Do you ask questions before you begin designing? Here’s 10 things to know before you make a gift basket.

It’s the thought that counts

A friend, who happened to be a grade school principal, ordered seven Christmas gift baskets for his staff. I could have designed all seven in the same way – a basket with seasonal snacks – but that would not be special. These were gifts meant to show appreciation to the support team, and duplicate gifts were not on the menu.

I asked the principal about each person, documenting their lives according to what he knew, and thankfully my questions uncovered rich details on the staff. This information simplified my purchasing choices which is highlighted in the article Gift Basket Products, So Easy to Find.

Each gift was created according to preferences and personalities. A sleigh, drum, and hatbox were three of the chosen containers, and when the principal presented the gifts, the staff gasped with delight. He told me they asked him as many questions as I asked to reveal their lives. They especially wanted to know how he knew what they wanted.

Months later, the principal told me that the staff’s productivity increased, and they worked more as a team than in past years. That’s the type of result that occurs when you ask the right questions to customize gift baskets for individuals and corporations.

Ask and you shall receive

What are you learning about people who receive your gift baskets before you start designing? Are you simply putting the same crackers and cheese into each gift, or are you asking questions about each recipient?

Gift baskets occasionally get a bad rap. Why? Because personality isn’t part of the planning. Your designs may be elegant, but if the wrong or incorrect items are included, your gifts will be part of the negative talk. You don’t want that. Asking questions about the one who’s on the gift list is where elegance begins.

10 things to know before you make a gift basket

Before designing, it’s important to have a list of questions to ask customers about the person who is to receive the gift. Here are suggestions.

What’s the:

  • Person’s age
  • Marital status
  • Number of children and ages
  • Household pets
  • Living quarters (single home, condo, etc.)
  • Profession
  • Color preference(s)
  • Food choices (general, vegan, soy, etc.)
  • Allergic products and/or Kosher requirements
  • Favorite pastime(s) (cooking, travel, etc.)

The more you know, the better the chances for a great result, additional orders from the customer, and possible referral business from the customer and recipient. You may also increase social proof of your expertise and popularity through written or video testimonials.

What else you need to know

It may seem as though customizing two handfuls of gifts is difficult. However, gift baskets is a customization business. Anyone can buy a generic basket from a popular retail store, and I’m glad such gifts are available. They help create a robust industry.

Your customers aren’t the buy-off-the-shelf type. They require your exclusive touch. If you’re prepared to provide that, the list of 10 things to know before you make a gift basket is easy to implement and will keep you busy for years to come.