CEO buys $3 business cards and $9 letterheads made of metal

john ruhlin giftology
John Ruhlin.

How a lot is an efficient first impression price?

For John Ruhlin, it is $three. At least that is how a lot he pays for every one of his business cards, that are sq. and made of stable aluminum.

While many individuals deal with business cards as an afterthought, Ruhlin stated his expensive metal cards are an funding that has led to elevated referrals for his firm the Ruhlin Group, which advises on the artwork of company gift-giving.

When completed effectively, Ruhlin wrote in his 2016 ebook “Giftology,” a business card can spark conversations that would not have occurred in any other case.

In the ebook, Ruhlin recalled an interplay with a former CEO of Lowe’s wherein Ruhlin was describing his business, however the CEO was “completely glazed over, barely listening.”

That all modified when Ruhlin requested to alternate business cards.

“He slowly regarded down on the card, up at me, down on the card, and up once more, earlier than exclaiming, ‘This is the best fricken card [besides, he did not say fricken] I’ve ever seen! What do you do once more?” Ruhlin recalled.

Read extra: Here are the secrets and techniques to an awesome business card

Ruhlin stated he will get lots of criticism for shelling out a lot on business cards. No producer he contacted had ever created such an costly card, he stated. But he did not go broke from making the cards — in reality, business went up after he began handing them out.

For Ruhlin, it is all about preserving his firm on the prime of his potential shoppers’ minds.

“It’s an ironic question because I see companies spending $10 on a brochure that will inevitably end up in the trash can,” Ruhlin wrote within the ebook. “To me, a three-dollar business card is a tremendously good investment because I know for a fact that the recipient will show it to twenty other people before he or she gets home. Plus, when I follow up with an email and write ‘Metal business card’ in the subject line, people know exactly who I am, when we talked, and what we talked about.”

An engraved, aluminum letterhead from the Ruhlin Group.
Mark Abadi/Business Insider

Ruhlin makes use of the identical logic to justify his firm’s letterheads, which, like his business cards, are a stable sheet of aluminum engraved together with his firm’s info. Those value $9 a pop, Ruhlin says. His firm hand writes messages on them in Sharpie.

“This is another area where cost per impression comes into play,” Ruhlin stated. “Generally speaking, most companies won’t blink twice about spending money to print their logo onto a cheap tchotchke. Why not invest that money in something innovative that will get people talking and create multiple positive impressions?”

“It’s not essentially about spending extra cash. It’s about being smarter about spending cash.”

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