29: John Ruhlin: Innovative Ways to Build Meaningful Relationships in Business and Life


John Ruhlin began selling world famous Cutco Cutlery while attending Malone University. He founded Ruhlin Promotion Group to provide innovative ways to build relationships and acquire new clients using Cutco and other high end gifts. In five short years, John broke nearly every sales record for Cutco distributors and landed in a different hall of fame – the Cutco Hall of Fame. He did it all before graduating and is now Cutco’s No. 1 distributor of all time out of over 1,000,000 distributors in the company’s 60 year history.  Total sales of Cutco Corporation over the last 10 years have grown to exceed over $250 million a year.

He is currently the co-owner of Ruhlin Partners, a small private equity firm with interests in various companies (including Ruhlin Promotion Group) and resides just outside of St Louis with his wife Lindsay and two kids. He is the co-author of the best-selling book Cutting Edge Sales and is a sought after speaker on the topic of C level selling, relationship development and strategic gifting.

Favorite Success Quote

“Give more than is reasonable” – John Ruhlin

Early Challenge

John experienced a devastating break up in his senior year in college which brought him down to an all time low. Learn how he overcame this and built a successful business in this episode.

Ah-Hah Moment

John was dating a girl whose father asked John if he could engrave his name on a knife. This showed John the power of giving value to building relationships.

Influential Books

Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell

Give and Take by Adam Grant


Connect with John Ruhlin


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