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For most business leaders, the ROI of gift giving is important. Deciding how much to spend is the easy part. Choosing the right gift is much harder. Gift-giving gaffes can not only negate the value of the gesture in the first place, but can actually irreparably harm the relationship and damage the corporate reputation.
Whether you are giving gifts to colleagues, clients, prospective clients or employees, it’s important to be aware of the gift-giving practices in that country. Take our advice. If you want to keep business dealings on the up and up, make sure you do your research on the gift-giving customs in the recipient's country. Not every gift is created equal.
When gift giving crosses international borders, there are a lot of Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind. In general, these guidelines will keep you safe in most situations:
Here are just three examples that illustrate how important it is to do your homework as you think about gift giving in the global business world:
Exchanging gifts is a highly valued custom in some countries. In others, it's considered unimportant or even inappropriate. Your best intentions won’t matter if the recipient is offended. Test your global gift-giving savvy and see if you're ready for the gifting season.