Managing Gifting Expectations

Expectation management depends on your relationship with the stakeholder.

Vanderbilt University researchers found that the appreciation of a gift is directly related to the quality of a gift wrapping job. (link in comments)

The explicit takeaway is good to note for the holiday gift giving season, but it is instructive on how you present yourself to potential and existing customers.

Consider my example from being in the capital business.

I dress up whenever I have an opportunity to meet with a new capital provider – investor or lender. I wear all my slim fit clothing and bring my most professional presentation.

If it’s a phone call, I send a user-friendly dial-in with one click to connect via mobile phone.

In both cases, I send an Outlook calendar invite with my information first so my name shows up on their calendar. For example, John Wijtenburg (InSite Group) // Prospect Name (Prospect Company) – Introduction.

All communication will follow a similar set of intensively polished interactions until we have a good rapport.

After that, the gloves are off.

Emails become short and sweet. Phone calls turn to text messages. I leave the suit jacket behind. And so on.

Relaxing my approach loosens our conversation, which allows both parties to be more vulnerable.