There’s always that one or two books that change the way you view how you operate your personal business (or just life in general). Back it up, there’s always a podcast/person/tip/nugget of wisdom that can hit you at the right time in your life that says “Wake Up! This is the inspiration you needed at this crossroads.” Yes, I’ll be the first to admit, following your passions is a hard road, and there are many a people who can/will doubt you, but sometimes you need a piece of information to push you a little further to follow the life passion.
(Note: I haven’t written about the Front Row Factor podcast quite yet, but I will!) A book was suggested in a podcast. Of course, I was driving during the listen, but, I immediately downloaded the book on my Kindle at the next possible moment. Giftology by John Ruhlin. Why? “The overall goal of giftology is to make someone feel special and acknowledged by giving them practical luxuries.” Say what?! Who? Well, as a creative entrepreneur, I took this to mean EVERYONE. Not just customers, blog readers, or clients, I’m talking EVERYONE that you cross paths with. No selective crew, everyone.
You don’t need every gift to create a return for it to be a successful investment.
Why are we giving gifts? Well, who doesn’t like presents and gifts? And not just during the typical seasonal holiday times. This guy was talking about legit, over-the-top-thoughtful gifts. He discusses the importance of treating others with the thoughtfulness that would parallel anything they’d ever experience in their lives. Gift giving is more about being exciting, planned randomness, don’t fall into a boring rut, a first-class impression. You want to shock and awe, give gifts to bring you closer to the people you are “working with.” After all, isn’t “lead generation” one of the larger factors into a successful business?
Initially I thought: “Okay, so this may sound like a selfish strategy. Why give gifts if we sneakily want leads and business? Isn’t this kind of sneaky and rude?” I had to read the book a second time, with a second lens- just as a regular person. Even if a gift doesn’t bring an immediate lead or business, at least you are putting yourself out there and making that world-class-first-impression. People will remember you. They’ll know you as thoughtful, kind, insert your favorite adjective here. That’s all that I’d rather have as a reputation- a thoughtful, loyal, kind creative entrepreneur.
Your gifts should always align with your core values because in the end, giving something that reflects the personality of your client in a thoughtful, meaningful way will ultimately reflect on your own character from a personal and business perspective.
You want to treat each customer as they are your only one. (Or person!) Giving people the attention they are looking for (or didn’t know they were looking for) and deserve goes a long way. At the end of the day, you will be remembered for the kindness and generosity, not the fact that you worked your a** off in a cubicle for 40 years before retiring. People want to be valued and appreciated. Why not give a gift that validates their value and shows your appreciation? And try take gift giving a step further- don’t expect anything in return!!
I talk about this all the time. Here’s the piece of clareity for the day. Rise above the occasion and making a name for yourself. You want to make your life the best life ever. So by making a gift a useful, conversation starter/something they’ll ALWAYS use, you’ll constantly be in someone’s thoughts/prayers. Be thoughtful and honest with yourself first. You know the gift receiver the best- What can you do to make their day? These sorts of gifts don’t always have to be expensive, you kind of WANT to fall into the cliche “the thought that counts.”
As a leader, if you want employees to treat customers well, then you have to set the tone of generosity.
As a Piece of Clareity reader, we are all in the process of life, and becoming leaders in our own way. We have to work together to lift each other up, bring each other out of our “ruts” (the real reason why the blog started!) and serve as a leader to someone else. By practicing the art of Giftology, isn’t that the best way to start? Even if Ruhlin suggests not to focus Giftology during the holiday season, why not start with the thoughtful and over-the-top generous gift-giving now? Practice makes perfect. Not talking business customers. I’m talking each other.
The holiday season is a great way to start. Take the month of November to practice the attitude of gratitude. (More to come). Take a person a day. Either start small with a handwritten note (because I personally LOVE receiving actual post office mail), or a little trinket that isn’t personalized (with their name on it-that’s tacky) but overly personalized (like “This item screamed your name, I knew I had to get it for you!). So for those who are beginning their holiday shopping, become a little more intentional in your purchases. Find gifts that will ignite emotion and joy.