Welcome back to another little post about our dear Lemonade Stand Book Club! We’re talking all about “Giftology” today!
I am kind of losing track of what book number we’re on here.. But I believe this was our fourth book that we all read together! Fourth book, but this is our fifth book club post because I had to break out They Ask, You Answer into two parts. You should really look into those if you haven’t read them yet. There are some absolute gems of wisdom in those.
Anyway, this post will feature another super awesome book titled “Giftology!” We really have been blessed to be able to read some incredible books together, and this one is no different. Read on to learn more about what Giftology actually means and how it can help you to keep up great relationships and continue to grow your business!
What is it?
First of all, what is Giftology? If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow. I must not really know English, because I didn’t even know that Giftology was a word,” you’re not alone! First thing I did when I got this book was research the word Giftology to see if I had somehow missed this as a field of study in science.
Before you go out wasting your time doing your own research, let me just tell you that this is not a word recognized in the dictionary. It was invented by the author of this wonderful book, John Ruhlin.
Official definition given by Ruhlin is “a marketing system that will leave your recipient speechless. Gain access, close new deals, earn endless referrals, and retain VIP’s forever.”
This is what Giftology is all about! It’s a different way to think about how you do business and how you keep the business that you currently have. All of this can be done through the power of gift giving – as long as it’s done correctly.
Let’s dive in!
How can Gifting Help us in Business?
How can giving things away help to increase your business? That sounds pretty counterproductive, doesn’t it?
Spend all of your money and time giving cool things to people and somehow you’ll make money..? How would that ever work?
Well, it does work! You just have to do it right.
Let me rephrase, though. You aren’t going to want to spend ALL of your money and ALL of your time doing this. That would certainly run you out of business. You need to be strategic about it, but, if done correctly, you will increase your business from multiple avenues. First, your current clients will want to stay on as current clients. Retention is the least expensive way to keep a business strong. Second, you’ll start getting more referrals than you know what to do with! Current clients or potential new clients will tell people about your company and the things that you do, and they will drive a natural flow of new business towards you. It’s amazing!
So, can giving away gifts actually help grow your business? Absolutely it can! Let’s look at just a few rules/guidelines that Ruhlin gives us as to how to actually make that work.
Authenticity is the key
“Authenticity is the key!”
This is where things get really simple and really complicated at the same time. Biggest rule of gift giving is that you have to be authentic. You have to have the desire to make someone’s day by giving them a really cool gift. You have to actually care about them as a person.
You have to be careful when giving gifts, because it can go straight to the extreme of being either really, really good or really, really bad. You’ll either increase the trust and loyalty that someone has to you and your company, or you’ll make them think that all you care about is keeping their business and their money and that this gift is just a way to make them think that you value them.
How do you avoid that extreme? Well, be authentic! Get to know people. Care about them. Learn about them and their families and their inner circles of relationships. Understand who they are. Then craft your gifting to them around the things that you learn.
Make your gifts personalized!
“Personalization is what turns an ordinary gift into an extraordinary gift.” – John Ruhlin.
Don’t send every one of your clients a box of chocolates for Christmas. They will forget that before the day is over. Really think about who they are, individually, and give them an authentic gift that is meant to just make them happy.
A great way to personalize a gift is to look at the recipient’s inner circle. Our inner circle are the people that we surround ourselves with that mean the most to us. Generally, for most people, this will be their family unit; however, this could also be close friends or others with whom the recipients identify themselves with.
For example, in Giftology, Ruhlin shares an example where someone starts buying gifts that are focused on an area of interest of a spouse of a client or something that the client would be able to use with his or her entire family. The gift goes beyond being just about the actual client and truly shows that you know that person because you know the wants and needs of the people within their inner circle. This can be really challenging and will take a lot of time and energy put into getting to know your clients, but it will be well worth it when you get a gift for your client’s spouse and see the absolute delight that they both experience.
Another key to being authentic is to send gifts randomly and unexpectedly! Sending a gift at Christmas is what everyone will expect. If you send them a little gift for an anniversary of when they started working with you, or maybe for a smaller holiday like St. Patrick’s Day, that’s when you’ll be able to really surprise them and make them feel truly special.
One very important point that I had never really considered before reading Giftology is about giving gifts with your company logo on them. Right out of the gate, this sounds like an awesome idea! Who wouldn’t want to wear a shirt with your logo on it, right? Your logo is probably amazing and means a lot to you. Plus, this will give you some really low-cost advertising whenever that person goes out in public in your attire, right?
Think about this for a moment. Who is actually going to wear a shirt that has nothing but your logo plastered all over it? Probably nobody. That kind of gift is going to go straight into the donations pile when they do their spring cleaning. It’s almost worthless.
Aside from it being a gift that won’t actually be used (which means it’s not a very good gift – you want people to use what you get for them), this puts the whole ideology of Giftology on its head. Rather than being authentic in your gift giving. Rather than finding an extremely personal gift and delivering it to your client. Rather than putting in any thought or work at all, you have now given your client one of the most selfish and self-promoting gifts that you could ever think of. You have made the gift all about you instead of all about the recipient. That’s a big NO and something you should avoid at all costs according to Ruhlin.
Now, this all seems pretty simple, right? I said that this also gets complicated at the same time that it gets simple. Let me explain.
You have to have the right intentions with this! Can practicing Giftology make your business grow? Yes, it most certainly can. However, you can’t start giving gifts out for the sole purpose of making your business grow. It will be easy to see through that facade. I promise. People generally have a good sense about why someone is doing something for them. You HAVE to be authentic in giving these gifts and truly just want to make your clients happy. If your only desire is to grow your business, then you might want to take a different approach. Growing your business isn’t wrong, and it definitely will happen if you put Giftology into practice, but you really do have to focus on your intentions.
Hopefully you have been able to learn a little bit of what we were all able to learn as a team. This is a really cool, really powerful business idea that I think you would be very wise to implement. Don’t take my word for it, though! Read more in John Ruhlin’s book. Grab a copy here! You can also read a little bit about the other books we have read here, and you can find a little bit about our own team (the ones who read and discuss these books) here, and you are also welcome to reach out to us here to request a free copy of the book!