative.

The company said the product is particularly beneficial for people with Type-2 diabetes, as it contains no sugar, as well as for those with high cholesterol.  Innovative claims the cinnamon and bitter melon combination make it suitable for those with Type-2 diabetes and is the only sugar-free or low-calorie snack that offers this combination.“We have also funded our own clinical trial at the University of Guelph to confirm, substantiate and broaden the beneficial properties of cinnamon and bitter melon in the treatment of diabetes, high cholesterol and other related cardiovascular conditions,” the company added. “Our study will have results in 2007 and we look forward to communicating our findings in 2008.”Innovative said the health benefits of this chocolate with CM-X has been approved by Health Canada.

The chocolate bar is divided into thirds of 60 calories each, designed to offer three times daily satisfaction for chocolate cravings. “Heart Chocolate with CM-X is designed to help one moderate their chocolate cravings by eliminating the difficulty of maintaining proper portion control,” the company added.The Heart Chocolate with CM-X was launched this week during the Toronto Film Festival in Canada.Sales of health and premium products are driving growth in the US chocolate market, offsetting poorer sales in other chocolate segments according to a report last month.

“We expect that the trend towards high-end products, especially those touting wellness benefits, will be the life force in this market for the next several years,” said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of the report ‘The US Market for Chocolate’.Overall chocolate sales are predicted to reach $18bn (€13.2bn) by 2011, up from $16bn (€11.7bn) in 2006, she said, helped by the market share for premium chocolate escalating from 13 per cent of the total market in 2002 to nearly 17 per cent in 2006.By 2011, premium chocolate will account for 25 per cent of the market, generating $4.5bn (€3.3bn) in sales, she added.The report concluded that the reason for this growth is the reported health benefits of dark chocolate, as well as a shift in consumer interest towards ‘luxury’ products, including organic and fair trade products.

Published in: on September 25, 2007 at 1:20 pm  Comments (2)