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John Ruhlin is the founder of the Ruhlin Group and the author of Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention. He’s the #1 all time distributor of Cutco Knives in its 65+ year history.

John is a master gift-giver, who forges lifetime relationships while generating huge returns for his clients.  His impressive list of clients includes the Chicago Cubs, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bears and many top entrepreneurs including Darren Hardy, Cameron Hould, and many more.

The true essence of John Ruhlin can be summed up in this quote from a very important person, his daughter: John helps people love on people.



Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [0:37] Jeremy’s introduction of John Ruhlin, founder of the Ruhlin Group and author of Giftology.
  • [2:03] How John’s daughter describes what he does.
  • [4:16] A fun fact about John.
  • [5:27] Growing up in large family and how it taught him work ethic.
  • [7:44] The importance of standing out.
  • [8:31] John’s aspirations as a kid.
  • [9:27] How John discovered sales and started selling knives.
  • [11:42] The learning curve of getting into sales.
  • [12:48] What worked well with learning to handle objections?
  • [14:57] The transition from going into people’s homes to going into businesses.
  • [17:45] John’s college experience.
  • [18:58] Landing the Chicago Cubs as a client.
  • [22:07] The first big sports team he landed.
  • [25:28] The most outrageous gift he’s ever done.
  • [27:26] The most exciting client ever landed through the gifts.
  • [29:58] Some of the biggest mistakes people make when gifting.
  • [33:57] What stories didn’t make into the book?
  • [36:50] Coming up with new ideas to keep gifts fresh for repeat clients.
  • [38:53] Landing Caesar’s Palace as a client.
  • [41:15] Gifts that backfire.
  • [46:42] The hardest part about writing the book.
  • [48:58] The important points in the book.
  • [50:44] The craziest thing John convinced a client to do.
  • [53:02] The low point of John’s journey.
  • [54:02] How did you get out of that “funk”?
  • [56:34] How did your wife help you get through that low point?
  • [58:21] One of the proudest moments in your journey.
  • [1:00:38] Some of the perks John and his partner give to the team.
  • [1:01:28] John explains his connection to The Bubble Banks Company.
  • [1:04:44] How to connect with John.
  • [1:05:26] Who are some of the companies and entrepreneurs you want as a client?

In this episode…

There’s a reason John is seen as the master gift-giver. He understands the value of giving and discusses why it’s so important to make gifting a core value of any company. From the highs and lows, through the high-profile clients, to the most outrageous gifts he’s given, John gives us insight into how he’s become so successful by mastering the art of gifting.

As one of 6 kids growing up on a farm, John learned early that he had to work for whatever he had. His parents taught him a strong work ethic, which has served him well as he built his business and wrote a successful book. As a child, John envisioned being a doctor because he wanted to work with his head and not his hands. He discusses how that all shifted when he discovered sales and found himself truly enjoying the process of connecting with clients. His first selling gig? Knives. John would go on to be the top seller in the 65-year history of Kutco knives, so it’s pretty clear he had a knack for it.

Once John discovered his passion for sales, he would leave his dreams of going into medical school behind. He would take selling from residential to businesses and would find himself at the helm of a quickly-growing business. John discusses how he made that connection and why he decided to start pitching to businesses. He also talks about how he handles objections and why he believes objections are a good thing.

From working with businesses, John bridged the gap into gifting and would soon be known as the best in the business. John goes on to discuss some of the biggest clients he’s ever worked with, including the Chicago Cubs, and how he wowed them with the first gift he was hired to create. He also shares some of the top mistakes people make in gifting, including the top mistake – making the gift about you, instead of the recipient. John discusses the most outrageous gift he’s ever gifted and why it made a huge impression. In closing, the discuss John’s book, Giftology, and the highs and lows of his journey.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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