078: Winning new clients through reciprocity with John Ruhlin

On this episode of the Working Without Pants Podcast, I talk to John Ruhlin about how he wins new clients and nurtures existing clients through gift giving.

John talks about how gift giving is something that is often overlooked by companies, but if it is done right, it can have a huge effect on your business relationships and bottom line.

In fact, his business Ruhlin Group is a gift strategy and logistics company who help companies grow by giving gifts. I absolutely love the idea behind John’s company, and I was excited to hear some of the crazy stories of gifts he’s given in the past. I say crazy, because John doesn’t believe in sending just a fruit platter at Christmas. The way Ruhlin Group cuts through the noise is to ask yourself, “What’s the most I can do in this situation?” when it comes to gift giving.

One crazy gift

One example from John trying to win a client for himself came when someone he wanted as a client was going to be attending a conference. John found out when he was coming to town and also happened to find out what his favorite clothing store was. Wanting to impress, John bought $7,000 worth of Brooks Brothers merchandise and had it set up in his prospect’s hotel room upon his arrival. His prospect was absolutely blown away, and it turned into a big deal for Ruhlin Group.

Going after the big fish

While the gifts John gives aren’t all as expensive or extravagant as that, he urges people to break out of the mindset of just asking themselves “What’s good enough?” when it comes to their gift giving. It seems like everyone is using the same playbook when it comes to giving gifts, and the usual trinkets around the holidays don’t send the message that you are a world class company. If you are doing the same things as everyone else, you aren’t breaking through the noise, you are just adding to it. As John says, “To go whale hunting, you need to have a different spear.”

There is a ton of value in gift giving on this level with both existing clients and in opening doors with new clients, and I hope you enjoy this conversation with John. He is such a great guy and a wealth of information when it comes to growing your business through reciprocity.

Happy whale hunting!


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