You can’t give it away

Sometimes giving back is the right thing to do.  It feels good.

I have asked many professionals over time (some are reading this article) to provide complimentary advice to my clients.  Since I’m not the smartest person in the room, I find the smartest person. Many are exceedingly kind and offer great advice from the “battlefield”.

I made an offer

I decided to reward 120 individuals with a $10 Starbucks gift card.  They all had extremely valuable conversations with my clients over the past year, some of which lead to job offers.

I emailed and messaged the 120 individuals the exact URL to click to redeem the prize and a nice thank you note.  Just as my mother taught me.  Thanks, Mom (she reads my articles).

People didn’t respond

30 of the 120 individuals redeemed the gift card.  Of course, I can track this information as a smart marketer taught me to do.  Thanks, Rachel.

What about the other 90?  Why didn’t they accept my gesture of kindness?  A few people offered unsolicited answers:

  • “I didn’t do much other than speak with your client, so I can’t take a gift”
  • “It’s in my nature to give but not receive”

One person commented that they wouldn’t redeem the gift card because they hate Starbucks.  My cousin came back from some time in Europe and became a coffee aficionado.  She wouldn’t touch any major coffee chain in the US.

Hey, I generally don’t get into big chains when it comes to these specialty items. Support local!  However, when I adopted a vegan diet 21 years ago, Starbucks was the only chain to offer soy milk.

Maybe I’m out of touch with my clients and should have chosen a more specialized coffee shop or something else completely different?

Please give me some advice

What would be a better gesture of appreciation?

  1. Amazon gift card
  2. Bed Bath & Beyond gift card
  3. Free trip to space (I know Bezos and Branson)
  4. Free tickets to the Olympics (wait, don’t think that will work this year)
  5. $10 million a year job at Goldman or Coinbase, working from home 1 hour/week
  6. One of my hundreds of $500 ties leftover from my banking days (can I sell them?)

Bottom Line

You can’t give it away.

Click for our Report on People Moves from the Street to FinTech

Sign Me Up