The #1 Most Important Factor Connecting Client Gifting to Repeat & Referral Business

The #1 Most Important Factor Connecting Client Gifting to Repeat & Referral Business

What do you think the most common answer is, when asking business leaders when the last time they connected with their top 10 clients by phone or in person was?

 For the first few seconds after I have asked this question in the past, I most often see eye movement trying to think about it, and then get a response along the lines of “I guess I don’t personally connect with all of them that often.”   PO’s or service request may come in from their teams but with the busy nature of life, these relationships that are the key to current business revenue are largely winged by happenstance or driven by resolving an issue if it escalates up to decision maker level.

The 2 Problems

Problem #1 is how do you strengthen current relationships to get repeat business?

So driving down further, do you have a systematic way to stay in contact with the decision maker and nurture that relationship, working to ensure that you keep their business?   There is so much competition in the market that we as leaders should fundamentally focus first on keeping the business that we have. 

Problem #2 is more of an opportunity, namely how can you get your clients to refer you to other people they know? 

These two questions are what motivated this article.  Since I am a recovering engineer I wanted to frame this cleanly in a problem solution format so you can use the following perspective as a filter for future decisions and to understand the impact that leveraging gifts of gratitude can have on your most important relationships and business.

A solution you can use for future decision making

The #1 Most Important Factor Connecting Client Gifting to Repeat & Referral Business

 I want to tell you a story that exemplifies the one factor perfectly.   Dave pulled me aside at an event recently and said to me, “Hey Ray, you make me look good all the time in front of my wife.”  I said, “Oh really, how is that?”  He then told me, “So you know those custom glasses you engraved for me from the bottles you rescue… Well, every time we have family or friends over my wife brings them out for our guests to use and she tells them about your 10 million bottle rescue mission and how I got them as a gift from you.   I know for a fact that a few of them have ordered from your website because of it.   Best part is that every time guests come over it makes me look good and I don’t have to say a word.”   He says this smiling.   Dave owns a hospital and can buy whatever stuff he needs.  So you can imagine that Dave's customers could have a hard time gifting to him.  I know many of you reading this can relate because if your clients are buying a lot from you then they are probably fairly well to do and hard to gift to because of it.  What people like Dave, and your clients, really want are conversation pieces (gifts) with stories and purpose, that are stylish too, that their family and friends can also enjoy....

This leads to the #1 factor connection client gifts to repeat and referral business.   I framed it in the form of a question so that you can use it when making decisions on what you should or shouldn’t buy for your clients.

The #1 Most Important Factor Connecting Client Gifting to Repeat & Referral Business Is:

How can your gift double as a conversation piece for your most important clients so that people will ask them about it at least once a month for at least 5 years in a row?  

 Think about it, a conversation had about your gift will lead to the question of where they got it and your story gets told.

  • If your client has a conversation about your gift once a month for 5 years that is 60 times your story gets told for that one gift.   If you are a wealth manager and the family or friend they are talking to is in need of help in that area then they will most likely ask about you.  This is how referrals organically happen.  People who use your professional service or products most likely know other people who can use it too right?   Even if its only 5 times a year for 5 years that is still 25x talked about.   
  • Does this make you feel different about gifting one and done gifts that will never be asked about or be around after a month? Gift cards, food, and the like blow my mind.   Gifters see the gracious reaction of their clients and feel like they succeeded.  That money you just spent was an expense.  Wouldn’t you rather get your story told 25x, 60x or more?
  • The internet has brought around an increased value put on social currency. Restaurants have reviews on Yelp.   Products have a star rating on Amazon.   People are more likely to believe others candid reviews of your business than what you say about your business.   So knowing this, how can you help the conversation about your business come up more often…  This is what a great client gift can do.   If you ask your clients for referrals then you may get a warm intro, but when you call them you are talking about you.  This way your clients talk about you and the referral contacts you already warm.

I hope that this gives you a new found perspective on the power of gifts of gratitude that both have lasting power and serve as a conversation piece.  

This #1 factor leads to other questions that I will cover in future articles.   Some of these subjects are shown below: 

  • How purposeful gifts of gratitude get your story told more often
  • What will get your client to show their family and friends the gift you gave them 60 times or more.
  • Why customizing your clients last name on everyday use products is the only way to gift…
  • Why the holidays are the worst time of the year to gift to important clients

Please connect me through Linked In or email and send me a message if you have any questions what so ever about truly impactful gifting.   I started my business because I love to see people animated about receiving our custom made, personalized, and purpose driven products.  I hear them say that it is their favorite to use every day and it makes me happy. 

You are the real hero of our story because our team would repurpose ZERO bottles without you.   Thank you!!


Cheers, Ray DelMuro

Founder & owner of Refresh Glass & Refresh Glass Client Gifts

Featured in Inc. Magazine: “7 Client Gifts That Will Make You Unforgettable.”

Home of the 10 Million Bottle Rescue Mission

We would love to make you a free sample with your company logo engraved on one of our glasses.   All that I would ask in return is that you respond to an email after letting us know what you thought of it.  I don’t like being sold either and prefer to let you know our solution exists so you can choose whether or not to buy. 

 --> If you would like a free sample just reach out and tell us, hey I’d love one.



Why personalization makes far more impactful client gifts

Why personalization makes far more impactful client gifts

Have you ever gotten a gift with the price tag still on it?  I have and it always makes me feel like people are just going through the motions because the feel obligated, or because they want something from me in a business setting.   

The most thoughtful gifts on the other end of the spectrum make people feel appreciated because you put thought into it, and time....not just money.   Nothing says I put some time and thought into this gift than personalized engraving.   

BIG tip #1: here is where many of you will mess the personalization up:

  • Don't put your logo on the gift, put their last name!!!   

Sometimes if I am going to speak to realtors or other professionals I will bring a set of gifts with my companies name on it and I will also ask the presenter before hand to randomly select someone in attendances last name for me to use a few days before the event.  I use the minor stealth to my advantage and bring a set of glasses with their last name engraved on it with me.  This set will be wrapped and with a hand written card.   I will call the person who has no that this was done before hand to the front to open the package and everyone in attendance gets to see their reactions when they open it to realize their family name is neatly engraved on all 4 glasses in the set.   

After the audience has seen the custom engraved opening and reaction I ask them if I can take that 4 pack back for 30 seconds, and hand them the one with my business logo on it.  In front of the group I ask them which one they want to take home more?  Then I ask them how often people choose the set with my business logo.   Answer is the same every time, their last name.   It still blows my mind how many companies want to put their name on everything.   Reminds me of a time that Homer gave Marge a bowling ball with Homer written on it as a gift.  Doh!  

BIG tip #2:  Make people look good in front of their families at home

By engraving their last name on whatever gift you choose, you make it about their family too.   If you are really on top of it you can buy/ personalize something the entire family can use all the time.   Impactful gifts get used and talked about because they stick around.  

A great example of this was when I had met a very nice lady at a Conscious Capitalism conference in San Diego.  She asked me to make her daughter custom engraved glasses with her new initials for her upcoming wedding.   The picture at the top of this blog post is of one of those candle holders that we made for the newly wed couple.   She sent me pictures and told me that the reaction was everything she had hoped for.   




Inc. features Refresh Glass: Corporate Gift Ideas That'll Make You more.

Inc. features Refresh Glass: Corporate Gift Ideas That'll Make You more.

7 Corporate Gift Ideas That'll Make You Unforgettable

A good deed (and a great gift) remain unforgettable.

By John Rampton .   Entrepreneur and investor  . 
PUBLISHED on NOV 24, 2017 .  Link to article here. 

In 1985, one of the poorest countries in the world became known as one of the most generous. Despite nearly 50% of its population living below the poverty line the Ethiopian Red Cross sent $5,000 to Mexico for humanitarian aid. Our neighbors-to-the-south had experienced an 8.1 magnitude earthquake which left 10,000 people dead, 30,000 people injured, and 250,000 homeless.

When asked how they could afford such an amount, the proud Ethiopians pointed to 50 years earlier when their country had been had been invaded by Italy. Mexican diplomats, in a move akin to sticking up for the little guy against the school yard bully, deeplycondemned Italy's behavior. This support would set forth a chain-of-events that would allow the impoverished East African country to remain in the league-of-nations.

Decades after-the-fact, a good deed (and a great gift) remain unforgettable.


Ironically enough, I don't remember where I was the first time I heard that story. But I remember who I was with the day the proverbial "Aha!" lightbulb flashed above my head with corporate gifting. His name is John Ruhlin and his company, The Ruhlin Group might very well be the greatest gift-givers in the galaxy.

John calls it "giftology." It is the act of strategic appreciation, usually in gift form, and designed around one of four business objectives:

  1. Retain your best and brightest employees
  2. Increase customer lifetime value (by keeping your best customers)
  3. Open new doors, create new introductions, and bag new elephants
  4. Rekindle (or repair) a previous business relationship

Strategic gifting has done things for me that an unlimited marketing budget never could. Now before you accuse all of us giftologists as being quid-pro-quo givers ("you're only giving something to get something! For shame!"), allow me to share some golden guidelines:

  1. Practical luxuries: buy things for people they'd never buy for themselves. A $50 coffee mug is better than a $100 watch.
  2. Personalized for the recipient: if the most remarkable thing about a gift is that your logo is on it? You're giving a promotion, not a present.
  3. Plan for continuity: think of each gift as one in a cohesive series. This year send the leather belt, next time the leather bag, then the leather journal, etc.

The majority of sweets, treats, and very forgettable holiday gifts (with your company logo etched on them) are all going to wind up in the trash. Or maybe in a donation bin if the recipient is feeling more imaginative than the unoriginal giver.

You're better than that. And so, this holiday season, I invite you into my gift-giving playbook. Here are my favorite things to give the VIPs that make my business world go round-and-round:


Sold by the ambitious students of Vector Marketing, CUTCO cutlery has been an American-made tradition since 1949. All Cutco items are guaranteed forever and, with over 100 products in their line, are the ultimate continuity gift. You can even engrave the ice cream scoop.


Planners, journals, flasks, candles, phone cases, coasters, and anything else that can be made of wood. The beauty of these products (all 100% engravable) is rivaled only by the custom packaging-- gifting done right. And every single purchase plants a tree with their "buy one, plant one" program.


Who wouldn't want a pair of zebra wood headphones? Buy them wired, wireless, or in speaker form and send your VIPs to audio heaven. Best of all, proceeds from every sale provide hearing aids to people in need. Check and mate.


Stunning glassware and home decor made from recycled wine bottles, one look at Refresh's Instagram account will have you oohing and ahhing. Their custom engraved setswill delight connoisseurs and socialites alike.


What's better than a cooler that'll keep ice for a week or more? How about one of the best warranties in the industry that covers latches, drain plugs, handles, even the rubber feet. Like most practical luxuries on this list, high-quality isn't cheap. However, Bison Coolers boasts gifts for all different price points.


Disrupting the digital framing industry, Aura Frames curate and display your favorite photos as you take them. Sensors in the frame automatically adjust brightness at varying times of day and the mobile app allows others to participate. Shop different collections and different occasions because every frame is a work of art.  


My secret go-to for my hardest to buy VIPs, Cherokee and Texas can do anything with leather and metal. Their vintage iPad covers will become frequent conversation topics and their custom record player is the stuff of legends. Better get in line soon because -with their craftsmanship and ingenuity- this company won't be a secret much longer.

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