Cutting Board vs Fruit Basket


Scenario 1:  Give the gift of a cutting board.


Friend of recipient comes over, sees personalized cutting board, enters into conversation about the cutting board and the realtor who gave it to them.  Time goes by, friend calls cutting board owner and asks who they said their realtor was.  Your name and contact info is passed on to friend (referral).  They list their house with you and hire you to help them find another house.


Scenario 2:  Give the gift of a fruit basket.


Friend of recipient comes over, sees empty basket – doesn’t say a thing about it.  No conversation is started about the fruit basket or the realtor who gave it to them.  Your name is not brought up.  You get no referral.  You didn’t get to help them sell their house.  You didn’t get to help them buy a new house.


Scenario 3:  Give the gift of a bottle of wine.


Please read the outcome from scenario 2.


Scenario 4:  Give the gift of cookies, candy etc.


Please read the outcome from scenario 2.


What does scenario 2 – 4 have in common.  They are all consumable!  Nothing wrong with cheese baskets, candy, nuts, coffee, breakfast baskets etc.  They are fun and people do like them.  The thing is that because they are consumable, the recipient may remember, but these items do not lend themselves to conversations that lead to your name being brought up and subsequent referrals/sales/money in your pocket.


A cutting board will last for years – even decades.  The conversation may go something like this.  Oh, what a lovely cutting board!  Where did you get that with your name on it?  Oh, our realtor gave it to us as a housewarming gift.  Such a well thought out, personalized gift.  Your realtor must be really good at what he/she does!  … 3 years later, hey who did you say your realtor was?  The one who gave you that beautiful cutting board with your name on it?


Nobody is going to say, oh, where did you get that bottle of wine?


If you are looking at price, you may be missing value.  Same with a house, you know you can show a house that is 4,000 square feet that costs $265,000 and one that is 4,000 square feet that costs $385,000.  The difference?  Hollow doors vs 6 panel oak, thin white baseboard vs hardwood, vinyl floor covering vs marquee tongue and groove.  You know this about houses.  Now apply it to your gift giving!


In marketing, we have a thing called cost per impression.  Simply put, you take the entire cost of an item and divide by the number of exposures (every time a pair of eyes glosses over it).  CPI is the true cost of getting your name out to the public.  Internet uses CPX.  CPM is cost per thousand.  Of course when you are giving a personal gift, most likely, you aren’t dealing with thousands, not even hundreds of unique eyes.  But the goodwill that you gain and the conversations that will be born because of a gift will be very productive for you.  Much better than a consumable.  That said, if you really want to go over the top, give a cutting board and a basket of fruit or cheese… Now you made an impression that gives the recipient instant gratification (food) and long term exposure (cutting board).  If you have made a bunch of money on the sale, you may consider this approach.  One other thing, and of course you know this, but these gifts are business expenses and can be claimed as such on your taxes.  So the cost can offset itself in regular taxable gain.  So the net cost is “$0.00”.  Pretty good deal when you look at it this way!


Thank you for taking the time to read this.  We hope this article has shed some light on the subject of gift giving and hope you have gained insight into the process and of course the value of giving something that will last for years.