John Ruhlin: Strategic Gift Giving: A Rewarding (and Overlooked) Strategy

John Ruhlin Strategic Gift Giving

Which of these two cases do you think is a more effective approach to strategic gift giving?

Strategic Gift Giving Case 1:

The owner of a small electronics business invites his ten employees and their spouses for Christmas dinner at Suprême, one of the city’s top restaurants. To show his generosity, the owner books an exclusive private room in the restaurant, serves expensive wines, and encourages his staff to order the  most expensive items on the menu. And after dinner (and dessert, and a digestif of course), as his employees leave he gives each a wrapped gift. Inside is a beautiful Patagonia jacket with the company logo on the breast.

Strategic Gift Giving Case 2:

The owner of a competing electronics business gives one or two gifts a year to each of her employees, always at unexpected dates. On “International Coffee Day” she gives her caffeine-freak secretary a top-of-the-line Zojirushi thermos. It’s personalized with the secretary’s name on it. For her sales team, the week before a big conference she buys them beautiful leather shoulder bags that are again personalized with their initials. And for her accountant, who proudly announces she has lost 20 pounds on her new veggie diet, she gives a beautiful chopping knife (once more personalized) to congratulate her.

Oh, and for Christmas she throws a cheap, no-frills pizza party at her home.

Who Wins?

The latter owner, without a doubt.

Within a week after Christmas, the employees of the first owner will have forgotten about the dinner—amazing as it may have been—and many will have given away their jackets because it’s not their style or they already had one they like more.

The second owner’s employees, on the other hand, will continue to enjoy their customized gifts for years to come. Others will compliment them every so often on their unique personalized items, and they’ll mention it was from their boss. The ones complementing will feel envious—both of the gift, and the boss.

Best of all for the second owner, she spends less money on gifts than the first. That’s strategic gift giving.

Strategic Gift Giving: Learn the secret Sauce

If you want to learn more about strategic gift giving, read John Ruhlin’s short but inspiring book, Giftology. Or start by listening to his interview with Pat Flynn on the Smart Passive Income Podcast, episode 248.

You will be convinced that strategic gift giving is an overlooked strategy that, when employed effectively, can make you stand out from the crowd. Sure, it will backfire at times. There are no guarantees in life. But this is a rare strategy that increases your chances of a positive outcome.

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