Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Givers Gain®: Do You Give The Way People Want To Receive?

It can make all the difference ...



At my regular networking group, NNcoNNect in Northamptonshire, Paul Green adds a dimension to the usual 45-second member presentation slot. At the end of our turn, we are invited to disclose something about ourselves other than work ...

I am in no doubt that Givers Gain®. In my world, a surprise bunch of flowers always wins over something more functional!

I am in no doubt that Givers Gain®. In my world, a surprise bunch of flowers always wins over something more functional!

copyright: dolgachov / 123rf stock photo

Recently Paul asked us "what was your best or worst gift ever?" It was heartening to notice that most people chose their best gift ever and it was usually associated with love or family.

However the comedians amongst us did disclose some bad gifts. A classic example often quoted, that I can't quite believe a man would actually do except as a joke, was buying his wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas!

"His rationale? She had been going on and on about needing a new one!"

Now many a man is delighted to receive tools as a present. My own husband's idea of the perfect present at one time was an angle grinder. Some of you men might now be hoping your wife isn't reading this.

The difference is not about being a man or woman, it's about being given a gift in support of something you have to do, even though you don't like it, as opposed to being given a gift in support of a hobby. For instance a friend of mine, a keen gardener, was thrilled with her new lawn mower when, for me, that would have been grounds for divorce.

The combination of choice of gift, plus how and when to present it, can make a big difference to how it is received and whether it helps the relationship or not. Yes, Givers Gain®, but it has to be the right thing and done in the right way.

For instance, take the example of two old boyfriends of mine. One forgot my birthday altogether and then bought me two really expensive crystal vases a couple of weeks later. They meant nothing to me and I think I left them behind when I moved on.

The other surprised me when I was having a really rough time at work. On the day of a showdown meeting about a stressful problem, a bouquet of flowers arrived at my office with a message "thinking of you".

Now Givers Gain® is at the heart of the referral relationship. We give to cement our relationship by doing things for each other, motivate each other to refer by referring and give personal gifts, invitations and introductions as a thank you for the business.

It makes a lot of sense to understand how others like to give and receive gifts so you don't inadvertently undermine your own good intentions.

The best way to get this right, as always, is get to know the person well. How do they feel about gifts and presents? What are their hobbies? Understanding their preferred behavioural style can give you some guidelines and manage your own expectations of how they will give to you.

Here are some quick examples that may help you:

  • Fast-paced, task focused people like to just get on with the job, no frills and very little detail. As they don't worry about what other people think of them, they have no problem following up the vaguest of leads. They expect the same from you so a referral to them might be "give Fred a ring, I told him you'd call". Do make sure Fred really will take their call as they don't like wasting their time.

  • Fast-paced, people-focused people have bags of enthusiasm and love connecting people even when they don't know you well. This enthusiasm can be a bit daunting and they may overwhelm others with too many introductions all at once. As they can be a bit like butterflies, they move on quickly so be prepared to be the one who does the follow-up. To keep their attention, give plenty of attention.

  • More measured pace people on the other hand, like well thought out referrals and gifts. If they are people focused they will spend some time getting to know you before introducing you and will pick who with great care about whether you will like each other.

  • The task orientated people will focus on the business benefits for both of you and discuss this in some detail with you before introducing you. A note here: they really don't like surprises or being expected to wing it, so give them plenty of information before introducing them too.

If all this seems a bit complicated I can teach you the principles of Givers Gain® and you can see how your own and other's behavioural styles differ and how to give appropriately.

My Room Full Of Referrals course will transform your relationships and make the coming season of "what shall I buy for ... ?" a bit simpler for you! You can book a place for the October course by following this link to EventBrite.

Until next time ...


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