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John Ruhlin’s Wisdom: The Gift You Need For Lasting Referrals

Referrals underlie and drive the success of the most robust B2B companies. John Ruhlin is the founder and author of Giftology, providing services and insight that helps clients maximise customer loyalty through an age-old practice that everyone is aware of - but few get right! Ruhlin’s radical generosity and authority in the science and art of gift-giving has an everlasting impact.

Trying to get quality referrals in the B2B space can feel like trying to run through a wall. Getting clients to recommend your products and services to others in your industry is the key to growing an organic crop of referrals that will feed your ROI. But without loyalty, harvesting meaningful referrals is like trying to pull dollar signs out of a heart shaped hole. Connection is the missing link, and the bridge between you and devoted clients is a perfectly tailored gift.


Easier said than done, right? The practice of executive gift giving has gone as stale as the five boxes of panettone your office employees haven’t touched since Christmas. For many, the corporate gift has become little more than an instinctual obligation, much like the traditional holidays that see them come in droves. 


Fortunately, John Ruhlin, the founder of Giftology Group and the author of the book Giftology, is breathing new life into what has become a lost art. His wisdom might be the perfect gift for your B2B company.


Giftology’s team call themselves elves, and the magic they and Ruhlin create helps clients fly their ROI higher than a reindeer-powered sled. Organisations including Raymond James, The Chicago Cubs, and Caesar’s Palace have experienced revolutionary upticks in loyalty with partners – thanks to the automated gift giving services that Giftology Group provides. 


So how does it work – and why should gift giving be considered a critical part of your B2B’s sales and marketing machine? 


We all know that sales 101 focuses its curriculum on the art of listening. By listening so that they can stand for the goals and aspirations of clients, B2B executives transform customers into long-lasting partners – relationships that yield the reward of impassioned referrals. The corporate gift poses a great opportunity to articulate your attention to the client’s passions, building rapport, connection, and loyalty that lives on long after a sale.


But corporate gifts are everywhere. How do we give gifts that are selfless, and don’t come off like contrived marketing tactics?


Since the day that a wooden horse rolled through the gates of Troy, people have been wary about gifts. Many of today’s corporate gifts come loaded with poorly masked ulterior motives. We’ve all received the branded pens, the logo-clad hats, and the slogan-covered travel mug that stand to turn us into walking billboards for somebody else’s business. But if we received a top-of-the-line knife set engraved with our family name – something we and our spouses could use daily with pride – wouldn’t we be ecstatic about telling dinner guests who gifted it?


The path to an impactful gift starts when you “put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask ‘what do they really care about’ – what are their dreams, what are their passions,” Ruhlin says in a video with Fast Company. Buying a gift with this mindset gets you out of the trap of picking a gift that fits your own interest – instead finding the present that will make the recipient smile and say “how did you know this?”


A mindful, useful, and meaningful gift creates what Ruhlin calls “a deep memory point,” and he couldn’t be more spot on. Objects hold a lot of weight when it comes to our ability to recall previous episodes in our lives. By gifting a practical item that the recipient is likely to use in daily life, the giver is brought to mind often, associated with the radically happy moment of pulling the ribbon of a surprise gift – making it all but inevitable for sincere referrals that come organically.


Take the Statue of Liberty as a larger-than-life object lesson. Before the start of the pandemic, over four million people took the boat to see it every year. You won’t see The Mother of Freedom waving a big French flag, but every tour guide will be quick to tell you who had gifted it to America – you’ll be reminded of France’s contributions to democracy, and their prolific creation of many notable landmarks. This is a gift paying the recipient and giver dividends for the better part of two centuries.


Ruhlin’s gift-giving wisdom has ancient origins. As the biblical proverb goes, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (Proverbs 11:24-25). 


Yet, we’ve lost this age-old insight, or have at best polluted it with soon to expire fruit baskets and quickly depreciated novelties. 


This stale corporate gift landscape is John Ruhlin and Giftology Group’s playground. Ruhlin’s thoughtfully curated gifts blow the minds of B2B executives expecting something bland and generic, and set Giftology Group clients up for the best referrals they’ve ever received. 


If you want to unlock the power of corporate gift giving, John Ruhlin has a gift for you. Executives can learn the craft of Giftology, by downloading Ruhlin’s latest course, Referrals Without Asking. Maybe you’re trying to pick out an executive gift, and want to avoid stepping on a landmine. In that case, Ruhlin’s 10 Gifts To Avoid Giving Key Clients is a must download. 


John Ruhlin’s insight can teach you the power of radical generosity: is this the gift your B2B has been longing for?

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