Some people know how to give a gift. They’ve internalized the old saying that it’s “the thought that counts.” At this time of year, we’re all thinking about gift giving. Let me tell you the story of two great gifts.
I was visiting her city. I had heard good things about her and wanted to meet. She responded to my e-mail inviting her to lunch. We met up and had a great time chatting. Our discussion may turn into a joint effort on a project.
During our chat, we talked about my love of travel. She listened and asked questions. Her focus was intense. I felt like she was interested in what I had to say. At some point, the conversation drifted to coffee. We shared thoughts on the “Third Wave” coffee phenomenon.
A week later, as a thank you for our time together, I received a travel Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker delivered by Amazon. It’s the perfect gift because it’s exactly what I need in my life. She was listening.
Later, in the same month, I had breakfast with a woman seeking some advice about growing her practice in a field related to law practice. We talked about a variety of topics related to business as well as our common interests in food and restaurants. I told her about our recent trip to San Francisco and the great ice cream we had while there. She listened, and I enjoyed our conversation.
Three days later, another box arrived at our house. This time it was Jeni’s ice cream. Four quarts of amazing ice cream came packed in dry ice. It was more than ice cream. It showed me that she’d heard what I had to say. It was awesome.
The School of Thought on Gifts
Both of these women didn’t need to send a gift. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything. They could have sent nothing and I never would have noticed. They could have sent something generic—maybe Omaha Steaks or cookies or one of those flower arrangement fruit things (those things scare me) if they felt like they needed to send something.
They didn’t go for generic. They went for something that went way beyond generic. They listened when I talked and they paid attention. They took what they learned about me and applied it to the idea of sending a gift. They went way beyond anything expected.
Follow their lead when you send a gift. Demonstrate your commitment to the relationship. Let the recipient know you’re interested. It truly is the thought that counts. Show them that you’re thinking.