We all know how it feels to receive a wonderful gift. It makes us feel like the gifter truly understands and appreciates us. That feeling doesn't end with personal gifts, though — a great gift is a sure way to impress business associates as well.

No matter the field, networks are the key to growth and success — networks built on strong, long-lasting relationships. And one of the best ways to nurture both personal and corporate relationships is through personalized gifts.

Pick Gifts After Careful Consideration

Strong relationships are the bedrock of business, and carefully chosen gifts can help anyone cement a relationship. In our digital-focused age, a personal, tangible gift can break through the white noise to add a personal touch that creates a lasting impression.

My relationship with business coach and speaker Cameron Herold, for example, started with well-chosen gifts. I sent him little reminders of my appreciation for his business advice and friendship in the form of high-quality cutlery, wine tools, and eco-friendly cleaning supplies. The gifts themselves were different, but the message behind each one was clear: "I appreciate you, Cameron."

The key to any gift is picking something that shows a real understanding of your recipient. You can't just buy every customer, client, or business partner the same wine opener and call it good. You have to choose the right gift after careful consideration of each recipient's likes, dislikes, habits, and lifestyle.

If the right gift is something simple, such as the cleaning supplies or cutlery I mentioned above, don't be a cheapskate. Make sure the product is the cream of the crop. Sending an item that will last for years rather than months shows just how deeply you appreciate your recipient. It shows respect. It shows thoughtfulness. It shows you care.

Are you a gifting newbie, unsure of where to start? Want to make sure you really knock your corporate gifts out of the park this year? Here are three categories of gifts to consider as a springboard for your recipient's perfect holiday gift:

1. Items That People Use Daily

A gift that gets used every day is never a bad call, but as I said before, you can't pick a generic version. Whether it's for the office, kitchen, or carry-on, the gift has to be high-quality. If your recipient is a workaholic who would really appreciate a briefcase or portfolio, for example, send one made of fine leather. Got a client who loves to cook? Send professional knife sets or other cookware that will last for years. Want to take these gifts a step further? Personalize them with your recipients' names — that small detail will make a huge impression.

If you think gifts that get used seem too lowbrow, remember that even Ellen DeGeneres uses them to surprise and delight people. The founders of Comfort Cases, Rob and Reece Scheer, spend their days providing aid to kids in foster care in the form of backpacks and duffels stuffed with items they need. At the end of an interview with the Scheers, Ellen presented both of them with a check for $10,000 and $40,000 in Samsonite luggage. That luggage meant the world to the Scheers — it meant they could help even more children in need. It just goes to show that even everyday items can make an unforgettable gift if they really mean something to your recipient.

2. Gifts That Keep People Thinking

Books and educational items make great gifts for recipients who love to learn and strive to make themselves better businesspeople and better humans. Both digital and physical business books with practical messages that will speak to your recipients' interests are sure to be hits. The same level of personalization should go into selecting a book or educational tool as goes into kitchenware or leather goods — don't choose a book of parenting lessons for your childless client, for example. Finally, a handwritten note in a physical book is the cherry on top of your gifting pie.

Want a suggestion? Readitfor.me specializes in summarizing best-selling business books and condensing them into 10- to 12-minute videos, making it easy for even your busiest recipients to learn something new every day. These digestible, engaging videos are a gift both for business leaders and their entire companies; the CEO of Zappos, for example, offers Readitfor.me content to his employees to encourage growth and learning.

3. Devices To Keep Them Connected

Technology can be a hard gift to nail when new devices could be outdated in as little as six months. Avoid the iProducts of the world that won't be useful once the next upgrade is available — chances are your recipient already has one anyway, as 77 percent of the U.S. population owns a smartphone, according to Pew Research Center. Instead, choose tech accessories like high-end headphones or a digital picture frame.

These top-notch accessories have more staying power, and your recipients will likely use them just as often as their smartphones. Tech accessories that help your recipients relax after work or that their families can enjoy make a real impact, ensuring they'll remember your gift fondly. Our team, for example, has treated our interns with gifts of top-of-the-line headphones to help them study when they're not working, showing them that we value their time and want to help them succeed at school as well.

The act of gifting is important and should be treated as such, but choosing the perfect gift doesn't have to be painful. Just choose high-quality products that will be meaningful to each of your recipients and will remind them of your relationship. Start with these three gift categories, and you'll be able to find the perfect gift for anyone.

Author's Bio: 

John Ruhlin is a speaker, consultant, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and creator of "Giftology," the systematic giving process that retains talent, delights customers, and opens endless doors for thoughtful business leaders. For his best tips and weekly stories on how you can use Giftology in your business, sign up — at no cost — for his Givers Edge Newsletter.