Marketing to the government is very different than marketing to commercial customers. With most commercial customers, you can wine, dine, and entertain them. Not so with the government. If you do, there are two outcomes: government personnel will either start avoiding you outright because they will know that you don’t know how to work with the government, or they might be corrupt and accept your gifts—and when that gets out in the open, you will lose your job, and your company will lose government business in a big scandal. It’s simply not worth it.
You have to know and abide by the rules. Government employees cannot solicit or accept gifts from any entity that does or seeks business with the government. A gift is any item with a monetary value, except for very modest items of food and refreshments, greeting cards, or plaques and certificates. There is a small exception: all gifts given in a year must not exceed a total of $50 in value from your entire company, and no single gift can be worth more than $20. You can give a personal gift to a govie if they were your relative before business-related contact was established, for example, but you cannot be reimbursed by the company.
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