Jan. 6, 2022

Leveraging Strategic Gifting in Sales

Leveraging Strategic Gifting in Sales

In today’s episode of ‘Sales Samurai’ podcast, host Sam Capra, talks with guest Torrance Hart (Founder and CEO of Teak & Twine) about how to leverage strategic gifting sales. They also discuss about the best practices and common pitfalls in strategic gifting.


Episode Highlights

  • 02:28 - Torrance knew that she would start a business as she was looking everywhere for kind of niches gaps in the market.
  • 04:13 – Sam says what gifts can we send guests to accomplish their goals.
  • 06:03 – The host says that at some point in time they will have to put on a sale to get their business where they want it to be.
  • 7:15 - Sam enquires, how do you define what is strategic gifting.
  • 09:20 – We can send a gift, host a virtual event, cut our overall event budget in half and accomplish more than what we were accomplishing in person, states Torrance.
  • 11:50 – Torrance highlights how just changing the wording to book a call and getting a free gift made the Calendly Bookings go through the roof.
  • 13:00 – They’re doing their own internal ABM, sending out emails and combining it with a get a free gift, mentions Torrance.
  • 15:00 – Torrance points out that they are booking slightly more meetings that had a lower closed rate but they weren't wasting a ton of money on guests.
  • 18:01- The guest shares, they created a gift around juggling and then the QR code took them to a little class.
  • 19:56 – One of the great things that a lot of their tech partners offer is that they let the recipient choose reveals Torrance.
  • 22:58 – Sam asks Torrance, if gifting works better in the colder stages.
  • 25:35 – They can send something and then basically have their own clients become a warm lead and only pay the money for the ones who booked the meeting.
  • 43 - Branded items are going to go in the trash, they can add that memorable branded experience to the outside.
  • 28: 48 – Torrance states that if they send something in February, it's going to be really hard to be a super memorable December Gift.
  • 30:34 – The more they can do on National Taco Day or National Juggling Day, it automatically puts their gift in the memorable and creative category, says the guest.
  • 31:35 – Torrance points out, those companies care about who is sourcing their gift.
  • 34:51 - Personalized Email or Handwritten Card has really opened doors and done incredible things, mentions Torrance.
  • 36:05 – Sam thinks that sometimes just the smallest little detail which doesn't have to have a gift with it, resonates more with that than the other gift that is probably a lot more expensive.
  • 37:46 – The guest suggests to make a list of your 10 best clients and send them a gift.
  • 39:00 - If we look someone in the eyes and tell them something and use their name and tell them a story, that's an incredible addition that costs very little.

Three Key Points

  1. Torrance says that strategic gifting is gifting, but there's always an action behind their gifts, there's always a goal. There's always something they want the recipient or client to do when they receive that gift.
  2. Sales Hacker did a study and saw that the deal size increased 2.42% in sending a gift. So, they can afford a little bit of waste there with that increase in deal size, for sure.
  3. The best practices in strategic gifting are: first, tie the gift to the action that they want the recipients to take. Second, is to offer choice to the recipients or clients. 

Tweetable Quotes

  • “I think the revelation for me has been that I'm in sales.” – Torrance Hart
  • “Chocolate bars are delicious but when you combine them with a little bit of strategy in all those elements, it really just changes.” – Torrance Hart
  • “I cannot believe the attraction that we're getting from that ABM gifting approach.” - Torrance Hart
  • “For our clients and us, I am recommending warmer leads, have a conversation and get qualified as an MQL and then go crazy.” - Torrance Hart
  • “If you want to stand out, if you're trying to have the recipient take action, book a call.” - Torrance Hart
  • “You dip your toe in the water to see how it works and then it's easy to expand once you see the success of a campaign.” – Torrance Hart
  • ‘If you do decide just to send a card, then my recommendation is to include a QR code on that card with a video to a view saying what you want to say to that client, make it personalized.” - Torrance Hart

Resources Mentioned

Title Sponsors:


Speaker 0    00:00:01    Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You are now tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra.  
Speaker 1    00:00:29    Welcome to another episode of the sales samurai. Thanks again for listening. Uh, before we begin, do us a favor subscribe, download, take a minute to share all that kind of fun stuff on today's show. We're going to be discussing, leveraging strategic gifting in sales. And I have an amazing guest, uh, out of a very, very, very cold Washington DC who are tarred from tweaking ticked in twine to talk about this subject Torrance, welcome to the  
Speaker 2    00:00:56    Show. Thanks so much for having me great to be here. How has that  
Speaker 1    00:00:59    Nice cold weather going up your way?  
Speaker 2    00:01:01    You know, we're supposed to be having cold weather you'd think, but, uh, it is, you know, we're a couple days from Halloween here at taping time and I can't believe how hot it is. I'm just going to enjoy it as long as it wants to happen. Those trigger treaters who want to be ballerinas are going to be happy.  
Speaker 1    00:01:19    You'll take it cause it's not gonna be too far in the future where you're going to be bitterly cold. And you're going to be looking back at this day.  
Speaker 2    00:01:26    Absolutely. I'll be listening to this when it airs and saying, what are you complaining about?  
Speaker 1    00:01:32    That's funny. We've gotten to know each other offline a bit, but I'd love for you to just kind of give the audience a little bit of a background about what you about yourself, what you're doing and take the time, those types of things.  
Speaker 2    00:01:43    Sure. So after college, I actually joined the air force and worked as an Intel officer for eight years and got to deploy three times, lived in a few different places and honestly had a blast. It was an amazing adventure, but as my time was winding down, I knew exactly what I wanted to do next. I mean, I am the classic like lemonade stand in third grade, knocking on my neighbor's doors, asking them if I could run errands for them for money. I always thought that I would start a business. I mean the specifics of what kind of business details, Sam details, minor detail. I knew I would start a business and I was looking everywhere for kind of niches gaps in the market. And at the time I was also planning a wedding, which I know has launched a thousand businesses, right? And that was the same for me.  
Speaker 2    00:02:43    I noticed at the time that there was a trend where a lot of couples were creating wedding, welcome gifts for their out of town guests. And there was no business that was doing them. And I thought I'm going to do it. And I also looked at the gifting space out there. It's not like there's no gifting out there. And I thought the basket, the cellophane, this can be so much better. This can be so much more modern. I instantly knew that I would pair it down, that I would make everything about the packaging sleeker that I wanted to highlight the products. And ultimately that's where it went. One of my brides from my first year in business happened to work at Microsoft. And so she came back to me and she said, thanks for the bridesmaid gifts. But wondering if you might be able to help out my company, Microsoft with 200 holiday gifts, just an astronomically, huge order. And as soon as I could see how fun it was to dive into corporate gifting, everything about it was just creatively. Logistically of course the orders were bigger. Everything about it was so fun that, you know, a couple of years ago, we never looked back and we're all in on strategic corporate gifting, working with sales teams, marketing teams, virtual event teams, HR professionals, and doing what we can to send gifts to accomplish their goals.  
Speaker 1    00:04:17    That's fantastic. So I'm always curious, because like you said, the, the details are what business that's just minor. I just knew I wanted to be in business for myself, had that entrepreneurial spirit. But I always ask this, especially for people that have founded and really kind of grown things, grassroots and just kind of grown with the business, if you will, is like, what's the thing that you just didn't expect. Like, you know, you know, you have payroll, you have all that, like, like what's the thing that you just didn't anticipate good, bad or indifferent that that's kind of come up as running this organization.  
Speaker 2    00:04:47    So at the risk of your audience, just the ending me with what a sales newbie I was when I started, I mean, I, I think the revelation for me has been, oh shit, I'm in the sales. Like when I first started, it felt like customer service. It felt like maybe I'm design, am I a logistics manager? And then I was reading a sales book and it just hit me. I am in sales, no doubt about it. And the more that I've embraced everything about the sales structure of a company, from how it's structured to the commission structure, to supporting account managers in what they're doing, the better it's gone. But it's been a very, that was an interesting thing for me to embrace. And then ultimately it's so much more fun once you just go all in on sales. I love it.  
Speaker 1    00:05:52    That's great. And it's funny, you mentioned that because you know, I've heard that a couple of times I've heard that from, and I don't say non-sales, cause that's not the right term, but like people that have never been in a traditional sales role, like they've never whatever. And they've started as an entrepreneur, you have to put on a sales hat at some point in time to get your business where you want it to be. You don't have the bandwidth, you don't have the resources just to be hiring. You got to do it on your own. So it's funny that you picked up on that relatively early, because I've heard some other entrepreneurs, like it took me a long time to figure that out.  
Speaker 2    00:06:24    Absolutely. I think that I kind of fell into that. If you're not doing outbound, maybe it doesn't feel like sales. If it's not outbound. And of course we're all you're right. Anytime you hire someone, anytime you do anything, you're in sales.  
Speaker 1    00:06:39    That's awesome. So, Hey, I want to transition because I love by the way the origin story and how you came up with the minor detail of what business you're going to get into. But you know, this is a space that I think has just been blowing up. I saw reach desk, this get a huge round of funding. Postal got a huge round of funding. If I'm not mistaken dosa, this has got a huge amount of funding about a year and a half ago, maybe even sooner. So it's a blowing up space, but you've actually, when we were talking offline about, Hey, what do you want to call? Like, cause I've had our friends over our postal. He's like, I don't like the gifting term, but you use strategic gifting. So kind of walk me through like, how do you define what is strategic? Hey, make sure I've said that correctly. And then be like, how do you define strategic gifting towards  
Speaker 2    00:07:23    Completely understand why some people would not want to use the gifting term, but yet we call it strategic gifting. It's gifting, but there's always an action behind our gifts. There's always a goal. There's always something we want the recipient. Our client wants the recipient to do when they receive that gift. And when you design a gift and everything about the card, the packaging, the contents with that action in mind, it becomes a totally different thing. Chocolate bars are delicious, but when you combine them with a little bit of strategy in all those elements, it really just changes. And I certainly understand the stigma against the word gifting. It feels touchy, feely. It feels like, you know, are we really just thinking about making people feel good or making people feel happy? Of course. And there are studies that show that those kinds of good feelings, they work in sales, but there's also some really great science behind it.  
Speaker 2    00:08:29    And some really great stats. You know, you're more likely to book a meeting. If you send a gift to, you're more likely to, to have attendees attend a virtual event. If you send a gift, you're more likely to work with a gift giver longer as a client. And you're right, the past year has been this explosive year for anyone in the gifting space. One thing that you know, but I'll mention is so our gifts are on send DOSO site, postal site, reach desks, snappy Alice we're partners with all of those companies, whenever any of them have a big win, you know, we're cheering over here and it's been incredible watching the growth, your rights, and DOSO just closed a hundred million dollar seed round. I think it was series C or B, uh, postal 22 million reach desk close. They're having just these explosive years. As people realize, hold on, we can send a gift post a virtual event, cut our overall event budget in half and accomplish more than what we were accomplishing in person. We can gift our clients as opposed to the sales incentive trips or the dinners that we were doing before. And actually we can still stay connected. And then there's the whole employee and HR side of it too. That's just been growing explosively in the past year. So it's been really exciting to watch our tech partners grow and then our business grow as well in the past year.  
Speaker 1    00:10:02    That's fantastic. My comments, cause what you've said really hit home. And obviously I'm seeing it firsthand as a sales leader, working with the postal. I worked with some dos in the past. They're all great organizations, but postal, Eric does a fantastic job over there. We've made the transition and there's two things I would say. I don't want to get your thoughts on this. Hey, I, 100% agree with you. There is nothing like getting a package, especially in today's noise of all digital just to receive something and it's box a nice way. Even if it's just a mug in there, like I know a lot more strategic than that, but there's still something about just opening something as a human being that does feel good, right? That somebody took the time out to pack this, think of this, send it to me with a handwritten note that in itself, I see the value in that, just on that level alone.  
Speaker 1    00:10:49    But you know, as a sales organization, leading a sales team, you know, account-based marketing is all the rage now, right? And it's all about how do you get your foot deeper, wider into these account-based marketing or these accounts and all these other channels seem to be very cluttered. And there's this new one kind of, that's why all this funding is bubbling up, right? This offline strategic gifting. So that I just kind of want to get your thoughts. Like, do you see that in your area? Like that's the, you're seeing a lot more from the sales perspective, maybe a sales marketing, are you seeing a lot more that as your business continues to grow alongside with post, once the DOSO reached us being a partner of theirs  
Speaker 2    00:11:30    A hundred percent, I heard the head of marketing at Lessonly on a podcast a few months ago. And he was talking about the concept of eating your own dog food as an organization. I was like, I love that. I started thinking about how we can eat our own dog food. So we added in the line, we have a button on all of our signature blocks at the bottom of our email book, a call with an account manager. We've got it in our catalog, et cetera. We just changed the wording to book a call and get a free gift. And we sent them to our portal basically where they can select from one of three gifts. And our Calendly bookings went through the roof. Then we didn't even design this as an experiment, but that is really how it worked. We thought, you know, we're getting closer to the holidays.  
Speaker 2    00:12:23    Mid September, October is coming. We really see an influx. Do we really need to offer this incentive closer to the holidays when everyone is looking for gifts? So we took it off everywhere, just said, book a call. Well, you know what happened? Our Calendly is plummeted. Three weeks later, we put it back in and it 3.5 X, the number of bookings that we were getting by adding the end, get a free gift. So we are eating our own dog food and we are seeing our clients are reporting back amazing numbers, but we're using our own strategies to book clients and seeing the exact numbers that we see reported and same thing with ABM. So we're doing our own internal ABM sending out emails, but combining it with a, get a free gift. And it's perfect because they're then testing our software, but getting the gift as well. And I cannot believe the traction that we're getting from that ABM gifting approach together. That's fantastic. So it's been really exciting and certainly we love what we hear from our clients as well when they're using it.  
Speaker 1    00:13:38    And I know we're going to talk and that's great to hear. I mean, I know we're going to talk about best practices and common pitfalls, which I'm extremely interested in because I leverage these types of solutions. I think I fall more on the pitfall side than I do the best practices, but that's another podcast for another day. Here's I will play devil's advocate. I'm going to get your thoughts on is, okay. I get a free gift. Sure. I'm going to book a meeting, but how many of those actually convert? Like, is it that long? Hey, we get a ton of meetings. Fantastic. But we still have the same close rate or we still have, it's actually a lower close rate because they just won the gift and they just took the gift or took the meeting for the gift. Like I hear that bubble out in the audience sometimes about, yeah. If I give you a $10 Amazon gift card, I'm sure you've going to take a meeting, but how many are actually converting? What's your thoughts around that Torrance?  
Speaker 2    00:14:22    So as the director of sales, when I see those calendars come through, yeah. There's a little bit of vetting that I'm going to do to make sure that it's worth the meeting. Two interesting things. One. Yes. We noticed that our counselees that came through that link had a 5% lower close rate, but very interesting. The ones who didn't close or the no shows to the meeting didn't claim the gift. It's like they were self-selecting and going, ah, you know what, I'm unsure. If I'm going to go with this, I can feel the law of reciprocity here in this, get a free gift. I'll just leave the gift and take the call and then they weren't doing it. So we were not, we were booking slightly more meetings that had a slightly lower close, right? Not disturbingly lower, but we weren't wasting a ton of money on guests. And certainly if you're one of the huge benefits of using something like Sentosa or postal is as you know, from using it, it feels like you only actually have to spend the ROI on the folks who booked the calls. I mean, think about the waste before these tools existed, you would send a gift to every single person on your potential list. Those who were interested in not  
Speaker 1    00:15:49    Right and correct me. Cause you know, one of the feedback I got from Eric at postal was, and he kind of, I think he hit her. I don't know if we got that far into the weeds, but when the, he did say he also saw is the average deal size, maybe a lower close rate, but the average deal size was, was actually bigger than before. Like, so it kind of, it actually is more productive because your deal sizes are larger. Yeah. You might be having a lower close rate. I don't want to put words in, it's not that that was the intuition that I got based on that conversation. Do you have, is that, would you think that's pretty par for the course?  
Speaker 2    00:16:21    I think that's par for the course and sales hacker did a study and saw that the deal size increased 2.4, 2%. Yeah. Like 2.4 X in sending a gift. So you can afford a little bit of waste there with that increase in deal size, for sure.  
Speaker 1    00:16:41    Makes sense. So talk to us a little bit about the best practices, because this is one that I'm going to be listening to because I think I I'll be honest with you. I'm not sure we do. I, I know we don't do it as effectively and as efficiently. So I'm really interested to hear your thoughts around what are the best practices in strategically gifting.  
Speaker 2    00:16:58    Sure. So I've got a couple of best practices and then I want to tie each one with a story of a client who just hit this best practice out of the park. The first one is to tie the gift to the action that you want the recipient to take. And I know that can sound tricky cause you're thinking, okay, mug and chocolate bar, but how am I getting them to take that action? Right? And a fantastic way is to include something in the gift like QR codes, right? That would have just been huge this year. But QR codes tied in with a riddle and mystery. A little bit of curiosity that goes with the gift wa you know, learn more about our organization by hitting this QR code. Not that great. We had a client a couple of years ago who really knocked this out of the park.  
Speaker 2    00:17:53    They sent a gift off cycle that's that is outside the holiday season, which is another best practice, but they sent it at national juggling day and they were an online education company where you could basically go on and take courses. And so it tied in perfectly. So we identified the juggling day. We created a gift around juggling and then the QR code took them to a little class where the CEO was actually teaching it kind of funny short video about how to juggle, okay, that's going to work a lot better than hit this QR code to learn more. It's funny. You want to see the leader of this company learned to juggle, but of course it also ties in with the actual mission of the company, which is to teach people, to create engaging educational videos and ultimately to get the recipients of these guests, to go to the website and learn more about the gifts. And so that really works beautifully for them and something that we think about with every guest that we put together.  
Speaker 1    00:19:01    That's fantastic. So kind of just boiling it down for me, cause I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed is, Hey, what are you sending? Why are you sending it? How you connecting the dot? I mean, right. How do you making it an experience, but how are you actually connecting the dot for that prospect? And to your point, like what they did was from an education standpoint, tied together very, very nicely and what the organization did. That's kind of what I took from it towards like kind of miss it or was it on the right track there?  
Speaker 2    00:19:28    No, I love it. That's exactly right. So a lot of clients are loving sending Spotify playlist, especially in the past year. We'll put those on a page of your website, get people to your site. That's what you want. Right? So all of this, these really cool features that you're adding, host them on your site, a video of the, from the CEO, thanking clients, that's so much cooler than a card and hosted on your site to get people to learn more about the company while they're there.  
Speaker 1    00:20:00    I think you had another one, right? That you had a couple of other use case that you thought was pretty worthy of sharing.  
Speaker 2    00:20:06    That's right. My second best practice is to offer choice. And a lot of our tech partners, this is one of the great things that they offer is they let the recipient choose. And I know one of the toughest things when you're sending gifts is okay, well, what do I send? I don't know this person. I don't know what they like. Sure. For the huge enterprise level client, it might be worth spending an hour on LinkedIn and on their social, trying to find out a little bit about them, but you can't do that for everyone. And so offering them choice is a great way to go. And we can do this on our platform. A lot of our tech partners can do it as well. Just send them to a link where they get to choose between three or six different gifts at similar price points. And they're going to pick the one that they love. And they're going to feel like you hit it out of the park. Like you're going to get all the credit for sending a gift that they love.  
Speaker 1    00:21:01    Right. That's fantastic. Yeah. You bring up a good point on that because are you seeing that there's actually a sweet spot in the spending like, Hey, if you're spending a hundred dollars, it doesn't necessarily bring as much value as maybe sending a 20. Like, are you seeing that there's a sweet spot to sending or it might just way off kilter on that?  
Speaker 2    00:21:18    No, you're absolutely right. So we tend to see $50 as a sweet spot for warm leads to book a meeting, repeat clients who had typically spent more with us. We might hit that hundred dollar price point because now that's a very warm lead vetted has spent in the past. And then of course we have a handful of clients that are such fantastic clients and our clients will we'll often have similar tiers where they're hitting a $50 tier, a hundred dollar tier, and then a $200 tier is popular as well.  
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Speaker 1    00:22:37    Makes sense is there. And I know we're going to talk about this because I know you, I know from a best practice and from a pitfall standpoint, but do you find that gifting works better later in the deal process when we're talking about sales? Is it better when you do have a real, like, not necessarily even a great word, but you've talked at least a few times. Like he would know you, he would know your voice, they would know what you look like. There's been some interaction. Do you find gifting works better after that point? Or does it work better in the colder stages where you don't know what to break into that type of relationship? Where are you finding the common ground there?  
Speaker 2    00:23:13    So I would be really curious to hear what Eric at postal told you, because our gifts that take in twine start at $50. So for our clients and us, I am recommending warmer leads, have a conversation, get qualified as an MQL and then go crazy. They've signed up for the virtual event. The gift gets them to attend the you're sending it to repeat clients. They've already spent money with you. They responded to your inquiry. Now you want them to show up to the meeting. So at that price point, we kind of live in the warmer lead price point. Now postal send DOSO those guys who have $5 Panera gift cards, coffee on me at Starbucks. I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine that they can send those to a colder audience and have some pretty good successes as well.  
Speaker 1    00:24:07    Yeah, no, without a doubt. I don't think Eric and I kind of got to that level of it, but I know in another conversation I had with, uh, someone else who actually worked at Sandoz. So that was a big tier point. Each her own dog food STRs would randomly just give out gifts like $5, $10 to do the same thing, right. To get them to take the meeting, but also to experience the experience of getting something from their brand so they can see what their customer would feel. So I do think there's value and I think it's just a lot harder at that stage with them not knowing you to build enough value off of a five, 10 D, because then it becomes the law of diminishing returns. If you're sitting at $10,005 cars, I mean, that's a lot of money. So I think that's one I would like to probably get into the weeds at some point, kind of do some testing around to figure out, Hey, where is that diminishing returns? It doesn't make sense, but I do agree with you. The warmer ones makes perfect sense. I think it really endears you to that customer as well, because of now that relationship that's formed.  
Speaker 2    00:25:07    Absolutely. And this is a little bit a one-off, but I heard a marketing probe from Marquetto say that what they did to skin that cat is they sent boxes and I believe it was either through Alice or send DOSO. And in those gifts they included a fake hundred dollar, $50 Amazon gift card. And then it said, book the meeting and we'll load it with real money. And so that's where you can send something and then basically have your own clients become a warm lead and only pay the money for the ones who booked the meeting.  
Speaker 1    00:25:45    That's cool. Yeah. So on the best practice I did you have anyone good. I want to get to the PIP cause I'm as much as I, I actually love the idea around the juggling one. If somebody saw me, Joe, I don't think they would ever buy anything. Cause it's, that's just a train wreck, but I do like the thought process behind it. What about from a pitfall standpoint? Like what are you seeing that just people are just not doing the right way. Like that's just as valuable as the best practice.  
Speaker 2    00:26:09    There is. Number one main pitfall that every gifter will tell you. And it's the tricky issue of logos and logos are hard. You want to brand your gifts. But all of the research is unanimous that people, all of the good feelings of reciprocity and care and personalization and it being memorable decreases with use of the logo. And ultimately what we recommend to our clients is branded packaging does not take away. Branded items are going to go in the trash. It's just what we keep hearing. And so you can add that memorable branded experience to the outside. But when you're talking coasters, when you're talking mugs, when you're talking notebooks, the best situation, and this would be probably an enterprise level situation is personalized to the client, their monogram, their name on it. And if you can't do that, then nothing at all, just the item itself, it really is going to be used if you don't brand it.  
Speaker 2    00:27:24    And I know, I know that's tricky and some clients that really want stuff branded, you know, we pick one item and brand it and then have all the other items around it just truly be unbranded keepsakes. So that is a consistent, tough pitfall. The second one is Christmas and listen, we're going to, into our busy season here. Christmas will never not be absolutely our super bowl and Olympics smashed into one around here. However, if you want to stand out, if you're trying to have the recipient take action, book a call, I don't recommend Christmas because you are going to be one of 10 gifts that that recipient receives that day. They're not even going to have time to send you a thank you text on December 21st, as they're trying to put up their out of office and they have a stack of gifts by the door, but our clients who send off cycle at off holidays, Halloween is brilliant. Mardi Gras is brilliant. It's already more memorable just for not being Christmas or December specific. And then you have the added benefit of way more outreach from the folks who are receiving it because you can literally be the best thing that they got in the mail that month. If you send something in February, it's going to be really hard to be a super memorable December gift. That's great.  
Speaker 1    00:29:02    I actually would have thought the opposite. I actually thought Christmas makes sense. Hey, Merry Christmas. Just wanted to reach out. But you know, as you're talking through that, it goes back to the whole noise conversation we were having, right? You're just now part of the noise again, where the goal of this is to break away from the noise. So that makes perfect sense to me. So, but you're saying Christmas, is there any other holiday that's like Christmas that you just love? Cause you brought up Halloween, Marta grow some other smaller holidays is Christmas unique in that we're Hey, just don't send over any other holiday it's fair game or is there other things that are similar to that?  
Speaker 2    00:29:37    I think Christmas is unique from a noise perspective. I not recommend ascend in that goes out the first week of January, even our clients that want to send a new year's gift. I recommend the second week of January, because just get them when they're back in the office, let them dig out from their inbox before you send it so that they have a chance of responding and having their lives together a little bit. I think that we have clients who consider sending around mother's day and their reasons for it are super admirable. But I think that's a really tricky holiday. I think that there are a lot of emotions around non mother's wish I was a mother. Are you saying that it's better? If I was, I was a mother, right? I just don't recommend that as a corporate holiday strategy. Other than that, I honestly think the more esoteric, the better, the more you can do national taco day national juggling day, because it, it automatically makes you, it puts your gift in the memorable and creative category without you having to be the funniest person, the wittiest person, the best copy or anything like that.  
Speaker 1    00:30:55    That's fantastic. So along those lines, because you're seeing a lot of gifts, like you're seeing, what's working, you guys eat your own dog food, everything that we've discussed just discussed, where is gifting going? Is gifting going more the experience route? Is it going? I see charity, you have donated in your name, like where is gifting going? Cause it's blowing up now. I think it's only at the beginning. Where do you think this is heading the next two years, three years, whatever the magic number is.  
Speaker 2    00:31:21    Yeah. There's a couple of things that we're really noticing in the past year. One, just like you said, an explosion, not necessarily of wanting to give to charity though. Certainly we have seen that and we love it. But companies caring about who is sourcing their gift. They, especially in the past two years are asking, is this made by a black owned business, a women owned business. Talk to me about the environmental repercussions of the products in this gift and the packaging. Talk to me about the size of the companies. We really want to support small businesses. And we're hearing that, not just from other small businesses, but fortune 500 companies who are saying, we want every piece of this gift to be sourced from a small business. And we want the story of the products to be included in the gift so that everybody understands. We're not just sending you stuff where we are supporting other businesses with this gift. And here are the cool stories behind what you're experiencing here.  
Speaker 1    00:32:30    Makes sense. Is there ever a scenario, a given an example just to, to walk through it when you're trying to pick the right thing, cause we go back to picking the right thing and I love the story you told about don't beat yourself over it. Just have a story around it, connect the dots a bit, but let's say, you know, you're trying to connect the dots. You're trying to send the right thing. Do I send a beer collection? You know, a draft beer, the cool IPA's well, if they don't drink you don't, maybe you don't know like, is there anything that's just, Hey, that's a fine line or not like, is there stuff that, Hey, if you can't, if you don't know, for sure stay away from, is there any kind of rules that you would say towards when it comes to that kind of stuff?  
Speaker 2    00:33:09    Absolutely. We've had clients where they design a gift that includes alcohol, beef, jerky, peanuts, shortbread cookies. And then all of a sudden, by the time the send derives, these 15 need to be gluten free. These five are no beef jerky. These 10 are apple cider instead. And so those are the most popular hits. I would say alcohol it's very popular. It's still extremely popular. Absolutely. But of course it's something to consider. And I would say first, some companies, beef jerky might be a no-go for some it's doesn't even come on the radar. It would be popular with everyone. And we're getting some clients who are saying, you know what I'm done with the gluten-free request. Just give me a gift without food. And I understand that as well, but we're still by and large not hearing that request a ton. I don't think there are a ton of really extreme landmines. Okay.  
Speaker 1    00:34:12    It makes sense. And then obviously I've heard organizations say, Hey, we can't accept gifts. Like that's corporate policy, like thoughts on that ways around not necessarily ways around it. I don't know if you can, but what is your thoughts on, how do you still strategically gift when you're not really allowed to strategically gift in any thoughts that you can share on?  
Speaker 2    00:34:32    You know, honestly, when I hear we don't accept gifts, I kind of just go in a different direction. Like I'm not going to try to find it's usually government organizations and I'm like, I'm probably not going to win this one. We'll just go with something else. If they don't. Then I think every person listening to this has stories about how a personalized email or a handwritten card has really opened doors and done incredible things. I'm sure you've heard this a ton on, on this podcast, but the bar is set so low for personalization that I think a lot of times when we're feeding ourselves over the head thinking, how can I make this the most personalized, most special, and honestly putting a name on it, writing anything in the card that the recipient reads and says, okay, this is really just written for me. This, this is specific is going to blow people's minds.  
Speaker 1    00:35:35    Right? That's a great color. I think, I don't think sometimes I think a lot of times we over-complicate things and I can tell you, obviously being in my role, I've I've received gifts. People have heard, or they want to send it to try and get solar stuff to our organization. And I will say, there's been things that like, Hey, that's cool. It's a mug or it's cool. It's a nice whatever. Like it's a coffee set. I drink coffee. Great. But like, it didn't carry as much weight as when I've just received a handwritten note where it's like, Hey, I really saw this, this and this. I see your daughter plays tennis. And my daughter plays tennis and whatever the connection was, sometimes just the smallest little detail that doesn't have to have a gift with it. I actually resonated more with that than I did the other gift. That was probably a lot more expensive. But I think it goes to what you were saying.  
Speaker 2    00:36:22    Makes complete sense. Send me a gift. That's for my kids. I'm going to remember that. I mean, that's, that's really cool.  
Speaker 1    00:36:31    So as we're talking through this and kind of winding it down, like final thoughts, like you would share like maybe one good one. I did ask this of Eric like, Hey, my company is not going to do a postal is not, maybe I can't get a corporate program. Like, what's your thoughts? Like, can someone do this on their, I mean, worst case scenario, there's Amazon. Like what would your thoughts be that, Hey, I can't get this sponsor or I can't do this through my organization. How would you tackle that? What would you share to that individual?  
Speaker 2    00:36:58    Well, I can't resist saying that our gifting minimum is only 20 gifts and we have a store that you can go on and buy one gift for your client on there. And we have many clients who do that because you're right. A lot of the tech solutions are prohibitively expensive. So there's certainly that. But I would say thinking off cycle, making a small list of warm leads who spent money with you last year and sending a gift to them. I know that in past years I have gotten caught up thinking we need to send one gift to anyone. Who's booked a meeting, one gift to anyone who spent this amount of money. And by the time I got to the end of this tiered approach, I ended up not doing anything because it was too much. So make a list of your 10 best clients and send them a gift. It's one, a ton of our clients do. And if anything, that is going to work the best and then you might find that it works so well that you expand the gifting as it works. And as it pays for itself, a lot of our clients and send DOSO clients say the gifting way more than pays for itself. You dip your toe in the water, see how it works. And then it's easy to expand once you see the success of a campaign.  
Speaker 1    00:38:24    That's fantastic. So, I mean, so what you were saying is, Hey, look at your list of customers, pick the top 10 or however you want to rationalize that and then put a plan around, Hey, what am I going to send them, but actually take the, do it just, I mean, dive in and make that happen. The return on that investment is exponential when it comes to it.  
Speaker 2    00:38:43    Absolutely. And if you do decide just to send a card, then my recommendation is to include a QR code on that card with a video of you saying what you want to say to that client, make it personalized. There's lots of tech solutions that allow you to send 10 different QR codes to 10 different people. But if you look someone in the eyes and tell them something and use their name and tell them a story, that's an incredible addition that costs very little  
Speaker 1    00:39:14    That's fantastic feedback. And I'll piggyback off that because in my role, we, unfortunately we don't carry the book of business. We're all net new logos, but I could see this dovetailing very nicely and pay runner report of closed, lost opportunities over the past year. Things that were close, that just didn't happen. Is there an opportunity to run that list and re-engage those individuals to bubble them back up in the upcoming year as well? There's a lot of different ways of skinning that cat. I think that's the main gist of kind of what you were going with this get strategic. Once again, strategic gifting around how you want to approach your market.  
Speaker 2    00:39:48    There's a holiday in March, I believe. And it's client appreciation day. I'm sure it was developed by another gifting company, but you know what we take advantage of it because it just is a perfect excuse to reach out at a perfect time of the year. And thank clients who have been working with us.  
Speaker 1    00:40:10    That's fantastic. So how do people, and by the way, we're going to include show notes and we'll have all the links to Torrens her LinkedIn, her website, the whole nine yards, but how would people connect with you once what's, what's the best way to learn? So people connecting with you learning more about your organization as well.  
Speaker 2    00:40:28    Sure. Our website is teak like the wood and twine, like the string.com. And I know you've linked to that in the show notes. And then the other main place where we hang out is on LinkedIn. We've got a funny gifting gifts for days, so you can go chat with us on LinkedIn. We're always chatting about gifting sales cycle and joking about what it is to be in sales. So we'd love to meet more sales samurai folks over there.  
Speaker 1    00:40:57    Fantastic. And I have to ask this last question. What's the name origin teak in Twilio was kind of a thought process behind that.  
Speaker 2    00:41:05    It's a terrible story.  
Speaker 1    00:41:10    All right. Well from that, from the vodka  
Speaker 2    00:41:12    Terrible name, you know what, we're SCO committed to it now. So we're going to sail this ship into the horizon, but  
Speaker 1    00:41:22    Fair enough. You know, I like it. I, I do. I mean, I, when I'm saying I was like, you know what, that's one of those type of names, honestly, that does stand out to where we were talking offline. That's one name. There's been a lot of names that have kind of just gone way over my head, but I've been meaning to ask you that. I appreciate the fact that it's not a great story  
Speaker 2    00:41:41    Though. I feel like in 2021, our name should be something like Zippy or Zippy,  
Speaker 1    00:41:49    Whatever works, whatever it gets, the customers in the door will take you. Exactly. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. It was an absolute pleasure having you  
Speaker 2    00:41:58    Great to be here, Sam. Awesome. Chatting with you.  
Speaker 0    00:42:03    Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales samurai.io and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content. 

Torrance Hart Profile Photo

Torrance Hart


As Founder and CEO of Teak & Twine, Torrance Hart leads the sales team in addition to driving business strategy.

A born entrepreneur, Torrance spent eight years in the Air Force before launching Teak & Twine in2015. The company was born out of her combined passion for business and marketing and her love of quality products in beautiful packaging.

At the time, Teak & Twine was focused on creating custom wedding guest boxes, but an opportunity to create a holiday gift for Microsoft helped Torrance identify the company’s true niche. She’s since grown Teak & Twine into a multi-million dollar business focused exclusively on corporate gifting.