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John Ruhlin on Making Sure You Exceed ‘Above and Beyond’ With Your Clients – Episode 21

In college, John founded the Ruhlin Group as a way to market Cutco Cutlery as a high-end corporate gift to companies of all sizes.

This partnership with Cutco has allowed the Ruhlin Group to become the #1 all time distributor of Cutco in their 60-year history out of over 1 million distributers, as well as an active consultant to their executives and leadership.

Total sales of the Cutco Corporation over the last 10 years have grown to exceed over $250 million a year.

Life Intrudes

  • John started a business originally so that he could pay for med school. It was as blue collar position that involved climbing poles and ladders. John ended up falling not once but twice and was fortunate not to have been seriously injured.


  • John, after working in so many different industries, has realized he’s passionate about getting clients to think about redirecting their entertainment, travel and marketing budgets so that they’re thinking more holistically, 365 days a year about a real gifting plan.

App of the Day

Book of the Day

Insight of the Day

  • John says a common thread in what he and his clients do is zigging when everyone else is zagging. Often times we think we need to spend more money, but he says often times his clients are actually spending less.


John’s 3 Key Take-aways

  1. There needs to be a more thoughtful and systemic process to showing appreciation to clients and customers
  2. So often we’re focused on the key decision maker, but they’re surrounded by assistants, teammates, family members, etc., and it’s usually easier to get to them than the decision maker. We need to remember the inner circle
  3. “Make it the best!” Don’t skimp on anything, especially when it comes to your clients

Prefer Audio?


Check out John Ruhlin’s latest mention on Inc.com here:

You can download a complete transcript of this entire episode by clicking here.