About our Guests
Born out of COVID-19 lockdowns, Boxperience comes at a time when we’re not able to have those relationship-building activities that so many businesses relied on.
Andrea Herrera, founder, and president of Boxperience, joins GNGF CEO Mark Homer to talk about pivoting her business from the very in-person, event-focused, catering industry to an individual at home experience while still staying true to her mission to create a shared experience through food and drink.
Like, Follow, Comment, & Subscribe!
Sonia Lakhany on how a personal touch like a gift or thank you card built her business https://youtu.be/xVwb1XzVHY4
– Thanks for joining us. This is our extended interview with Andrew Herrera, founder and president of Boxperience. The first part of this video is from our GNGF live which happens every other Wednesday over on our Facebook page. The second part here is the bonus extended interview where we dive into more about how gifting when done right can really help a company stand out from your competition. If you already saw the live, I’ll put a timestamp to the exclusive extended interview below and be sure to like, and subscribe, so you can follow along with all of our great conversations on legal marketing and the business side of running a law firm. And to watch this video on your platform of choice you can find everywhere we stream over GNGF.tv. Welcome to GNGF live. Your bi-weekly asked the experts about all things law firm marketing and business growth. I’m Mark Homer author of Online Law Practice Strategies and founder of Get Noticed Get Found. On this show we focus on the business side of growing and running your law firm. So I’m real excited to have today’s guest Andrea Herrera founder, and president of Boxperience in past interviews. Like the one we did recently with Sanya Lakhani, our guests have talked about the benefits of thank you cards and thank you gifts for their law firm. Well, my guest today has taken this to a whole new level and be able to help you make the gifting process a shared experience with your clients, prospects and colleagues. Andrea Herrera will talk about how she had to pivot her high-end catering business quickly during the beginning of the Coronavirus shutdowns. But what’s really cool is that you get to learn how the pivot led to her being able to share her passions around shared experiences and now outside of the Chicago land area. She can now offer the ability for law firms and other companies that are now unable to easily take clients out for a nice meal to still be able to create a great experience with them. As always be sure to like and subscribe to our page, not just the video. So you get updated when our next episode goes live. And of course it never hurts for you to show just a little love and hit that like button on the video too. It really helps us with the Facebook and YouTube algorithms. We’ve got moderators in the chat, so of course always ask questions and interact during the premiere. And if you’re watching this in the future, after the premiere, we do monitor the comments and we’ll reach out to our guests to get any followup questions you have answered. That’s because we love you all. And we love getting to meet you online and in person. So you can find a list of our upcoming webinars and events. We’ll be speaking on our website over at GNGF.com/events. And on weeks when we’re not premiering an interview, we drop a video as part of our GNGF tip series. These are more in-depth videos focusing on one topic at a time, Check it out on our YouTube page or by heading over to GNGF.tv. You can watch our latest video after this interview, of course, at that link in the chat. Check them out, Like I said we drop a new GNGF tips video every other Friday. All right, let’s get to the interview. Andrea, Thanks for joining me today.
– Thanks so much for having me Mark, I really appreciate it. So we met, gosh, I mean many years ago, being both fellow entrepreneurs at Entrepreneur Organization we’re both big fans of. At an event and at the time you were running a high-end catering business out of Chicago, and doing well. And then the coronavirus pandemic kinda came around here in kind of February, March. And I think you didn’t just throw up your hands and say oh, well, we’ll just go into hibernation for a while. But you said you know what do we do to kind of fulfill the passions that you like doing and sharing, and basically pivoted your business. So tell me a little bit about like, what was going through your head because it’s kinda crazy just as a fellow entrepreneur, and we have a lot of law firm owners at watch. So they’re basically entrepreneurs whether they like it or not.
– Certainly. So yes, I’ve had a full service catering company in Chicago the last 25 years. And we foster relationship building at bread breaking events and March the pandemic hit Chicago, and I realized pretty quickly having lived through 911 in 2008 that I need to make some quick drastic changes. So I laid off about 80% of my team and started thinking about what else was possible. And about a month later, we had been doing feeding people first responder meals and such and I figured out that we were gonna be on hibernation mode for catering for quite a while, and spoke to some friends who are awesome top salespeople. And they said they were going nuts not being able to connect with their clients, not take them out to lunch, take them to dinner, take them to a basketball game because all that was off the table and they just wanted some way to reach out to them. And thus Boxperience was born. My background is food and beverage and events and creating really memorable moments for people. And so I decided to take it virtual and created these boxes that include food and drink and are super, super personalized. So that instead of a salesperson or entrepreneur calling their clients, you get your clients calling you.
– Yeah, and one of the things you were known for right, at your catering was not just show up with a bunch of food, but it was truly thinking through the experience for the client and in their guests and everything. So like being able to take that unique experience and essentially, I mean, now you get to push it outside of Chicago, too right? You get to share your experiences all over, which is kinda cool.
– One of those silver linings is that catering is a hyper-local business. And so while we are creating great experiences and fostering connection in communities here in Chicago we’ve now found a way to take it virtual all over the country with top quality foods and wines personalized messaging that allows you to really reach out and touch your client in a way that wasn’t necessarily possible before.
– Yeah we loved it and as soon as you told me about it I’m like, oh my gosh, I’ve got five or six people off the top of my head that I need to, like we travel all the time for conferences and stuff, and I would see them in places. And, so it’s one thing to share a unique cocktail at a really cool spot in Vegas or something like that. But now we didn’t have those opportunities to do that. So this was a great way. So that kinda ties your connection then between amazing edibles and Boxperience right? Is this idea of a shared experience?
– Yes, definitely a shared experience kind of over food and drink. That’s where I’ve spent the last 25 years of my career. So when I think of connecting with people, I think of going to dinner, going to lunch, sharing a great bottle of wine. And so being able to do that with people even when you’re apart, I think is a really cool thing. And so we’ve started building these boxes around themes. There’s a toppest box that has Spanish wine and manchego cheese. There’s a Kentucky Derby box with Moscow, copper mugs and whiskey and ginger beer. And so whatever you shared with that client, we can kind of create an experience for you two again, share with that client. And there’s an audio or video card in the box that you do a personal message on so that as they listen to that, you’re literally in their hands saying, I’m so sorry, we can’t go to the game, but let’s open this bottle of wine and meet at four o’clock and catch up. And so it gives you a way to really create an experience with that client that you otherwise wouldn’t because people are zoomed out but if you’re doing something fun with it, and there’s something really personal that mug has their initials on it, all of a sudden you were really thoughtful you. And if it’s a couple, you put both sets of initials on it. So you’re not only taking care of your client, you’re taking care of their spouse or partner. And all of a sudden you were really thoughtful. The kind of clients I work with are relationship based companies. And so just sending a box of oranges while oranges are lovely they probably don’t match the value of the relationship. And sending a box of steaks while they’re tasty are not very personal, so if you can put something in and there’s some surprise and delight in this box, because they see their name on a wine and cheese board, on a cheese board that they put out, all of a sudden it is special. You were thoughtful to them without you having to take all day being thoughtful.
– Right and I mean we loved it, we’ve sent these to a number of colleagues and partners that we worked with, whether people we speak with, or do webinars with, or see at conferences and people who have helped us over the past year. And just kind of, it was a thank you yet a thank you, and it’s too bad we don’t get to see each other at the conference, but let’s do something. And right away over Twitter and there’s people are taking pictures and sending it to me and saying I can’t wait to grab that drink with Mark Homer and then showing the picture of the box, of the Kentucky meals and that kind of stuff. So that was, It definitely kind of fostered that ability to kind of then get together on a zoom call for a not yet another webinar or something but a reason just to connect and talk on personal level like we would at a bar or at a restaurant.
– I think there is something to surprise into the light that you can have sitting at a table with someone that’s harder if you don’t inspire it or spark it. So I think sending something that’s really personal or special to someone, all of a sudden gets them excited. You could send them an iPad right? And it’s a high value gift, but they’re gonna feel like, this is a little bit of a bribe, it’s not super personal, there’s a lot of iPads around, but you send a branding iron with their initials on it, with some barbecue sauce and some bourbon, saying, hey, let’s get together, next time, next conference is in Texas. Drinks are on me, all of a sudden it’s fun and it’s energizing. So that’s how I wanna connect with my clients over something that’s fun and interesting. And that builds our relationship as opposed to, just a gift box that you take all the stuff out of the office and share the cookies with everybody.
– Right, and I’ve always, for years and years, and we share a lot of these ideas, which probably why I was so excited when we we talked about this the first time was, I’ve shared the idea that you don’t wanna just send something that everybody eats and then disappears. If you can send anything that just kind of keeps sticks around. And like, we’ve done some cool unique things over the years, and we’ll talk about this hopefully later too, about, like not with our logo, but just, something unique to them. Like because we’re a marketing agency create a lot of people’s logos. So we like sending stuff with their logo on it that, you know, hey, remember who created your logo right? But like really neat things like, I think we did like a lot of law firms have that big room where they meet with their clients for the first or second time. And they always have coasters, they’re really nice, like marble looking coaster and stuff, but their logo on it right, incentives. So we did some unique things like that, but this idea of sending a gift box that has an experience built into it, but also things that stick around like copper mugs like you mentioned and not just a copper mug but copper mug with people’s initials on right? So it just adds that extra personalization, that was fantastic.
– Thank you and I think that’s it exactly. It’s not that you couldn’t buy copper mugs with your initials on it, but all of a sudden it was a gift to you and so every time you pull that out, you’re gonna see it and I’m gonna think of you because you sent it to me. And it’s fun, it’s just a fun, delightful gift. I think it shows a level of thoughtfulness that goes beyond, I went on Amazon or I went on Harry and David’s and sent you a box of stuff. And so that there is an immediate experience of food and drink that you’re enjoying then and then something that’s left behind that reminds them of you. So, yeah, I think that’s very important.
– Yeah, and you mentioned this kind of in passing a few minutes ago but in addition to just a unique box that I consider like very custom, something that from two people that actually called me and reached out, like right after we send these boxes they’re like, I’ve gotten a lot of crazy gifts during kind of the pandemic. This is the most unique personalized gift I’ve received ever and it was like, yeah, it was awesome.
– Thank you Mark. No, but we had such great feedback from it so I’m like, I got call him to get her on ’cause like other people need to hear about this, this is so cool.
– I think there’s a lot of gift boxes out there, right? There are a lot of things to send people. Again, I think it’s about being personal, especially in the kind of field you’re working with attorneys and law firms. That’s an incredibly personal relationship, you know what they eat, you know, what they drink, you know where they travel. I had a client who was sending something to a client and they had had to postpone their honeymoon to France because, well COVID. And so we sent them a box with French wine and cheeses and he sent a message and we do these really cool audio video cards, so that you’re literally in their hands. So when you open up the card, it’s your voice saying wow, I’m sorry, we can’t get together but open this great deal of French champagne and you’ll be back in France before you know it. So just ways that you can make it ultra custom and…
– I thought the cards were, and I’ve been in the business for a while, I guess I’ve seen somebody do like the cards and stuff, but combining that with the experience. I haven’t seen a lot of places do that. Just even the kinda more generic boxes, don’t kinda get what an easy way that they could personalize but they don’t. But say having that audio message, which is easy for anybody to do, I think we actually took a step further ’cause we are familiar with video, but we did a video message and people were like, it was amazing. We opened it up and there you are talking to me. And it was like, I didn’t create one message for five people, I created one message for each person talking about something we had done together before or thanking that for something very specific to add that kind of like personalization.
– I think that the magic in this box, the Juju is that that’s all combined, right? There’s food, there’s drink, there’s a personal gift. There’s a personal message from you. And yes, the video cards are super fun because while they’ve been around, most people don’t see them much. And so it literally puts you in your compliance hands. And I really insist that people do personal messages because I’ve done them for some association groups and companies that were sending out 10, 20, 140. And they’re like, Oh, well, I can just record message. And I’m like that you’re wasting this opportunity. If you can say the person’s name and say how you know them and why you know them and what you’re missing about them they’re gonna hold on to this. I had someone whose kid was trying to figure out how to Jerry rig it to make another recording. I’m like, well, I can tell you how to do that, but…
– Yeah, actually, that was one of the comments from one of our colleagues that we sent this box to. She’s like, oh yeah, my daughter saw this and then she immediately was trying to figure out how to plug, plug the USB in to hack the video and stuff. And so it turned into… That was an unintentional experience we just gave that their kid right? It’s kinda cool so.
– One other thing that was kind of fun is one of my clients, because everyone’s remote, for the video cards, we can do up to eight minutes of video. And so they had four different leaders in the company each do a message that we threaded together. So that all four of them were on the video even though they were all working remote from home. So there’s all sorts of fun ways we can make it really custom and personal.
– Yeah and we’re recording this right now and when we stream live and we’ll be here pretty soon. So this is like gifting time right now. I mean, like I’m big on Thanksgiving gifts, right? Because I think you kinda beat the rush on the holiday Christmas gifts. So get out there early, get the Thanksgiving gift, say, be thankful for that, but you’ve got a lot of great gifting coming on so I didn’t think about that. Like, instead of doing the generic message for everybody but really trying to do a unique message or if there’s multiple…
– Why you’re grateful for them, why you’re grateful for this partnership, why you’re thankful. We have boxes that say grateful and say thankful. The lids of the box has kind of a simple indication. Let’s connect, grateful, thankful, joyful, inside you put the client’s name so that again, it’s very personal, that box becomes a keepsake and they put their kids’ matchbox cards or their gardening tools. And then I’m sorry, I just, oh, and then so yes Thanksgiving is thankful and grateful, holiday season we’re seeing joy. We really suggest Thanksgiving because otherwise you get lost in that December rush of packages. I mean you think there were a lot of packages in previous years, everybody’s ordering everything on Amazon right now. So I think December is gonna be crazy. We also have created a Canceled 2020 box for new year’s that has champagne and caviar, and a 2020 with a circle and a line through it. Because I think while some people have done really well in 2020, a lot of people are ready to jump into 2021. So we’re actually thinking that there’s gonna be a lot of happy new year boxes and people ready to jump into the future. So we can do one box for a client or we can do 500 boxes and take care of every single one of your clients and make sure they know that you love them.
– Yeah and again, a lot of law firms listening right? So if they have a few partners, the law firm I never thought about that. Like you can record and thread a message together from all the partners that can be unique. Whether it’s for clients, for referral partners right? I mean, that’s a big big one as referral partners are great, but lawyers, you talk about personalization, right? lawyers know the best and worst part of most people’s life right? Like not anything in the middle, but definitely the best and worst. So here’s a way to kinda really kinda connect on that personal level.
– We’ve done a couple for people who had babies and put in champagne and like three champagne flutes, stemless champagne flutes with the baby’s initials and the parent’s initials. Now obviously you have to know that person but if that client is yours and just had a baby, there’s something called inner circle John Ruhlin is the master of gifting. And so I have studied him and so he talks about inner circle and so touching people’s spouses, touching their executive assistants. Executive assistant gets you through to the boss faster than anybody else. If you can send something to someone’s home and it doesn’t only have your initials but it has your wife’s initials as well or husband’s, all of a sudden, it’s not you who get taken to every game and out to fancy steak dinners every night. You’ve kind of included their family. And I know when someone does something for my son it’s more significant than when they do something for me. So if you can kind of include their inner circle and the other people who are important to them and attorneys generally have that information without getting creepy, don’t send things to people’s small children. You can really, I think have a huge impact with your client.
– Right and I have a box here that you’d send.
– Do you?
– Yeah, I wanna actually show it and I waited to unbox it here. Even like my wife opened it up and she’s like, this is so cool, I’m like, don’t touch it, I wanna do it on video. So I had this awesome.
– Do it let’s see.
– Yeah, let me pull this up here for everybody. And there we go. And that’s a legit heavy duty box and this is not light, it’s all wood. The camera can see in here. Got the grateful, like you said different, this was on the front of it. And then my name was on the back which I thought was cool, kids like the box that was for sure. And then yeah, there was the custom message right? So if I open this up, people would be able to hear your voice.
– Hey Mark, I am so excited… So that was great, and nice personal message and saying enjoy this. He gets to the Italian dinner box, which was awesome. But here’s what I loved. I mean, how cool is this? I mean, that’s like heavy duty, like it was like a marble or something.
– So an Acacia wood and marble cheeseboard. And so that’s gonna stick around in someone’s house. They’re gonna have hold on to it ’cause it has their name. It doesn’t have your company’s name, it doesn’t have my company’s name, it has their name. And every time they pull that out when they have cheese and crackers with friends over, they’re gonna say, Mark sent me this awesome cheeseboard. And so you have permanence.
– Yeah, I mean, there’s just so many goodies in here. And there’s a bottle of wine, which, I always love wine.
– We send wine all over the country because a lot of people enjoy a bottle of wine every now and again, which is rare. Most gift companies and boxing companies can not ship wine and liquor so that is actually another difference between our company and other companies.
– You can send wine to wherever it’s allowed to be sent.
– I did 46 States, we can do the hard liquor in the state of Illinois.
– And then…
– And non-alcoholic boxes, all over the country
– Was gonna say, cause we ordered a couple of boxes, I knew somebody, two of the people we sent it to, not drinkers, I think you replaced this with…
– We replaced that with an aged balsamic vinegar.
– Actually same value as the bottle of wine, because nice vinegar is can cost a lot, but it fits with the theme, right. It goes with Rizutto.
– I got some meats, we got Rizutto I mean, everything’s in here, like I have my whole meal I get to go create an experience and then give you a call. And there we go so you might not be a bad idea. But then yeah, give you a call over the glass of wine and say, thank you and then let my wife say thank you, and enjoy and have that experience. And again, like afterwards, I have this amazing box, that’s got my name on it and it says gratitude. And this, I’ve just love this. I mean, this is gonna be sitting on our shelf for awhile and pull down whenever we have company, it’s so cool. And if anybody’s gonna ask me where I got it, and I get to talk about Boxperience again, right? So that works for you, I guess, as well. But love, love it and I know we probably are running out of time for our Facebook live but I want everybody to be able to see that. But I do have like three or four more questions. If you don’t mind sticking around, we can post maybe the extended interview up on YouTube on Friday.
– That would be great, I’d be happy to.
– Awesome. Yeah, I wanted to hear more about kinda like the gifting for a company and without logos and stuff, so we can talk more about that. But before we wrap up, how can people get ahold of you?
– Well, I’m Andrea and my company is Boxperience.net. So you can go to Boxperience.net, you can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook and at www.boxperience.net.
– Awesome, okay, well bear with me one minute. I’ll be right back.
– Thanks for joining us today, everyone. So be sure to like, and subscribe to our Facebook page. You can get notified when our next episode goes live. We have new interviews about law firm marketing and the business side of running your firm, here every other Wednesday. And we’re gonna to keep going here in the GNGF studios and you can watch the full extended interview with Andrea, this Friday over on our YouTube channel. We’ll be diving into a lot more detail about how gifting can enhance the perception of your law firm with your clients, partners and colleagues. We’ll see you then. Thanks for sticking with me Andrea.
– My pleasure Mark.
– So I wanted to talk a little bit more about, ’cause we’ve talked a little bit about it but like, how does somebody really, like thinking about gifting in general, so not just maybe Boxperience first other, but how does a company stand out using using gifting?
– Well, I think it’s really important to be thoughtful about what your gift is. You can throw spaghetti at the wall, but it doesn’t matter. So I think doing something that represents your company what you’re doing, makes sense. You know, I was doing something for a company whose name is Blue Diamond. So we put blue stuff in the box, we put blue diamond almonds in the box, we put things that would subtly hint at that person. And I think it’s really important not to put your own brand name in the box. Once it has your name on it, it’s an advertisement. Like if you send me a copper mug that says GNGF, I mean, I might look at it for a minute but I’m probably not going to pull it out at a dinner party.
– But if you sent me a mug that says AH on the box, I’m gonna be, this is so cool, and it feels like a gift as opposed to a marketing. Sorry, I know you’re a marketing company but it seems like a marketing idea, that’s really just a piece of marketing and promotional.
– That’s the kind of stuff you pick up at a, trade while you’re walking by.
– At a trade show.
– That’s fine.
– Again, not personal, not thoughtful. So I think if you’re gonna spend time and money gifting, you should make it personal and thoughtful. That’s the short answer.
– And so roll into the whole new logo thing. I think that’s something kind of new for a lot of people. ‘Cause everybody is used to sending out that kinda bulk, here’s our logo and stuff. And then there’s times where we will insert some logos into, in unique ways of something like, oh, but it’s not the personal stuff, like I totally agree. I’m gonna pull out the cheeseboard ’cause it says Hommer on it now because it’s Boxperience. So, and show that off and, I will remember where it came from right?
– Exactly, we’re doing some work with associations and that’s a slightly different thing. If you’re a member of an association, we mentioned earlier in our conversation, we’re both members of EO, the Entrepreneurs Organization. And so members of that organization tend to be proud of that affiliation. So when we’re doing a box, we may put EO on one side of it. But the other side I insist has the client’s name because it’s nice that it says EO, but then you’re gonna flip the lid over on the wine box and you’re gonna see your name on it.
– Or yours and your spouse’s name on it. And you’ll remember that it’s from EO because EO send it to you, but you want it to feel more personal. With our boxes, we really, again, encourage, if you wanna put something in that’s a marketing piece I’ll put a little marketing piece in the box, but I think if you put too much in, again, it just becomes a promotional product and nobody needs that. We all have too much stuff, right? Everyone Marie Kondod their whole lives last year. It doesn’t bring you joy, it goes. Something with your name on it, I mean, Shakespeare wrote, “the sweetest sound in the language is your own name.” So if you can do something that’s personal, as opposed to, and even with the company, if I’m giving it to you, I don’t wanna put GNGF on it, I wanna put MH.
– Right, yeah, and I thought it was interesting ’cause I’m like, well, how do I figure this out? It’s like one of your team was just like well, you can go on their Facebook page and it’s like, sure enough, on Facebook, it said, spouse and then the name, and so I’m like oh, I now know the initials of that person’s name and like this client they know I know them pretty well but the fact that I’ve knew their spouses’ initials, like that was so cool. And it’s like, I just looked at on Facebook, also I’m giving your secret away now sorry.
– No, you look like a rockstar. You look like you’ve really been thoughtful and we will help people with that on occasion. But again, you can also talk to people’s executive assistants, they’ll probably tell you what someone’s spouse’s name or partner’s name are if you ask so.
– And so one of the things I loved about kinda navigating the Boxperience, and then you’d sent me a PDF at one point, I know you have everything on your website and stuff now but we’re going through the, the PDF was that, I find myself, I consider myself a little bit creative. I mean, we do run a marketing agency and I should have that kind of like skillset but sometimes it’s like, I’m overwhelmed by the creativity right? So I wanna be so unique and personal and customized for somebody that I just get stuck and I ended up just not gifting. ‘Cause it’s like, oh, now it’s too much work. So I was able to kinda go through and pick out. And there were certain people where it just like jumped out at me, oh, I know that’s for this person, and that’s for this person. And I mean I think out of the five or six I sent initially, I think I did four different boxes or something right. I mean, it was so cool that I was able to customize something. But so first of all, like how do you come up with these really cool ideas that kinda work and that still felt personal to that connection with somebody? And then are you continuing to grow those?
– So, yes. So we started, as I mentioned earlier this was a COVID created company that came out of the pandemic and I’ve been in the food and beverage industry most of my life. And so I have ate and drank food and wine in a lot of countries around the world, so appreciate French wine and Italian wine and Spanish wine and California wine. And you eat and drink different things in those places. So part of what I looked at was, regionally what sort of places and what kind of cheese would you have and what kind of meat and what kind of side dishes and stuff do you have with that. But then I also looked at experiences. I was really trying to replicate the experience that you share with your client. So whether it’s going for coffee, there’s a coffee box that’s got a French press and some coffee and some pastries and some flavored syrups, because maybe you go to coffee once a month with your client. Or there’s the Italian restaurant that I sent you. And when we were at a conference in I don’t even remember where for EO, they had an Italian dinner one night. So that felt significant to me. And I go, Oh, he’ll remember that when we were all there, there were 400 of us in the room and we all had pasta. That makes sense. We’ve added sporting events, right? Lots of people take clients to games. So being able to tie into that. And so I want it to feel personal to your eight different clients. You found things that felt personal to them but I guess to be honest, these are kind of universal personal life experiences. Who you have breakfast with or coffee, or you know, they love dogs or you know they love, travel
– Health, related kind of things.
– There’s a health box for the guy who runs marathons. And so we tried to kind of tie into those different experiences or interests of people in a wide enough brand that people could kinda grab onto something that referenced that client. But we also can customize, if you say for Thanksgiving, we wanna send something to all of our best clients and we wanna show them that we’re thankful, or we’re grateful for them. We’re gonna start with that name on the box. And then we’re gonna say, okay, what’s important to you, what do you do? Well, you do a lot of trade shows Mark. I think about happy hour as being something that you probably share with a lot of your clients. So how can we build that? So when they see this, they think of you and that breeds relationship. And so we would build a custom box around trade show happy hours that made people think of you, or think of the time that you’ve shared together. So we’ve done custom boxes, we’ve done Chicago boxes that people have sent to clients out of town. I have a client in Michigan that has employees all over the country. So we did Michigan boxes for their onboarding that have Michigan cherries and Zingerman granola bars, and cookies, and we just wanna be able to do things that represent you. So if you call us and talk to us, we can ask you a half a dozen questions and drill down to what’s most important, and then come up with an idea and sample for you that will represent you and your company.
– And that’s, that’s really unique by the way, right? I mean, you, you don’t call Harry and David, I guess, and kind of say, I know you have this on page 92 and this on page 25, but I wanna combine them, and I wanna add this other thing, from Cincinnati.
– You’ve got the experience right? But if your experience is meeting with somebody and creating this amazing experience for their guests at like an event that’s the way you kind of approach things, I think.
– Yes, I think it is more personal, to be really transparent when I was creating this business, this is not a 2995 gift box, but the people who have relationship based businesses, the value of that relationship tends to be worth more than that. You can’t send them a dozen Dunkin donuts and feel like that’s a real gift to someone. So these boxes are equivalent to probably taking someone to lunch at a steakhouse. So it’s a nice lunch, but that’s who these clients are to you. So if you start there, I think what sets us apart is there’s a ton of personalization and customization that you can’t get anywhere else. You don’t get video cards and three different things engraved in a box, in most gift boxes. And a lot of things that are personalized or customized look like it’s a white chalk pen that a six year old wrote on that mug. These are engraved by a jeweler. We have an artist and he does all the wood engraving. So it’s super personal because I want this to represent you. I taste all the wines that we use because I wanna make sure that if you open that wine at dinner tonight you don’t go, why did she send me this plunk? Like, it’s not, it’s not Opus One but it’s a nice wine that you’ll enjoy with dinner. We wanna make sure that, I wanna make sure like, I go to my parties when I have clients and we have weddings and we have events. I’m there because I’m proud of the work that we do and the food that we serve and the experience that we’re creating. And so I’m doing the same thing. As I’m talking to entrepreneurs around the country, I know that you’re trusting me to represent you to your client. And if I do that, well, you’re gonna come back. You ordered eight or 10 boxes for some clients. If you get great response, if your client picks up the phone and calls you right now, nobody wants to hear from salespeople. If you’re doing really well, you’re too busy to talk to salespeople. And if you are business has been negatively affected by COVID. Someone wants money out of my pocket. So if you can send these clients a really personal gift that is of value and they can see it’s of value when they opened this box, it doesn’t look like an Amazon, Harry and David’s basket that got sent to 10,000 people this week. It looks like it was personally done for them. What they do is pick up the phone and call, they email, they call and at 200 bucks, it’s not a bad door opener, and it’s not an unreasonable amount of money to spend on a client who maybe is a large client for your company or firm, and you would have taken them to lunch so it’s kind of a similar expense.
– I look at it, it’s not just clients right? Like for referral partners, especially for law firms. I mean, they get a lot of business through referrals and referral partners. So whether that be like a financial advisor, like providing some clients to an estate planning attorney or chiropractor with like an accident attorney or something like that, there’s a lot of referral partners. And this is a great, I mean, typically again, you would’ve been going to dinner, you would have been playing golf or whatever with these referral partners over the years.
– You probably would have spent more on that meal or that golf outing. And so this is saying, I do appreciate what you did for me. I do appreciate our relationship. And this is a way in this day and age, when it’s a little bit harder to get together in person that I can share that with you. And it’s not impossible, right? I’m not saying you can’t go to lunch, but even if you can go to lunch, the other person’s company may say they can’t meet with clients, or you may not wanna meet with people even though they’re open, or you can’t fly to where they’re at, because there’s a two week quarantine, it’s a crazy time and I think the next six months or year, there’s going to be a lot less travel and in-person meetings and opportunities to connect. So I think that setting yourself apart from everybody else is really important. And as I said, I’m kind of staking my reputation that you’re gonna look good to your clients, because then you’re gonna call me back. I’ve been in business 25 years, I have tons of clients that have been with me 20 years because I make sure that it’s good and they’re taken care of. And then I don’t have to keep selling, the phone rings which is awesome.
– I mean we’ve done interviews with a lot of other law firm owners and some really interesting kind of like, creative, cutting edge, you know, lawyers out there. And one, we did recently. I mean, like at the end of it, you’d probably tell me like, it’s a few weeks ago. I don’t even know, like maybe month or so, but she talked about like how she goes, to be frank Mark, you do marketing. She goes, I didn’t spend a lot of time in marketing in the beginning, I just said, thank you a lot. Whether it was like, thank you cards, thank you small gifts, little Starbucks. And then I would learn what they like. Oh, they like this wine, oh, let me go find that one wine that you can only get from this one store in town. And then she’s like, I just grew my whole business because people just appreciated that I thanked them enough that they would just keep sending me more business. And I just grew it all that way. That’s how initially before I even had money for marketing right. She was like just gifted a lot of gifting. And so like this stuff works.
– It does, I think saying thank you, like for my catering company, we still write handwritten thank you notes for every order because people don’t get handwritten pieces of mail. In the boxes, we have these audio and video cards but some people don’t wanna do audio videos. So we have beautiful handmade paper that we’ll hand write notes on so that there can still be something really personal and of value and tangible to hold and touch. I think there’s a lot that is virtual these days. I think it’s really nice to be able to give someone something that they can touch and feel and hold.
– Yeah, love it. Well with that, I think we’ll wrap up on that note ’cause that is a good way to sink that in. And you mentioned John Ruhlin and so I wanna make sure what like he’s got a great book that we’ll get in the notes as well.
– He’s a book is awesome, it’s called Giftology and he really does that same thing where he believes that you should be yes, doing things, thanking people as a way to market. So I know that you are already doing that, so.
– Yeah, so if somebody grabs that book and reads it you’ll see how this fits into a lot of that framework anyway, so this is perfect. So we’ll put that in the show notes as well, awesome.
– Thank you.
– Well, thanks for joining me again, Andrea, and thanks for sticking with me on the longer set of questions I had and this conversation was awesome. It’s always good to see you as virtually as it is in person.
– All right thanks.
– Hey, what’s up, I’m Josh. Thanks so much for joining us. If you feel like you learned something today think of how beneficial it would be to chat with myself or another one of our marketing consultants one-on-one. Go ahead and visit our website, to schedule your free consultation. It only takes a minute.