Insurance Agent Holiday Client Gifting

Holiday gifting for clients

As you consider possible gifts for your clients this year, don’t just go buying things willy nilly. Put some thought into it and create a winning strategy for your holiday gifting.

An important first step is to create a budget. How much do you have available to spend on all of your gifts? You want to be sure you’re giving something that shows your clients you know and care about them, so you shouldn’t plan to give the same gift to everyone on your list. It’s up to you if you want to spend the same or similar amounts on all of your clients or vary them based on their “value” to you and your agency. Keep in mind, though, you may have clients who know one another, so allocating different amounts could present a public relations problem if they compare notes.

Be thoughtful but avoid “going over the top” – especially if your client relationship is new. You want to be sure your gift nurtures your relationship, so it continues to grow for years to come.

Think about what you know about each of your clients. Do they have a special interest? Have the two of you discussed a favorite sport or sports team? There’s certainly no shortage of teams (or sports) from which you can choose. How about a performer they would love to see? Do they have a four-legged family member whose photos are prominently displayed in their office? Thinking “outside the box” can set you apart from others who may be gifting to the same individual.

Below are some creative gift ideas to help you get started.

Client Holiday Gifting Ideas

Food Ideas: Giving a food gift is an extremely popular holiday option, whether you want to shop in your local community or online. A food gift may also be shared by your contact with others at the firm. If you have more than one recipient at a client business, keep that in mind when making your selection.

  • Harry & David has been offering premium foods and gifts for more than a century. Although most of its retail stores have closed, it’s easy to shop online. You can also find Harry & David merchandise at other locations like Macy’s stores.
  • Harry & David’s sister companies offer equally delicious foods and include Shari’s Berries, Fruit Bouquets, Simply Chocolate, Cheryl’s Cookies, The Popcorn Factory, and Wolferman’s Bakery.
  • See’s Candy has been making tasty treats for more than a century. It is available in dozens of communities across California and 10 cities in Nevada, Or you can ship to your door by shopping online.
  • Another popular candy choice is Ghiradelli Chocolate, which operates nearly 20 stores nationwide, including multiple stores in the world-famous Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco. The chocolate is also available at many retailers, including CVS, Target, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.
  • Three popular online and mail order steak options are Omaha Steaks, The Kansas City Steak Company, and Snake River Farms, which have been around for decades. You may be able to find online codes that offer discounts or added bonus items with your purchase.
  • Prepared foods and other items from Williams-Sonoma are sure to be welcome by many of your clients. You can shop at outlet and retail stores or online.
  • Eataly, an Italian food marketplace, has retail stores in Los Angeles, the Silicon Valley, and Las Vegas (as well as other cities) and offers some products online).
  • If you want a group gift, you might consider Topsy’s Popcorn; Dylan’s Candy Bar; or
  • If you or your client has ties to New York, consider food choices from Zabar’s.
  • California citrus from Pearson Ranch (online) or California Fruit Depot (in Bakersfield) is also a popular gift. Choose a one-time delivery or monthly citrus program.
  • A coffee-making system from Ninja or Nespresso might be welcome by your higher-level clients. These are available online and at major retailers.
  • Other food-related options include foods or a charcuterie board from Amazon, Goldbelly, or Crate & Barrel, among others.
  • If your client is a hot sauce fan, you can shop online for a gift set at a variety of retailers; or, consider a Make Your Own Kit from Heatonist or World Market.
  • Don’t overlook a possible food gift for your client’s favorite pet: a Bark Box gift for a dog lover is always welcome.
  • For feline fans on your list, a catnip or laser tail toy (and other options) are available at, as are gifts for other pets.

Alcohol Gifts: Spirits may not be right – or appreciated – by all of your clients, but others may welcome them. You can buy wine or alcohol in person or online – at regional and national retailers as well as local gems.

Regional and national retailers: BevMo, Costco, and Total Wine or Wine Country Gift Baskets

Local vendors with a good reputation:

Other sources: Yelp! is a good source of comparative reviews, including information on local vintners across California.

Make-your-own gift sets are popular, including gin-making and mixology kits from Williams-Sonoma and LaTienda as well as beer-making kits from Amazon or Beer. An online article offers reviews on a variety of home kits.

Additional alcohol-related gifts include a Cocktail Smoker (for whisky-loving clients), cocktail shaker, or other accessories from West Elm, Mark & Graham, Macy’s, Nordstrom, or Nordstrom Rack as well as other locations. Or maybe an electric wine bottle opener – available online and at local and national retailers.

Non-Food and Beverage Gifts: Food and alcohol are not your only options; there are excellent other options you might consider, including:

-Hummingbird feeders can be found online and at national retailers like Target, Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

-Go retro with a classic record player from Kohl’s, Urban Outfitters, Best Buy, and additional retailers (both online and in-store). Or, staying with a retro theme, you could gift an instant camera from Kodak or Fujifilm.

– A nice coffee table book for your clients’ offices might be appreciated. Go online to look for options, and then consider a local source for your actual purchase. You can also order online if you’re shipping to your client – although an in-person delivery is more personal. An April 2023 article in Town & Country describes the 30 Coffee Table Books for a Chic Stack.

You can distribute holiday gifts that include your logo or agency name, too, although some clients may be inappreciative of a “branded” gift. If you do go this route, maybe consider one or more of the following:

  • stadium blanket
  • umbrella
  • tracker (for keys or a phone)
  • glassware
  • sporting goods (like golf balls, tees, towels, shirt)

More Local Options: Beyond local wineries, you probably have some outstanding sources for gifts in your community (or one close by). For example, in Southern California, the Little Flower Candy Company and Vroman’s Bookstore are famous in Pasadena, as is Vroman’s sister bookstore, Book Soup, in West Hollywood. There’s also Vinovore, women winemakers with two stores in Los Angeles, as well as Gjusta’s, a bakery in Venice.

Northern California brokers and agencies can gift hunt tickets at, or read Eat, Drink, & Play: 12 great holiday gifts for Bay Area foodies, travelers from the Mercury News for ideas. You can also search for gift retailers in your area on

Charity Donation: A charitable donation on behalf of a client is another option. Countless deserving national, regional, and local charities would welcome your support. A favorite at Word & Brown is Providence Speech and Hearing Center based in Orange.

If you don’t know what the right choice might be, look on your client’s website or at their workplace for awards of merit or other recognition received for support of a local cause. You can look up charities on Charity Navigator or Charity Watch to find out more about their work, including what percentage of funds raised go toward charity versus operations and administrative costs.

Write a Personal Note: We know how busy things can be during peak season, but it’s important to take time to write an individual, personal note for any gifts. It doesn’t have to be long; it just needs to express your appreciation for their business. Doing so will make your gift more memorable.

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