An Entrepreneur’s Secret to Giving

Last week I was at a friend’s party, where I found myself having a fascinating conversation with his father.Title

This father has a very successful architecture firm here in NYC. His business is booming, while most of his competitors have been struggling and closing all around him. In fact, this very modest man’s firm has developed an incredible reputation in his industry.

A few minutes into our conversation, it became obvious why he is so successful in business: he generously gives quality time to his clients.

For example, he always hand writes holiday cards to 300+ past and current clients.

He also writes a personal note on each invoices that go out to clients. And while he has many employees, he never delegates these tasks.


“Over the past 30 years, that is one of the main things customers tell me: it is so nice that they get a personal note from me. Because of this, I am always getting repeat business and referrals. Plus it keeps me engaged with my clients and I enjoy doing it.”

This Thanksgiving it is a good idea to assess your giving practices to your clients and prospects.

As competition and market trends continue to intensify business, a giveback strategy becomes more crucial to implement.

But only the right kind.

Giving only works if the party receiving it:

  1. is willing to receive the gift and
  2. appreciates what is being given

Willing to receive the give means they are able to accept it. They understand they are worth it, and they want it. They also appreciate what went into the gift, and understand its value.

If these two components are not present, after a while, the giver can end up feeling:

  • Unappreciated—their gift didn’t mean much to the recipient
  • Frustrated— people don’t “get” what the giver intends
  • Depleted—of the resources of time, money, ideas, and energy

NOTE: the onus is on the giver to help the receiver “get” what is being given.

How to Give Correctly:

  • Screen—make sure the recipients are the right ones, and they will appreciate what you are giving
  • Value—explain what you are giving and the intended significance and impact
  • Reason—explain why you are giving it away

For example, here at BEST Coaches we offer 45-minute complementary Strategy Sessions for entrepreneurs. We screen the entrepreneurs by having them fill out a brief questionnaire, explaining what it is they need help with.

We let them know that in 45 minutes with me, or one of my BEST coaches, they will walk out with a detailed strategy to implement in their business.

Why is it free? Because it is a good way for the recipient to experience what it is like being coached by one of the BEST, and for one of us to gauge if we can make a serious difference for that entrepreneur.

Plus all of us here love speaking with entrepreneurs… well really cool ones, anyway.

Today I did two Strategy Sessions. And spent far more than 45 minutes on each. Mainly because they were so grateful and engaged in what they were getting.

Made the giving fun.

Just like my friend’s father, the architect. His success can be attributed to his love for the personal touch with each of his clients.

The Secret to Giving: is in the receiving.

Contemplate this. I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean. And if not, email me!

Action Steps for the Week

What do you give your clients?

Do you find it is appreciated? Helpful? Understood?

If not, take a step back and reassess what you are giving. Bounce it off someone who is neutral. How does your “gift” come across to them?

Contrived? Inauthentic? Confusing?

If so, make sure where you are coming from with your gift. Ask yourself “why am I giving this to the prospect?” Be honest and make sure you come from your core.

Then explain it from that place of authenticity.

Otherwise, does the person you bounce it off totally get it, but your prospects don’t?

If so, perhaps you are targeting the wrong audience. In which case a screening process might be helpful.

By implementing these steps, you should see your gifts having a far greater impact on your prospects. This in turn will generate results to your business much faster.

When that happens, you’ll be more compelled to give away all you can!