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Mind Blowing Door Opener

Posted by Cameron on January 15, 2010
Culture, Free PR, Marketing

Brooks BrothersTwo years ago I was speaking at the 20th anniversary of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) in Las Vegas. It is not unusual for people to come up after I present to say hello, ask questions, or ask for my contact info. Not a big deal and it usually doesn’t result in much more than a couple second interactions. And ya, this time was different.

A young EO guy I’d never met before named John Ruhlin engaged me in conversation and asked if it was me who was coming to Cleveland to speak at their EO Chapter the following week. He also asked what my plans were the night before. I answered yes that in fact I was going to be coming to his city and that I would more than likely be taking advantage of the dollar being weak and shopping at my favorite store, Brooks Brothers.

We made plans to grab dinner and see a Cavs basketball game after I was done shopping. Someone offering to grab dinner and a sporting event is a nice gesture in business, but not a big deal or out of the ordinary, right??

Well, as it would turn out, coming in that day was a traveler’s nightmare. I had multiple delays and had to beg my way onto a flight that was pulling away from the jet way. I had to text John and let him know that I was coming in 5 hours later than expected and that I understood if he wanted to cancel. He casually reassured me that it was no problem, that he was waiting at the bar in my hotel and that I should get checked in, take my bags upstairs and come down refreshed for a great night. I thought, even though I didn’t get to go shopping I can still enjoy a great meal and take in a little Lebron James. All in all not a bad way to spend an evening in Cleveland. That is what I was expecting…

I got to the hotel and when I went to walk into my room, my jaw dropped. Spread out folded and hanging across my entire room were dozens of suit jackets, pants, shirts, and sweaters…and not just any dress clothes, they were Brooks Brothers dress clothes. My entire room looked like I had walked into a Brooks Brothers retail store. And it was all in my size.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. John, the EO guy had casually asked me what size I wore in an email that week because he said he wanted to send me his company T-shirt.

He’d just pulled off this amazing, mind-altering experience of service (what he calls “strategic appreciation”) and we weren’t even at dinner yet. I took as many pictures on my phone as I could, texted them to my wife, and realized I needed to call John DiJulius to change the example I gave him for his book on the best customer service I had ever experienced.

When I walked into the bar, John looked up with a grin and said, “You enjoyed your Brooks Brothers store?”

Over dinner and the game John explained how using ultra high-end gifts helps him land meetings with CEOs or keep top client relationships amazing.

One of John’s companies, Ruhlin Promotion Group, specialized in doing crazy things like sending a $500 Cutco knife set in 5 consecutive packages to a CEO asking them to “carve out time” for a meeting.

After the Brooks Brothers experience and yes the awesome Cutco knives he sent me engraved with my company BackPocket COO logo, I will meet John Ruhlin anytime, anyplace, and refer him to anybody because I can only hope more and more people get to experience the Ruhlin Promotion Group treatment first hand.

For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture and Generating Free PR.

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4 Comments to Mind Blowing Door Opener

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cameron Herold and Cameron Herold, Tommy Humphreys. Tommy Humphreys said: Check out a great post by @CameronHerold – Mind Blowing Door Opener http://ow.ly/1n6AM3 [...]

Shawn Lane
January 18, 2010

Thank you for sharing, what a great experience. Although not at that level, I have always strived for the out of the ordinary, the ultimate token or experience that will make an impression and stand out. Whether it got me the business or a business relationship that urged my new contact to remember me and extend an invitation to create future relationships through his glowing recommendation. I must say I always prided myself in knowing that I was willing to take the extra time or make the effort. This guy just blew me out of the water!!

uberVU - social comments
January 18, 2010

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by CameronHerold: Mind Blowing Door Opener http://ow.ly/1n6AM3

Mark Rubin
January 26, 2010

Great stuff Cameron. I need to work on this.

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