This isn't about stuffing promotional crap in people's faces

Do you know how to leverage gifts to bring in more business?

I’ll bet you’ve been taught to give out an “item of value” that includes a branded notepad, or branded mousepad, or branded sports team schedule, or branded whatever.

Guess what. There is a difference between giving a gift and handing out a promotional item.

In this video, I’m talking about leveraging the power of gifts… not stuffing promotional items in people’s faces.

I share several client appreciation events and small gift ideas you can use in January to grow your business.

Check it out: (video above)

Here’s how to leverage gifts, not promotions, to build more relationships and bring in more business.

Along with client appreciation ideas, I went to my local dollar store and found some cool gifts you can give that will elevate you in the minds of your prospects and clients.

BOOK I mention (and show) in the video:

APPRECIATION ideas I mention in the video:
Shred Day:
Got Junk:


Hi! I’m Christina with Leads and Leverage and today, I actually have a little bit of a different video for you. Every month this year in 2017, I wanted to give you guys kind of a different idea on how to advertise, how to promote, and how to build your business. It’s more on the “building the business” side and this works really well, you know obviously, I focus on real estate agents, that’s my background, that’s my history, that’s my knowledge; but this will work really well for any type of service-based business and any type of big-purchase business - may be cars or anything along those lines where you want to nurture people along, maybe previous clients or prospects that have come in, etc. So, this isn’t just for real estate agents although, all the terminologies I would use are for real estate agents.

And one thing I forgot to get, I’m whole for this and it is right here. One thing I forgot to pull for this. I just want you to know I’m using the theme “The Theory of Giftology”, and hopefully this is the correct direction for you guys, Giftology. And so, I want to preface this with real estate agents who have this tendency to want to brand everything. They want their face on everything, they want their name and phone number, and they want their logo. It’s all about getting that brand out there because we have this mistaken idea that just constantly putting our name out there and exposure is going to get us business, and it actually doesn’t. So, along these lines, I’m going to teach you how to leverage gifts, and how to give gifts to stay connected with people so that there is reciprocity going on that they feel in it.

You know they feel like they want to do business with you because you have been giving them things, kind of unattached things, so we’re going to use the Theory of Giftology. I’m going to put a link to this book below. This is a great book; John Ruhlin wrote it and he became one of the top sellers for Cutco Knives. I know that’s a product that a lot of agents give out and they put their logo on it. And you’re going to learn here shouldn’t be putting your logo on it. Anyway, if you can get your hands on this book and read it, it will change how you use gifts. You’ll also be able to leverage gifts a little bit better because there is a difference between promoting and doing an event that’s obviously promotion and giving a gift - there’s a big difference.

Everything I’m going to show you today is going to be about using gifts; I’m going to show you different gifts and give you different ideas. Now, here’s the thing, I know that a lot of us, as agents, have more than just one or two or five or ten people whom we actually want to give gifts. It’s a lot! Sometimes it’s 50, sometimes it’s a hundred, sometimes it’s a thousand. So, what I did was I went through and I would, “Okay, what would be a logical variety of gifts to give for this month which is January and where could I get them.” So guess what I did, you guys. I went to the dollar store! This is kind of a dollar store “haul” if you will. I’m going to give you ideas for each thing I found, I feel in like 10 or 12 things that you can totally use and leverage to give as gifts.

So, the thing you want to think about in January, in the top five resolutions that people do, when people do resolutions, the top five - two of those top five, are to lose weight and to get organized. Okay, so, the losing weight one probably doesn’t really work for real estate. It might work if you’re a health coach or if you are a personal trainer, things like that. In fact, it will work for that. But, for real estate, you probably want to focus on the “get organized" one because within that “get organized”, people want to get rid of things, they want to purge, they potentially want to sell, they might want to do repairs to their house. It’s really kind of a new beginning, so you want to focus on this and you want to leverage that. You want to leverage what’s going on in January and everybody’s thinking about resolutions whether they’ve actually set them or not. Not only that, about three weeks in, most people will have dumped their resolutions so you want to help them, not dump them, you want to help them move forward.

So here’s the thing, you can do some client appreciation things. You can do three major things: you could host a “Shred Day” at the end of the month which would be awesome. Have a shred truck come and send out mail, and email, and invite people to bring their documents to shred, that’s a big one. You could host a “Donation Day” and get a local charity that takes donations like for thrift stores and things like that. You could host a Donation Day for that that would be great to have everybody come and have representatives from the charity there, etc. You could even do a “Got Junk Day”. So I know that there are different junk trucks and businesses that will come and you could just say, “Hey, we’ve got a big huge thing, you guys, bring your junk.” Things that they don’t know what to get rid of, how to get rid of. You know, broken crock pots, batteries, appliances that they just can’t quite put in their trash or they can’t put out.

In some areas, you can’t put them out to be picked up, and in some areas, it’s kind of a pain to get them to the dump because they’re charged money. So you could do something like that. So those are three ideas that are unrelated to any gift things those are more like a promotional appreciation and are unrelated to Giftology. You’re giving the opportunity for this but also this is a good place where you can totally promote yourself. I would completely do that, I would make sure that people know that it’s you sponsoring those events.

Now, the thing that I really think you could really get into is helping people further what they’re doing in their goals. This is where that haul comes in and I’m going to walk you through a couple of  random things that you could totally just buy a bunch of and take out and give out to people. And by “people” I mean people that you connected with, either past clients or people that you’re working with now or people that you’ve been farming like in your farming areas. If you’ve been farming them, this is a good idea, this is a good farm touch because it’s not promotional. You’re going to say who it’s from but you’re not going to put your logo on anything, you are not going to put your business card in anything. This is not about you, this is a gift for them. You want them to feel like you actually thought about them, not that you’re thinking about themselves; this is a completely different mindset in this. So, let’s just walk through a couple of things, okay? And I’m going to end with the one that I think is probably the most effective, the best one.

So, the first one is you know, people, they have a few things. A lot of them are wanting to send “thank you’s” or etc. for things that they got, gifts that they got, so you can go to the dollar store and you can get “thank you”. So, there are different thank you cards that you can get at the dollar store and it’s a whole pack of thank you cards. You could go around and you could just include this with a little note to say, “Hey, you might have ‘thank yous’ to send out, here’s a pack of thank you cards to send out to any gift-givers who might have given you gifts. Have a great January!” That’s all you would do, you would give this and a little note and then you can sign your name and you can put your very brief brokerage like it would be “Christina with SKE Realty Group” that would be mine.

You don’t need all three of your names and your team name and your brokerage name and your website…you don’t need any of that! This is about them. All you want to do is a quick name brokerage. That’s it…or name the team, super fast! And that would be on a separate little note that you give out. Here are four different options; there was a ton, and there are four different options you can find at the dollar store. You can go really simple…okay, lots of options here.

The next thing is when people are trying to get organized there are a few things that they often need help with and usually, it’s maybe organization…around the organization, I know that’s going to sound funny. So, I have two different options for you for this: the first one is notebooks. You can actually give them a notebook and here are three completely different lines from the dollar store; this one’s just a spiral-bound, typical basic notebook, and then this one’s sealed and I’m going to open it. It’s a fun one, it’s a colored notebook, some people like to color, I’m just going to open it and show you guys. It's really soft and easy to use. They can use this to keep themselves organized through their purging and organization process.

And then the third, one let me open this one too, this one is spiral-bound and it also has a little rubber band to help them keep organized or help them keep on the page they want to be on. You can open it up and it’s just a notebook, okay, really basic and what I would do is to put a little card or a little letter in with this and just say, “You know, it’s January and I don’t know if one of your goals was to help yourself get organized, but here’s a little book to just start yourself get going.” You can put your notes in here, you can put your lists in here, things that you want to get done as you’re going through the organization process, just a special notebook dedicated to that because a lot of people will go out and do that or they won’t have something that keeps themselves organized. So, you could do that. Just a little, “Hey, I’m thinking about you. If this is your goal, here’s to help you.”

Okay. The next piece to help with that would be refrigerator magnets. Let me get this clear: I am NOT talking about the one with your logo on it; I am NOT talking about the ones with the team stuff; I am talking about just a cute little refrigerator magnet notepad that they can use to make lists on. So, it might just be something like, “Are you hoping to get a little bit more organized this year? Maybe put your grocery list on here on the fridge.” Now, if they have stainless steel fridges they won’t they won’t attach, so suggest that they put it on the side of the fridge. You could even give them an idea where they can get a piece like a cookie sheet and mount the cookie sheet inside a cabinet door and put this on it. That works to give them an idea of how to use this, where to use it, and what to do. These are notebooks, and these are very specific gifts. This is not a promotional time so if you do have magnetic notepads this would not be the time to be using those. This is a separate gift, this is a gift for “you.” We want them to know it is truly a gift, there’s no obligation to the gift, and there’s no my face, my name on it.

Here's the thing: people are more likely to toss logo items, and they’re more likely to get rid of and kind of just “poo poo" anything that is not about them. And with these, if you go and do this, and you give them something like this, it’s not about you, it’s about them. Sure you’re going to say your name and you’re going to say your brokerage but it’s obvious that it’s about them and that you’re not focusing on putting your name in front of them if that makes sense. So, this is idea number three with all that.

Now, this one’s kind of a random one. I saw this one and went, “Oh my gosh!” we always need those. People always need these things so when people are getting organized one of the things they like to do is they like to get rid of the cords. They like to clean up the cords and something that they always need is three-prongs. Now, I mean, it’s usually just called a multi-plug adapter. Make sure you get a three-prong so they can use it for all their devices. And you can just say, “Hey, if your resolution was to get organized this year, I know the one thing I always struggle with is cords,   everywhere, and this helps.” And just give this to him with a little note just like this in a little gift bag, that’s it! It’s a random little thing that people are like, “Oh, yeah!” And they can always use these. I know I don’t think I have ever met someone who hasn’t gone, “Oh, gosh, that’s great. I really could use that, yeah, it’s a good one.”

Now, this last one. This last one takes a little bit of time, just a little bit, however, once you create it for yourself this year, you’ve got it every single January. And it’s going to utilize something else from the dollar store. For this one, I suggest, that you put together a homeowner’s kind of “yearly checklist” of what they need to do to maintain or help appreciate their property every month of the year, okay? So, you could just do this part of the organization but you just put together a checklist that they can do and then you go to the dollar store and buy a dollar binder.

I got a lot of options so you could see the different options and go kind of crazy or you can stick to plain, just real, simple plain. And when you do this, people like these things, okay. They mostly like that kind of stuff and if you attached to this clipboard your homeowner’s yearly checklist for them to help them organize their property when what months they should change their filters, what months they should clean their gutters, links to resources or URL addresses to resources on how to clean their gutters, you know. What else do they need to do, when to trim back their bushes, what month etc., things like that to maintain their property, that’s big and they can have this organized just like this with that checklist on it.

This one’s kind of nice. It’s a good-sized one, you could wrap it as a gift and the little thing if you’re just insistent about having your name very small at the bottom of the checklist, you can put compliments of your name and your brokerage. Don’t put “I love referrals.” Don’t put “If you need to buy or sell, call me.” THIS.IS.NOT.ABOUT.THAT. This is a gift and so that’s the only time I would say, “Hey, put a little tiny thing on the bottom of that.” That’s it! That’s all I would do for that. So, here’s the thing: if you're going to do any of these things, you need to deliver them probably before the third week of January. You need to deliver them in January. If you’re delivering them on the last day of January, most people are like, “I’m kind of done with my resolution…” meaning they just decided not to do that. So you want to deliver them as early in January as you can preferably between the middle and the end, not the very last day, but the last two weeks would be a really ideal time to deliver them, okay?

So, give me ideas. If you have ideas that “Christina, you could have done this…” Put them below! Let me know what your ideas are. If you haven’t subscribed to my channel, subscribe! Give me a thumbs up, give me a like, comment, and share. Wherever you’re watching this, but let me know if you’re like, “I really like this…” or “I’ve tried this…” and “This works…” let me know. I would love to hear all of that, all right? Talk to you next time.

 Written by Christina Ethridge - the founder of Leads and Leverage, helping overwhelmed business owners eliminate the marketing chaos and get more customers. Simplify your marketing & bring in more sales. 
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