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37 Things to Leave Behind So You’re Not Forgotten - Part 2

37 Things to Leave Behind So You’re Not Forgotten - Part 2

Over the past year Service Roundtable’s Vice President of Marketing, Robin Jones has asked hundreds of contractors what they leave behind following a service call so the customer won’t forget them. Over 95% leave an invoice, a business card, or maybe, a white truck magnet. Yawn. Here is part two of 37 things you can leave behind so you’re not forgotten. Click here to read part one if you missed it.

19. Movie Tickets

If your town has an independent movie theater, which are few and far between these days, you can approach the theater owner about buying discount movie tickets or passes that you can present to your customers. If you cannot print your brand on the passes, present them in a cardboard sleeve that’s branded for your company.

20. Nail File

Nail files are another item most guys would never think to give away. Yet, the contractors that leave branded nail files with customers report excellent results.

21. Nail Polish

Similar to nail files is nail polish. Most guys would never think about private labeling this as a leave behind, but women do appreciate it. You can even get nail polish in your company colors.

22. Note Pad

Note pads are another tried and true item. People use them and never seem to have enough. Add a coupon at the top of the notepad that can be used for customer bounce back or shared with a friend or neighbor who needs HVAC service.

23. Pen

Pens are another popular leave behind. Unfortunately, pens are largely ho-hum. Everyone has them so this is an area where it might be worth spending just a little bit more to make it more useful and in demand. For example, we’ve had good results with retractable pens with rubber noses that can be used with a tablet or computer touch screen. Another useful pen is one that comes with a light, which is handy for reading the menu in a dimly light restaurant.

24. Plant

Private labeled seed stakes biodegrade and release seeds into the soil of a small pot. One side contains instructions and the other your message. These are great for Moms to use as a project with kids. You can also brand starter plant kits that include a biodegradable pot that can be buried in a larger pot or outdoors once the seeds take root.

25. Recipe Card

Everyone likes recipes. People keep recipe cards. Recipe cards enhance the family feel of your business. On one side print the recipe and use the back for your brand and message. Use your home recipes and devote a page on your website to collect them. Refer people to the page for more family recipes. You can change the recipes seasonally or annually.

26. Rubber Duck

A rubber bath duck is not something most people would get excited about. However, we’ve had contractors who thought it would make a unique leave behind since few people pass these out anymore. They have reported great results, including pictures of cute kids holding the duck that their customers emailed to them.

27. Screen Cleaner

A monitor or screen cleaner is highly useful for anyone who uses a computer. Who doesn’t? These are not given out very often. Personally, I carry one that promotes an organization that ceased to exist in 2007!

28. Seed Package

One contractor used to pass out wildflower seed packages with his brand on one side. People doubted the effectiveness of them until he stopped giving them out. Customers complained.

29. Shopping Bag

As some cities start banning plastic and paper shopping bags and some consumers refuse to use them because they find them wasteful, reusable shopping bags become an effective giveaway. However, they can be a health risk, so get bags that can be washed and include a note suggesting people wash them with their regular laundry.

30. Shopping List

It is surprising how much some consumers value a grocery list notepad. Stick a magnet on the back and it will be given a prominent position on the refrigerator.

31. Sticker

While not exactly a leave behind, give your technicians a full page of stickers with instructions where each should be applied (e.g., furnace, thermostat – depending on the thermostat, disconnect, condensing unit, inside of the kitchen sink cabinet).

32. Stress Ball

Stress balls are another tried and true leave behind. Again, if you are going to use something as common as a stress ball, apply some creativity. For example, you can print, “Stressed about your comfort system? Call YOUR COMPANY. For all other times, squeeze this ball.”

33. Sunscreen

Small bottles of spray-on sunscreen with insect repellent is another useful leave behind item that will be appreciated by mothers in the summer months. Everyone has sunscreen. Everyone also has insect repellent. How many have both in the same bottle?

34. Thermal Bag

Better than the insulated drink holder is the insulated bag. This is another item that people never seem to have enough of. Some are pure bags. Others are six pack holders. They are surprisingly affordable now, which means more of them will be given out so get creative in your messaging.

35. Umbrella

In states with plenty of rain, umbrellas are always popular. Use a creative message like, “With YOUR COMPANY, you’re covered indoors or out.”

36. Valve Tags

As with stickers, this is not a leave behind, per se. Still, it should not be overlooked. Plumbing contractors first started using valve tags, which are little more than laminated luggage tags with your brand on one side and a list of valve types on the other. A hole punch indicates when valve and a zip tie attaches it to the valve. For HVAC contractors, these can be used to identify the refrigerant used in the system, which becomes more important with each new refrigerant change that’s imposed upon the industry.

37. Wine Glass

For women who enjoy a drink, wine is preferred by a majority according to a Gallup poll. As Americans age, wine increases in popularity. This makes a wine glass a useful leave behind. Consider the stemless wine glasses, which are growing in popularity and harder to break.

Look Around Your House

If the 37 items on this list do not appeal to you, look around your house. Look for items your wife uses that would be suitable for your company brand. Talk with women in your company. Ask others. More important than what you leave behind is leaving something, anything behind.


Contracting Business Hall of Fame member, Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, which is the industry’s largest contractor group. Service Roundtable members benefit from a massive library of contractor sales and marketing material, support from other contractors and consultants, and the industry’s strongest buying group. Visit or call 877.262.3341 for more information.


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