Head of Partnerships
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Did you know that mastering Customer Experience doesn’t have to be complex?
To show you, we’ve interviewed a Customer Experience expert to give you his opinion and viewpoint on how to be successful with Retention Marketing.
From scaling to fine tuning, we hope you enjoy this deep dive.
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When it comes to Customer Experience, there are only a few people we turn to for amazing advice that works across the board for different goals.
Whether you’re in SaaS, eCommerce, or lead gen, you’ll be excited to learn that the recipes this expert will share will all help you hit your goals faster.
Our Solo Guest:
Joey Coleman: Chief Experience Composer @ Design Symphony
Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers. An award-winning speaker, he shares his First 100 Days® methodology for improving customer experience/retention with organizations around the world (e.g., Whirlpool, NASA, and Zappos). His Wall Street Journal #2 best selling book Never Lose a Customer Again shows how to turn any sale into a lifelong customer
Nuggets Dropped x 142
“Turn any sale into lifelong loyalty in 100 days”
Customer Experience With Joey Coleman
Johnathan: All right, guys. I am not even exaggerating about this. The person that we have on the show today that you’re gonna hear from is, by far, the best example of being extremely actionable with what you learn, because the book that he read, or he wrote, that I read, is what I was trying to say, Never Lose a Customer Again.
The amount of tabs, dog ears and donkey ears and underlines, and I literally lost ink on one pen, and obviously it was pretty low on ink already, but that just goes to show how many ideas was in his book in regards to customer experience.
But for the sake of this episode segment, on retention marketing. Joey Coleman, I am honestly thrilled and honored that you’re even spending time with me ’cause I feel like you are somebody that I wanna get to that level. I’m so thrilled to have you here. Thank you.
Joey: Johnathan, thank you so much. I really appreciate the kind words. I appreciate you having me on the show. Thanks so much for the nice plug about the book.
You know, when I was writing it, I really wanted to, see, I believe that there are books that make you think, there are books that make you feel, and there are books that make you act. And I certainly want my readers to think and to feel, but if they don’t act, I don’t feel I’ve earned the dollars that you spent to buy the book or to buy the audiobook, right?
So I wanted to make it chock full of actionable items, and I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to hear that that was your experience reading the book.
Johnathan: And I don’t even, thank you, and I, you did that exact, I even remember in the intro, you were like, if you’re not gonna take action on this, literally send the book back. I will give you a full refund. My lawyers just are asking me to show proof of purchase.
I remember that. I’m like, “Joey, I’m like, damn, you have my buy-in.” I can’t wait to see what’s on the next page. I read your book in the span of like three days, and I completely tapped into everything.
Joey: Oh, I love it.
Johnathan: I have now a spreadsheet with the KlientBoost 2.0 of what we wanna become, because your point, this is what I want the readers to know, is that, over time, saturation happens in markets. Your competitors will make everything just naturally more commoditized.
Even in the sense of automation that we’re facing today, the last frontier is how amazing you are at fostering relationships and trust and confidence and the customer experience, and the step-by-step things that you, like I will, at the end of this, I will also give people actually our action plan from your book of what we’ve learned and what we are gonna emulate.
In addition to that, thinking of servant leadership that I like to follow here at our agency, KlientBoost, I basically send out a Google survey and I was like, hey, everything is under the lens today, everything can be scrutinized. If you’re not in this department but you’re thinking another department is not pulling their weight, anonymously, I’m gonna allow you to speak up.
‘Cause I’m gonna print all these things out and I’m gonna put them on a list and we’re gonna go one by one on these and either cross them out because we’ve done that, we implemented it, but even if we decide on this being a new system, we now also know, well, what are we trying to achieve that we can track whether this is a success or not?
And in addition to that, how do we audit to make sure that we always keep doing that in those systems in place to make sure that it’s a consistent experience? And the whole flip side, this is the craziest part, the whole flip side is that when you focus on the customer experience, and it will undoubtedly help you with your retention.
And it’ll also buy you time because you’re now just better friends with the people there, the impact that you also wrote in the book in regards to the employee satisfaction and the employee excitement and their quality of life, of making that so much easier for them too.
It’s the ultimate no-brainer on this entire podcast that we have of guests of our shows that I’m just like, I hope I’ve done enough selling for the people listening about people need to listen to you so I’m gonna shut up, but that is what I wanna set in stone and how excited this is.
Where do you even wanna start? How do we start this ’cause I’m so pumped.
Joey: Oh, I mean, there’s so many places we can dive in. I mean, truth, if I may quickly, building off something you just said, what’s fascinating here is that there are very few, in any business in my experience, when you focus on something, you have the desired impacts and then you have some ancillary impacts that just happen.
Sometimes, you know what those are gonna be. Often, you don’t know what those are gonna be. I will tell you, the impact that working on customer experience has had on employee experience is something that I knew was gonna happen, but I’ll admit I grossly underestimated how significant it was gonna be.
Let me tell you a quick story about that. This is perfect, yeah, like, woohoo! First chicken.
Johnathan: That was a big cluck.
Joey: I love it.
Johnathan: That was a big cluck. That was a big thing.
Joey: I love it, I love it. Here’s the thing.
I have had clients and readers of the book and folks that have kind of implemented this first-100-days strategy with their customers come to me and say, “Joey, what has been most impactful, our customers love us, our retention is up, our profits are up, all of those things are great, but we haven’t lost a single employee.”
I had a client who we were working with. They were losing, on average, three to five employees a month. They implemented our process. In 18 months, I talked to them a month ago and it was 18 months later, they had not lost a single employee.
Johnathan: That’s incredible.
Joey: Right? Because the employees were more engaged when they came to work. And here’s the thing. All of us want to feel good about the work we do. All of us want to feel like we are contributing to making the world a better place in whatever business, whatever industry you’re in.
The problem is we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities of running of our businesses that we lose sight of the reason we originally got into business, which is to help others, to serve others.
And so if this has the opportunity to bring folks back to that and connect them, then we get extra bonus. So not only do we help grow your business but we help grow your life. We help you feel better about where you’re spending.
Most people will spend the majority of their day at work. Not with their family. Not, you know, with their spouse, with their significant other, with their kids. Not doing their hobbies. They spend the majority of their day at work.
If you’re not enjoying your work, why are you going? Why are you going? And, to me, this focus on customer experience and the ancillary associated focus on employee experience allow that to happen.
Johnathan: Mm-hmm, 100%.
I’m so excited also to break down the steps that we’re putting in place from the eight phases that you mentioned in the book, too. I literally, I bought, I emailed you because I was like, hey, for some reason, Amazon is limiting the amount of quantity of the book that I can buy. What’s going on, Joey? Why can’t I buy–
Joey: Black Friday and Cyber Monday went a little crazy on Amazon. They moved a lot of books
Johnathan: It’s amazing.
Joey: and so they started throttling people down that you can only buy limited copies. But it’s back up again now.
Johnathan: That’s just a testament to, I’m not bullshitting this for the people listening, I tried to buy 12 books just to get our director’s buy-in because I was like, guys, this is a phenomenal book.
And I was literally, two days ago, in a meeting with the former CMO of Harley and I had outlined, I had lined under the actual tribal affiliation that, you know, your account’s an example of like, somebody like an accountant will get a tattoo of Harley because the affiliation of the brand and they’re raving fans.
I read that out loud and I could just tell it hit in his heart, he’s like, that’s because he’s now with a new company and so that’s what we’re trying to recreate there. It was so rad.
So I tried to buy 12 books, and we’re 60 people at the company, but I could only buy four and I was like, “Joey, what’s going on?” Because it’s fricking awesome book, so people listening, you gotta go buy it. We’re gonna put it in the actual transcript notes. We’re gonna make sure that we also mention the video that we’re producing off this.
I think this is the most groundbreaking thing because everybody listening has an understanding of your hard skills to achieve results for your clients. The book doesn’t talk about that, and it shouldn’t, because it’s all different, it’s all completely agnostic to the industry that you’re in. It doesn’t matter.
And, in addition to that, it talks about your soft skills, the wow factor, because like I said earlier too, and showing you, Joey, things are gonna be commoditized more so what’s the final frontier of making this?
And you wrap up the fricking book with the worst example in history of customer experiences, which is Comcast, and actually show how they turn it around, which was incredible itself. So many case studies, so much data.
So, Joey, I have to shut up. Let’s start talking about the phases and what you think is most important for the listeners to know.
Joey: Sure. In the book and in my work as a speaker, I talked about the eight phases of the customer journey, and so I think a good place to start our conversation is to outline those eight phases of the customer journey.
Now, to be clear, your customers have the potential to go through all eight phases, but the only way they will go through all eight phases is if you help them navigate and you hold their hand.
So without further ado, here are the eight phases. They all start with the letter A, the idea behind that being, if you get all of these phases right, it’s like your customers giving you straight As, they love you, everything’s great.
Phase one, the assess phase. This is when a prospect is considering whether or not they want to do business with you, okay? In common parlance, we often think of this as marketing and sales, right? This is the early stages.
They’re looking at your marketing materials, they’re checking out your website, they’re talking to their friends about what it’s like to work with you, et cetera, et cetera. They’re assessing whether or not they wanna be in relationship.
We then move to phase two, the admit phase. This is day one of the first 100 days. And I’ll come back and explain the power of the first 100 days when we’re done going through the phases.
But in the admit phase, the prospect acknowledges that they have a problem or a need that they believe you can help them with, your product or your service can help them. And so they transition from being a prospect to being a customer. They sign on the dotted line, they hand over their hard-earned cash, they officially enter your family.
Almost immediately after that happens, we move to phase three, the affirm stage, okay? This is when the customer starts to feel doubt and uncertainty about the purchase that they just made. In common parlance, you’ve heard this referred to as buyer’s remorse.
Every customer on the planet, for every purchase, experiences some level of buyer’s remorse. Now, if you’re buying a pack of gum at the checkout counter, it’s a really quick element of buyer’s remorse, and it’s probably gone almost instantaneously because you put a stick of gum in your mouth, you have fresh breath, you feel better about it, you feel good, you got the value for what you purchased.
If you buy a car, you’re driving home and you see everybody else driving the same car as you, and you think, “Wow, I bought the wrong car,” right? And now you’ve got bigger doubt. So the bigger the price tag on what you are offering to your customers, the greater the buyer’s remorse they’re gonna feel.
Now I always ask my audiences, “How many of you heard of the phrase buyer’s remorse?” And almost every single hand in every audience goes up. Hundreds of thousands of people.
And then I ask, “How many of you have a system and a process in your business designed to address the buyer’s remorse that we know your customers are feeling?” And every hand goes down. Okay? So what are we doing in the affirm stage, stage three?
We then go to phase four, okay, the activate phase. This is the first real moment of truth that the customer has with you. When they receive your product, they open up and they use it for the first time, when they show up for your service for the first time and they get to start to experience what it’s like to work with you, either at a kick-off meeting or you start to deliver on the service.
At this moment of truth, you wanna energize the relationship as you formally start to work together. You wanna let your new customer know that doing business with you is going to be unlike any business experience they have ever had. This is the opportunity to make the first major impression, okay, and to set the stage for what is to come.
Now, to be candid, Johnathan, most companies do okay in those first four phases, okay? They stumble in phase three, the affirm phase, the buyer’s remorse part, but usually most folks get to the point where they sell you the product or the service.
Here’s where the wheels start to fall off: phase five, the acclimate phase. This is where you have to help the customer get familiar with your way of doing business, your way of operating. See, you’ve done this dozens, hundreds, thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of times. But to a new customer who’s never been a customer of yours before, they have no idea what to expect.
Now, I understand some of the listeners may be saying, “But Joey, we gave them a directions manual for how to use the product,” or, “Joey, we gave them a proposal and an agreement where we outlined all the steps of the implementation and integration that we were gonna do for them.”
Folks, you don’t read the instruction manuals. You just pull it out of the box and you try to use it. You sign agreements all the time that you don’t read. That’s okay. It’s the human condition. This is the way it works. Your customers are just like you.
How many times do you need to tell them what comes next? Every time there is a next. Every time you interact with a customer, you should be telling them what happens next. You should be holding their hand, helping them to acclimate.
We then come to phase six, the accomplish phase. This is when the customer achieves the goal they had when they originally decided to do business with you. Every single prospect is trying to accomplish something. They buy our product, they sign up for our service, and they’re hoping to achieve this.
If we don’t know what they’re trying to achieve and accomplish, and if we don’t track their progress to that goal, and then identify with them when they achieve that goal and celebrate their accomplishment, we’ll never get the long-term customer. Why, because people forget why they bought a product or they forget why they signed up for a service.
And next thing they know, they’re into it. Not to mention, their opinion changes of what they want. I know there’s a lot of folks that are listening to the show that are involved in marketing, right? I mean, this is the joy of marketing and sales, right? Especially in an agency context. I used to run an agency, so I get this.
You sign them up and they’re like, “Yeah, we want a new website. That’s really all we want, just something on the internet that shows us a website.” You’re like, “Great.” So you start building it.
And then you’re halfway in and they say, “Yeah, so, by the way, the website needs to generate $100,000 in new revenue a month.” And you’re like, “Wait a second. That was never part of any of the conversations. We never made that promise. We aren’t skilled and scoped for that. What are you talking about?”
Then two months later, they say, “Yeah, we want our site to rank number one in Google, Bing, and every other search engine invention.” Wait a second. “We talked about SEO, we talked about the importance of it, but what.”
So here’s the thing. The customer is going to change the finish line. Or they’re gonna forget what the finish line is. Our job is to make sure that we mark that and let them know what they’re actually accomplishing.
If, if they accomplish their goal, we have the right to move them to phase seven, the adopt phase. This is when the customer becomes loyal to you and your brand. They adopt you. They start to take responsibility for the relationship.
You don’t have to call to set up a meeting with them because they’re saying, “Hey, by the way, we’re super excited about how things are going. Can we get another meeting on the books?” right? This is the opposite of customers ghosting you, right, and disappearing.
These are the ones that are so loyal that they’re lurking around. You can’t get rid of them. It’s awesome. They’re everywhere you are. They know what’s coming out next.
You say, “Hey, by the way, we’re gonna launch his new service, and you get dozens of emails saying, “When’s it launching? “Can I give you my credit card now?” Those are adopters, raving fans, okay? Harley-Davidson, as you mentioned earlier, full of adopters, okay?
Then we move to the last phase, the holy grail, nirvana: the advocate phase. This is when the customer becomes a raving fan, referring their friends and colleagues and family members to you. Here’s the thing. I have not met a business on the planet, Johnathan, that, when I talk to them, has said, “Uh, yeah, Joey, we don’t want any more referrals.”
Everyone wants more referrals. Everyone wants more referrals. The problem is we don’t know how to ask for referrals, and we don’t know when to ask for referrals. And what ends up happening is we make a weak ask way too early, okay? We ask way too early into the conversation.
You need to wait until the customer accomplishes what they were trying to achieve back in phase six before you have the right to ask them for referrals. And we all know this from our own personal experience.
How many times have you bought a product or a service, and almost as soon after you got it, the company that sold it to you said, “Hey, do you know anybody else like you who might like to sign up for our service?”
And you’re like, “I haven’t even experienced your service. I’m not gonna put my credibility and my reputation on the line by referring and recommending you when I don’t even know what it’s like to work with you.”
We’ve gotta be patient about when we ask for referrals and prove ourselves, make some deposits into the karmic bank account, before we start to rely on that. Here’s the crazy thing. If you do that, you’ll get to the point where you don’t even have to ask. They will just become advocate.
And there’s nothing better than a non-commissioned, non-you-have-to-pay-salary-for, or any-of-the-benefits-for sales force that is out singing your praises 24/7. Because the great thing about advocates referring new business to you is, ideally, an advocate falls into that category of being the ideal customer type.
Usually, a non-ideal customer will never make it to advocate. So what happens is then the advocate who’s an ideal customer type is referring more people like them. You’re getting a higher-quality referral, which makes your business able to operate more efficiently, which makes you more profitable, which makes your employees happier. All boats rise together. Everybody’s feeling good.
So those are the eight phases of the customer journey. Now, one quick thing that I alluded to earlier. The bulk of this happens in the first 100 days of the relationship. Now, I wanna issue a caveat here. In some businesses, it’s longer than 100 days. In some business, it’s shorter than 100 days. So depending on your industry, depending on who you serve. But the average is somewhere in that 100-day period.
And all the research shows that, across all industries globally, we looked around the world when we were putting the book together, globally, somewhere between 20% and 70% of your new customers will decide to stop doing business with you before they reach the 100-day anniversary. So all you have to do is focus on the first 100 days.
If you get the first 100 days right, you can have a customer for life. Because, in fact, the research shows, if on day 101 you are feeling great about the business relationship, you are feeling great about the product or service that you purchased, the typical customer will stay for five years. This is math. This is science. This is proven time and time again across all industries.
And when you get them to stay, your profits increase, your revenues increase, your employee happiness increases, your customer satisfaction increases. You can grow and scale your business in a way that is sustainable and is built on a solid foundation instead of the kind that just, well, let’s just go, you know, see how many new we can get this quarter, okay?
It actually builds a sustainable, functionable, sellable business instead of, you know, kind of a haphazard spray-and-pray, what-can-we-hope-for.
Johnathan: How amazing and fun is your life right now?
Joey: My life, I love my life, Johnathan. I love my life. And you can probably tell in the passion I have for this, right? Because here’s the thing. This stuff works and it’s fun.
It’s fun to think about, you know, people ask me all the time, they’re like, “Joey, when am I done working on the customer experience?” And I’m like, “I’ve got good news and bad news.” “The bad news is never. “The good news is never.” Right? It’s what keeps it exciting.
Joey: You get to constantly raise the bar. And you start to have, you’re always gonna have problems in business. You’re always gonna have problems in business. But, as Tony Robbins, who I had the pleasure of working with over many years, says, “You wanna have quality problems.” Okay?
If you’re growing your business in a sustainable way, your problems should be getting better. They’re not gonna disappear. You just wanna have better problems. I love the idea of having a problem of we have too many leads. I love the problem of, our customers are too big a fan, they’re buying everything and they’re asking for more so we have to come up with new products and new services. Those are quality problems.
I love the fact that this model allows people to not only fix the problems they currently have but build things that sustainably will work so as new customer desires, new customer challenges, new customer expectations come into the marketplace, you’ll be better served to attract them because you have the solid onboarding foundation.
Johnathan: I’m thinking even more so, the whole thing that you mentioned about how the customer changes the finish line, it happens so often in our world, but I never eloquently put it like that.
So the complexity is the enemy of execution, and eight phases can sound like a lot, but for you guys listening, literally, if you need a, I’m not kidding you, ’cause I’m gonna go through what we have gathered from the book in our action plan.
I’m actually gonna get Joey’s feedback on this, too, and this is gonna be really, really fun, ’cause we don’t get to do this in any episodes at all, ever, but if you need to pause right now, go on Amazon, go on Barnes & Noble, “Never Lose a Customer Again.” It’s like 20 bucks, right, Joey? It’s stupid the amount of value.
Joey: Yeah, yeah. It’s under $20. I mean, depending on the day, they take, you know, I’m traditionally published, so I don’t set the pricing, I don’t even see the pricing. But yeah, less than $20. It’s even cheaper, if you like the sound of my voice, you can go over to Audible and get the audiobook, or wherever you get your audiobooks, and I’ll read the story to you.
Yeah, and here’s the thing, and you mentioned this earlier, Johnathan, and I wanna reiterate it to the audience, ’cause you’re so kind to be promoting the book. Folks, if you buy the book and you don’t get value, it’s really simple. My email address is in the book. Send me an email. Say, “Joey, I didn’t get value.” What I will do is say, “Great, where do I send your money?” That’s how it works.
Because I don’t want to take your money, I don’t want my publisher to take your money, unless you’re getting value. And thankfully, the, of thousands of people at this point who have read the book have found the value, have found the value and have been able to say, “I applied this to my business. It’s changing how I see things. It’s changing how we operate.”
That’s music to the ears of any author. You want people to actually read the book, enjoy the book, and do something with it. And, as you said earlier, we wrote the book, there are 46 case studies in the book. I don’t care what industry you’re in, small, medium, or large, domestic, international, online, offline, lots of employees, solo entrepreneur employee, it doesn’t matter. There are examples for you.
And, in fact, at the beginning of the book, I put a chart. So if you’re one of those people that only wants to read examples that are about similarly situated companies as you, fine, I give you the page numbers. You can just jump straight to the examples that are relevant for you.
Now, I hope you read all of them ’cause they’re all relevant. And here’s why they’re all relevant. Everyone listening to this podcast, whether you consider yourself to be a B2B or a B2C marketer or maybe even a B2G, that’s business-to-government for those of you that haven’t lived in Washington, DC, like I did for almost two decades, right?
You serve humans. You’re actually in the H2H business, the human-to-human business. And B2B businesses, for way too long, have deluded themselves by saying, well, it’s not personal, it’s a business and they’re buying for the business, it’s not their own money. To heck with that!
I mean, I’m frustrated, I wanna swear but I wanna keep your podcast clean. It’s ridiculous! It’s ridiculous. Stop pretending that there isn’t a human being over there. Because when you start acting like there’s a human there, it changes the relationship, it changes the dynamic.
And good news is, especially in the B2B setting, most of the other people that are selling to that company are not treating them like humans. So you get to differentiate yourself and stand out even more as, hey, we’re actually buying from our friends, not a vendor.
And there’s so many companies that are like, oh, we don’t wanna be called a vendor, we wanna be called a strategic partner or a strategic advisor, you know. We’re a friend or whatever. You have to earn those titles. You don’t just get to say that at the beginning during the marketing speech.
I’m sick of this. I’m sick of sitting in marketing meetings where people are like, “We like to think of ourselves “as strategic advisors.” Great, show me. Prove it. Stop just saying it, giving it lip service on your website, and actually show up in a way that makes me think you care more about the success of my business than the revenue I’m gonna give you paying you for your advice.
That’s how you change the conversation. That’s how you build long-term advocates, long-term adopters. You let them know that their success is your success. They’re not different. And if a client isn’t having success with you, do everyone a favor. Fire them first.
Go to them and say, “Hey, you’ve been paying us to do your marketing. We’re not producing. We have some ideas of how to make it better, but if we can’t make it better in the next 60 days, we’re gonna fire ourselves. You’re not gonna have to ask us. Because we’re not in the business of taking money from people we can’t help.”
The benefit that you will get from being so honest, from being so clear, not only for your relationship for that client but for the integrity of your own team, when they look at you and they say, “Gosh, my boss really wants us to bring our A game, and if we’re not performing, we’re not worthy, we’re not worthy of the revenue they’re spending with us.
So we gotta double-down and make it happen.” It would change the world if we did this. And it starts with one company saying we’re gonna treat our customers differently.
Johnathan: I’m not exaggerating. I feel like I’m in business church right now and I feel like you are, no, I’m not even kidding. I literally got teary-eyed. It sounds weird. And the reason, I’m an emotional kinda guy, I wear my heart on my sleeve, at least I like to think so. The first time I got invited to speak in front of a thousand marketers, I cried. It never happens and I–
Joey: It’s an honor.
Johnathan: Thank you.
Joey: It’s an honor. It’s the real thing. I get it. I speak in front of audiences all the, no, I resonate with that, Johnathan, 100%. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.
I get to travel about 2 1/2 to three weeks out of every month all around the world, speaking to audiences, small, medium, and large, from company workshops to multi-thousand-person industry gatherings, and all I’m trying to do is change how they act.
All I’m trying to do is get people to say, “Huh, you know, I used to believe this way. When I first got into business, when I first started my company, I cared about my customers immensely.” Why? ‘Cause you only had one or two. It was easier, right?
Joey: It was you and it was whether or not there was food on the table or whether or not the lights got turned on was about how much you could show that customer value.
The problem is, as we grow, we get away from that. And we get focused on operational things, we get focused on efficiencies, and we start making decisions based on the dollars instead of based on the impact. And when we have the opportunity to say, “I wanna press reset on this relationship.”
Here’s the thing. People ask me all the time, “Joey, well, this is all fine and dandy for the first 100 days, but what if I’ve got somebody who I’ve had as a customer for a long time and I haven’t been doing nearly what I should do and I know it and I feel guilty about it, I feel terrible about it.”
I’m like, great, you’re aware. The first step is awareness. The second step is to address the elephant in the room. Have a conversation with them.
Say, “Hey, by the way, I am not happy with my level of performance in our relationship. I am not happy with what I’ve been doing for you. Yeah, we’ve been getting it done. Yeah, we’ve been producing some results. But we can do better, and I want you to know I am recommitted to doing better.”
You know, the cool thing about being in a new year is it gives you the opportunity to press reset, and everybody’s expecting that. Everybody’s expecting, well, what are the new offerings? What are the double-down?
Just have an honest conversation with your customers and say, “Hey, I wanna make this year the best year we’ve ever had together. I have some ideas of how to do that, and I’m happy to go first. But before I even start, are there any ideas you have?” Do the same thing you did with your employees, but do it with your customers and say, “Where could we be doing better?”
And an easy way to do that, by the way, is my favorite survey-type or conversation-starter-type conversation in this category is stop, start, and continue.
What are we doing right now that we should stop doing? What aren’t we doing right now that we should start doing? And what are we doing right now that, man, you sure hope we continue it ’cause you love it? Give me two to three in each category and you’ve given me my marching orders for the year.
Your customers will tell you what they want if you tell them you’re interested in their feedback, if you tell them you’re interested in the information. So many companies have surveys. They send out a survey, “Hey, what’d you think?” People will fill out the survey. Then what happens? Nothing.
Joey: Nothing. We never tell the people, “Thank you for filling out the survey.” We never act on the information they’ve given to us. And then we’re surprised when the more we ask a survey, the less they keep responding.
You wanna shock yourself? Next time you get one of those surveys from a company, write in the survey response, “Here is my personal cell phone number. If you call me, I will send you $50. Whoever is reading this first, if you call me and reference the fact that I have offered you $50, I will give you $50 because I don’t think anybody’s reading this.” Guess what. At best, you’ll spend about $50 a year. At best.
Joey: If you do it for every single survey.
Joey: Every single survey, right? Because companies say they care but they don’t show they care. They say they care but they don’t act like they care. They say they care but they don’t behave like they care.
This isn’t rocket science. It’s just about showing your customers that the things you say on your marketing materials about how they’re gonna be part of the family and how much you care about them and how meaningful the impact and value’s gonna be if they choose you, just do what you say you’re gonna do. That’s it. It’s that simple.
Johnathan: It’s insane. And also, this is… You are almost like a marriage counselor. I’m not even kidding. The relationship advice,
Johnathan: from a business, it is the exact same of saying to your spouse or your significant other or your friend, “How can I be better for you?” and…
Joey: Yeah. 100%. Johnathan, you’re spot on.
Here’s the crazy thing. When I do Q and A in front of an audience, I have one rule for Q and A. You know, people will say, “Oh, will you come to the keynote and then after the keynote, will you do a Q and A?” I’m like, “Absolutely, I just have one rule.”
And they always get nervous. The meeting planner’s like, “Oh my gosh, he has a rule about Q and A? No one ever has a rule about Q and A.” I say, “Here’s my rule. Any question they wanna ask is fair game and I’m gonna do my best to answer it.” And they’re like, “Oh, okay, that’s fine, we can do that.”
But they don’t realize what’s gonna happen. So then we give the speech and then I, as we start Q and A, I reiterate that. I’m like, “Literally, any question, and I’m looking at you and I’m looking at you and I’m looking at you and I know you have questions, any question, don’t worry about whether it’s relevant or not.”
And here’s the thing. Audience after audience, “Joey, can I apply this in my marriage?” “Joey, can I apply this with my kids? “Joey, can I apply this with my employees? “Can I apply it with the vendors we work with?” Folks, you can apply these principles to any human being in your life, and you will get results.
Johnathan: I just realized, listening to you talk, I went through the eight phases of your book in a matter of three days, and I am now on a show with you, grateful for your time, and I’m wanting to almost put, I’m the one paying you money. Everybody needs to keep that in mind. I’m the customer in this situation, right? I am now wanting,
Joey: That’s right.
Johnathan: I am now wanting to be the best case study of implementation that anybody has ever done on the book. That’s the bar I wanna set for myself ’cause I wanna impress you. What a dynamic change, right? From a client to a–
Joey: Johnathan, I love it. I love it. Well, and here’s the great thing. Let me take it and flip the dynamic back. I want you to do that because I want to sing your praises in my speeches. I want to talk about you in my next book. Because that’s how this works. That’s how this works.
You take the people who are the adopters, see phase seven, and you turn those people into the case studies. Why? Because then you’ll get more people like them. I don’t want the people who read the book and go, “Yeah, there’s some stuff we should do there but, Joey, you don’t understand. We’re busy with other things right now.”
Okay, great. I don’t judge that. But I’m not gonna get as excited about that as the person. I had somebody message me and they said, “Joey, I read through the first phase and then I quit reading your book.” I’m like, “Okay.”
And I’m reading and, you know, they wrote me an email, and they said, “Because I realized there were 50 things we could do in the first phase alone. So we’re just gonna go implement all of those and then we’re gonna come back and work on phase two.” And I was like, “Great! “I love that model.”
Joey: Fine, you can take this piecemeal. Do whatever works for you. You do you.
Joey: But here’s the thing. My goal is to try to make a lot of examples and a lot of creative ideas for how people could implement. And so what I did is I break down in the book six tools that you can use to connect with your customers in the first 100 days.
I will tell you, most businesses are using two or three of those tools. If you use all six, it changes the game entirely. And these are tools you already have, and they’re not expensive to use. Should we talk about the tools?
Johnathan: We need to. We must.
Joey: I feel like we’re gonna need to. All right. Let me give you a quick overview of the six tools.
The first one: in-person interaction. If you, in 2020, have in-person interactions with your customers, you are in rarefied air. Everything is moving online. Everything is moving to arms-length transaction.
If you still have the opportunity to be in-person in front of your customers, relish that opportunity. Don’t get annoyed when they come into your store. Don’t get annoyed when they bother you. Don’t feel like, ugh, we gotta have another, you know, status update meeting with them. Ugh, why do we have to do these? We’re doing just fine. No. Cherish the moment to be in the room with the person you serve.
If you work in a more of an online community, figure out creative ways to get in front physically of your customers. Go visit them. If you’re speaking at a conference, invite all the customers that subscribe to your SAS program or have bought your product that live within a 50-mile radius to come to your hotel the night before your speech and drinks are on you.
Whatever it may be. Figure out creative ways to get in front of your people. It will be incredible, I promise.
Number two: email. I’m gonna ask a question of everybody listening to the show, okay? Now, this is an audience participation opportunity even though I can’t see you, but I bet I know what’s gonna happen, okay? Play along.
Raise your hand if you wish you were getting more email. No hands went up. No hands went up, okay? No one is sitting there going, “God, I wish I had more email.” Most people are looking at their email inbox, going, “Oh my god, I’m so overwhelmed. There’s too many emails, too many things to respond to.”
But here’s the thing. You don’t want more email yet you presume your customer wants more email because email is the number one tool businesses use to communicate with their customer. Why do you think they wanna read your email? They don’t. Unless your email is designed and written in a way to spark curiosity, to get their attention, to provide value, to drive them to act, okay?
So often, I meet with marketers and they’re like, “Oh, we’re gonna put together a 28-email sequence.” Why? “Well, because the research shows at 28 “you’ve been beaten down” “so badly” “that you just have to buy.” No, stop that, stop that!
What research? Show me your research. Prove it to me. I’m a recovering attorney. Give me the evidence. Give me the evidence so that I can see what’s happening, okay?
The moral of the story is we should cherish the opportunity to be in someone’s email inbox. We should provide them value in every interaction. If you’re not gonna provide value in the message, don’t hit send. Rant over.
Next: mail. The OG inbox. For all you young whippersnappers out there, the original inbox, okay?
It used to be when I’d go on a trip, I’d come home and in my mailbox there might be 20, 30 pieces of mail. Postcards, flyers, slip sheets, catalogs, sales letters. Now, I go on a trip, I come home and there’s two pieces of mail in the mailbox, and they’re both invoices, and I’m not excited about either of them. Okay?
Here’s the thing. As the inbox got electronically overcrowded, the actual original inbox, the mailbox became a ghost town. Send physical mail to your customers. Send them a postcard. Send them a thank-you note. Send them something that just says, “Hey, I appreciate and value your business. Thanks for the opportunity to serve you.” Okay?
You can make so much more noise and stand out so much more when you go to a quiet place instead of going to a loud place like their email inbox.
All right, next tool: phone. Here’s the crazy thing. Almost all of us are walking around with a device in our pocket or in our purse called a smartphone. The problem is in the last five to 10 years, we’ve put the emphasis on the smart part of that instead of emphasizing the phone part of the name.
The fact of the matter is a significant percentage of your customers would rather talk to you on the phone than read an email or get a letter or have an in-person meeting. They’re happy to talk to you on the phone.
Now, some of you may be saying, “But Joey, I don’t like talking on the phone. That’s why I send everyone to voicemail.” I get it. But all of your customers aren’t like you. Ask them. Look for the opportunity to connect.
Call them up randomly, even if it means leaving a voicemail just to say, “Hey, I was down the road. I was thinking about you, and here’s why,” blah, blah, blah, and give them an actual credible reason why. “I just wanted to say thanks so much for being a customer of ours. We love serving you. If there’s anything I can do, here’s my personal cell phone number. Call me back and let me know.”
You’ll shock people, you’ll stun them, you’ll amaze them by using a technology that has existed since, you know, Alexander Bell’s time, you know?
Next: video. Okay, most companies today are finally starting to embrace video for marketing and finally starting to embrace video for sales. But most aren’t using video at all for customer retention.
How do we do that? You shoot a little video and send it to your customers thanking them for their business. You shoot a little video explaining, “As we move into this stage of the relationship, here’s what normally happens. Here’s the good, here’s the bad, here’s the ugly. Here’s how we’re gonna work with you to make sure you end up in the good.”
Use video to communicate with them. And you can send those videos via text message. Interesting statistic about email versus text. Emails statistically get read somewhere between 48 hours and 72 hours after receipt. Text messages, especially videos, get played and watched in full within 90 seconds of receipt. I don’t know about you, I’d rather to get to my customers sooner rather than later.
Last but not least: gifts and presents, okay? What are you doing to show strategic appreciation to your customers? How are you giving them gifts? How are you giving them presents? How are you showing them how much you value the relationship?
Pro tip: if it has your logo on it, it’s not a gift or present. It’s a marketing tool. I’m not opposed to you using marketing swag or promotional product. I am opposed to you thinking that those are gifts. They’re not.
You doubt the validity of that statement? I want you to imagine yourself on your birthday or Christmas morning or one of the nights of Hanukkah or whatever holiday where there’s a gift exchange happening, and you get this great beautifully wrapped box and it’s from your grandma.
You open it up and it’s a sweater with her name on it. You are not wearing that sweater. You love your nana but you are not going to advertise her name walking around town, okay?
Here’s the thing. Your customers are the same way. They don’t wanna be a walking billboard for you. They don’t need another stress ball. They don’t need another mousepad with your logo on it or a pen with your logo on it. They want something meaningful.
Here’s the thing. How do you give a meaningful gift? Well, you have to actually know the person. It’s gonna force us to have better knowledge of our customers. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. If I were to ask everybody listening to make a list of the top 10 gifts you’ve ever received, and then assign a dollar value to them, on average, the gifts would be less than $50.
Why? Because what surprised you and amazed you and what you loved about the gift was that the person who gave it to you knew you as well as or better than you know yourself. That’s what made the gift stand out, not the amount of money they spent. It’s the thoughtfulness. It’s about the care and consideration that they put into finding something special and meaningful for you.
And did any of them have to write their names on it? No. Because when you give a powerful, special, meaningful gift, the people remember where they got it. You don’t have to put your logo or name on it to remind them. They’ll remember on their own.
So those are the six tools. Most businesses are using two or three. If you use all six throughout the first 100 days, it will completely change your customer’s experience.
Johnathan: Yeah. It’s so incredible how low the bar actually is competitive-wise, to take advantage
Joey: Oh, it’s so low.
Johnathan: of what you’re doing.
Joey: It’s laying on the ground. It’s not even, Johnathan, it’s not even low, it’s literally on the ground. The goal is not to trip over it. You don’t have to step over it. You just have to not trip over it.
It is on the ground in almost every industry on the planet, globally. Every community, every industry, every environment, it’s almost on the ground. If you do just a handful of things, if you pick two of the things we talked about in this podcast and implement them, you will immediately vault yourself to the top 10% in your industry. Immediately!
And this isn’t me being hyperbolic or exaggerating. This is the reality. You’re right, the bar is on the ground. We just need to be a little bit better and our customers will think we’re amazingly better.
And then when we get a little bit better than that, now they’ll be blown away. They’ll be telling everybody they know. And when we get a little bit better than that, they’ll say, “Gosh, how can we figure out to spend more money in our budget with these people? We just love them.”
Have you ever had that experience, anybody listening, where one of your valued customers comes to you and says, “Look, we’ve got some money, we gotta spend by the end of the year, I don’t even know what we want but we wanna spend it with you, so can you just tell us how we can spend this?”
I’ve had the pleasure of having that experience. It’s awesome! It’s amazing! And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, it’s working.” And it’s not working because, oh my gosh, pocket is getting wider or my bank account is getting bigger. It’s working because when your goal is to provide value and you just provide value after value after value and really try to connect with the people you serve, they will take care of you. I promise they will take care of you.
Johnathan: This episode can easily go for like another five hours. I wanna make sure I’m respecting your time, Joey. You’re on a fricking roll, my man. I’m gonna give this episode, we’re gonna launch this at the beginning of the year so that people know how important it is to make that decision early on, like I’m gonna change.
I wanna get your feedback on my thoughts that I was thinking about rolling out, action items. And this is without the team’s feedback yet. This is also without our clients’ feedback yet. And so I want you to poke holes in my thoughts. Is that okay with you?
Joey: Sure, yeah, absolutely.
Johnathan: Okay, all right.
Joey: And I just wanna say to the listeners, I applaud your vulnerability in this moment, Johnathan.
Johnathan: Thank you.
Joey: To take ideas that you’ve put together and say, “Hey, what do you think?” Because most people, most leaders are really anxious. They only wanna present the fully polished stuff.
Folks, if you’re a leader, and I don’t care if you’re the business owner, the CEO, or maybe you’re just a manager, everybody has some people that report to them, whether it’s employees, direct reports, whether it’s kids or significant others, you have other people that you serve and other people that are looking to you to lead.
If you’re a human being, people are looking to you to lead. One of the greatest ways of leading is to say, “Hey, I’m not 100% sure about this but can I get your feedback on it? How do you think this might work?” And now, we’re actually having a conversation.
So I am flattered and honored. Fire away. What are we thinking?
If you haven’t been hearing a lot of chicken sounds, they’ve all been there. You, by far, have surpassed the record on the show so far, but out to respect of the flow
Johnathan: and the people listening, I just wanted you to be, you know, coop-free for the time being. But we’ll tally them up later.
Okay, so here are my thoughts of what I immediately see as holes because I have an obviously easier totem-pole view across all departments in the company. The first thing is, we’re gonna get a massive metal board, and on that metal board, we’re gonna actually put in visually the eight phases that our clients go through.
On that board, we’re gonna have magnets. The magnets are gonna be the logo of the company, the month they signed up with us, towards the first-100-days analogy, and for us, we actually think it’s more like we got 60 days because we have a three-month agreement and they can technically cancel at the end of the second month, so we got a lot of them in the first 60 days, right? So we’re gonna put in-
Joey: I love it, yep, absolutely.
Johnathan: the company logo, the month that they were signed up so that we know, oh, shoot, some of these clients are not progressing like we hoped for, and then we’re also gonna put in the team name, that’s who’s actually servicing them, just so we can visually see and we can visually hold all of ourselves accountable.
That’s the first goal from, this is our benchmark, let’s start gathering this data. How do we speed up the time to get them to the advocacy phase with being humans? Not trying to market, like not trying to write a 28-email sequence, things like that, right? That’s number one.
Joey: I love it.
Johnathan: Number two–
Joey: I love it. Can I jump in and comment on this
Johnathan: Yes, please.
Joey: or you wanna wait till we hear all of them?
Johnathan: No, no.
Joey: Okay, great.
Johnathan: Let’s take them one at a time.
Joey: Number one, all right. Number one, love it, love it, love it. Why? 70% of Americans self-identify as being visual learners. And yet we constantly ask them to read or listen. Show them. Show them. Put it on the wall. Make everybody walk by that wall every day.
I love that it’s got the logo so you can see as the companies you’re moving across. I love that it has the date they signed on. Couple things I might suggest. Add on a little dry-erase part to when you expect them to move to the next phase.
Joey: So that when you look at it, you can say, “Oh, how long should they be in this phase?”
‘Cause here’s the thing, folks. Someone may sit in the acclimate phase for four or five months. And that’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with that. We just need to make sure that they know they’re gonna be in the acclimate phase that long and that we know they’re gonna be in the acclimate phase that long. It’s totally okay.
The other thing I would do is I would draw a line halfway across the visual map you’re creating and have either above the line or below the line, so you can visually place the logos, are we thinking that we’re succeeding in this phase or failing in this phase?
So at a quick glance, you can stand back and look at the whole board and see who are the people in trouble because they’re either below the line or who are the people that are doing well that are above the line, and where are they in terms of the phases, where should they be, and how are they progressing against that? So, overall, love it, love it, love it.
Johnathan: Awesome, okay. Next one, and I’m doing this chronologically through the life of the client, right? So the next one is, basically,
Johnathan: We have the benchmark, we have the board. I love your ideas. I literally gonna send you a picture of this so that you see it when it’s live.
Joey: Perfect, I love it.
Johnathan: The other thing is, marketing, we do very well. We get an abnormal amount of proposal requests because of our content and we’ve built a snowball, we’re very proud of it.
So there’s things that we can work on there, just more so letting the client know all the improvements that we’re making based on the list that I’m gonna give you today so that they also know what to expect.
‘Cause a lot of this is expectations. Like you said, it’s hand-holding, it’s over-communicating. It’s overwhelming them with making sure, hey, even if we hit the goal, did you actually think that we hit the goal? Do you feel like we hit the goal? Do you agree with that? Then we’ll celebrate, right?
So the tone and the energy and the excitement needs to be in our DNA across sales, they’re already good at that because they’re sales, obviously, but your point in the book was amazing because it’s like, give me an example of the dopamine release that you have after a sales call and then when you’re handed off to the operations team, the dopamine is the same exact level or higher. It never happens.
Joey: Never, never.
Johnathan: So that’s super important and that’s just like, that’s something that we gotta figure out how to measure and all that kinda stuff, too. But once we get a sale, I want immediate–
Johnathan: Oh, go ahead, go ahead.
Joey: No, no, go ahead, go ahead. Sorry, I’ll let you finish talking about this.
Johnathan: Once we get a sale, we need to have a process of where we actually talk about the ROI and the business impact. The funny and ironic thing, we’re direct response marketers, we do very well with Google and Facebook Ads and landing page optimization, things like that.
We talk about, this is your reduction in cost per conversion or this is your conversion volume increase. We don’t do the math on what the bottom-line impact will be for you. Because we might, like you said, the finish line might change from the customer over the time.
Because let’s say we hit our goal that isn’t the actual ROI or profit number, but for some reason their own internal closing rate has worsened. So we hit our goal but they didn’t do something and the lead quality could change. We’re not completely being holistic, we’re not keeping ourselves fully accountable.
So I need to have that ROI conversation because it’s gonna lead to something that we call the ROI road map that we’re physically gonna mail them and also have a digital version, too. So, thoughts and feedback on that.
Joey: Oh, I love it, I love it. Do we have time for me to tell a story in hyper-speed mode that I think will illustrate the challenge?
Johnathan: I have nothing planned for the next hour so it’s more of your time and your schedule.
Joey: Sweet! All right, so as long as the listeners don’t mind. We just extended this. We’re gonna extend this ’cause I think this, well, I’m loving the conversation. It’s so valuable. Hopefully, it’s valuable to your listeners. Let me tell you
Johnathan: Oh, it will be.
Joey: A quick story. I worked with a company couple years ago that was starting to sell propane. They were a home, heating oil, and air conditioning company that was rolling out propane in their marketplace, okay?
And I grew up in Iowa where a lot of people use propane to heat their homes. This was in a different location where people didn’t use propane to heat their homes. So they were trying to educate people.
I was on the marketing side, like many of your listeners, and my job was to drive as many new propane leads to the table as possible. So we got the phones ringing off the hook. Things were bouncing. We had direct mail, we had paid advertising, we had billboards, we had all kinds of things driving, driving, driving all this attention.
And what we noticed is, the lead numbers were off the charts. But the conversion numbers were terrible. They were terrible. And I was like, “Why isn’t this working?” And the client was like, “Well, we just gotta keep throwing at it. We must not be getting the right leads.” I was like, “No, we’re getting the right leads. Something’s wrong with the conversion. We gotta have a conversation.”
So I said, “Here’s what I wanna do.” I went to the client and I said, “This is gonna be no cost to you. I’m gonna come in to your call center. I’m gonna spend two days on the phones listening with people. Two days listening to your agents doing these inbound propane calls.” So we got on the very first call.
The person called in, they said, “Hi, yes, I saw the postcard about signing up for propane and I’d like to learn more about that,” and the person said, “Oh, okay, propane for what?” and they’re like, “For our house,” and they said, “Oh, you wanna use propane for your house?” And I’m starting to freak out. I’m listening in, I’m like, “Oh my god, what is happening here?”
But I’m like, “Joey, don’t respond. Don’t act, don’t act. Be quiet, be quiet.” Then they said, “Yeah, well, I saw this thing to where it’s like we can save money and it’s more environmentally friendly and it’ll be, you know, more useful and it kinda moves us away from oil,” and do, do, do and all these various reasons that we put in, they’re literally reading the marketing copy back to us on the phone.
And the call center rep says, “Well, you know, I don’t know, I’m happy to have, you know, to schedule you for a call with the sales team, but I just gotta tell you, do you have kids?” And the person’s like, “Well, yeah, I have kids. Why do you ask?” And they go, “I just would feel really unsafe having a propane tank next to my house cause what if that blows up? It’ll burn your house down.”
And honestly, I said, Johnathan, I thought I was being punked. I thought I was being, I was like, ha ha, okay, they set this up, and then, you know, where’s the cameras, do, do, do. No, this is what was happening.
The salespeople and the call center rep had not been properly educated on the offer and what the offer really was and how it worked. So I was recording all these calls. I went into the board meeting and I said, and they were like, “What’s going wrong with our propane campaign, Joey?”
It’s like, “Well, here, we’re bringing the leads in. Here’s where we’re not,” and I started playing the things. They were like, “Oh my god, what’s happening?” And they started, and they were like, “We wanna know which call center rep that is cause we wanna fire them.” I’m like, “Wrong answer. Wrong answer.”
I was listening to a podcast with Gary Vaynerchuk the other day and he said something, and I don’t agree with everything Gary says, but this he said and I totally agree with. He was like, “If your employees are doing something wrong or something’s wrong on your team and you’re the owner, guess whose fault that is. Yours.”
Joey: Cause you hired them and you didn’t properly train them, or you hired the person that hired them and you didn’t properly explain. So if something’s going wrong in your company, you got no one to be mad at other than yourself first cause you didn’t put the systems and processes in place.
So here’s the deal. We actually took all the call center reps and we put them on propane trucks and we sent them on deliveries for two days.
Joey: And they were like, “How are we, what are we doing?” I was like, “No, we gotta let them see.” And they were like, “Oh my gosh, this is clean, this is easy, this is fast. It’s totally safe.” And then we got videos together and we were like, “Look, if you were to literally shoot a propane tank with a bullet, like you see in the movies, it doesn’t actually blow up. Okay? In the movies, they make that happen, but that’s not really what happens.
Suddenly, the conversions went through the roof. Because the call center reps and the sales team were now excited about the offering of propane. They understood.
So here’s the challenge most businesses have. The marketing team and the execution team or the marketing and the sale team aren’t on the same page. So I love this idea of working with both teams to understand the benefit and the value to both.
Here’s an idea you might be able to implement. What about putting some of your account managers or your account reps into the sales calls, having them do a ride-along with the sales team? So that they actually see how hard it is.
See, most businesses, the people who are in sales love themselves and are really excited about the value they provide. And everybody in the company who’s not in sales thinks sales has the easiest cakewalk job of playing golf and going to dinners and having fun, okay?
We’ve got to get our employees to understand just how hard everybody else’s job is. Once they understand how hard everybody else’s job is, they start to appreciate the value that their team brings to the table, and it makes it easier to do the hand-off.
‘Cause lots of times, the reason the account manager is unable to provide that wow-dopamine experience is because the notes that the salesperson put into the CRM or recorded about all the sales conversations they have are so thin and don’t cover the right things that the account manager is starting from scratch.
Joey: Why does that happen? Well, because sales doesn’t appreciate how hard the account manager’s job is. And when account managers are going, “Oh, well, it’s ridiculous that sales doesn’t use the CRM and they don’t write stuff down.”
Well, go do 10 sales calls in a day where you’re jumping from one to the next to the next and you’re getting rejection after rejection. And you’re supposed to take notes on that?
Joey: Yeah. But we don’t appreciate what we don’t know. Okay, rant over.
Johnathan: No, every single point that you make can be its own episode. It literally could. ‘Cause some podcasts are like five, 10 minutes long, every episode they do. So thank you. Don’t ever stop. You’re hitting every nail
Joey: Well, I appreciate that.
Johnathan: on the head, and then I’m additionally seeing that there are other nails that I didn’t account for that you’re also hitting when you’re answering these things. So, appreciate you. Thank you.
All right, so chronologically going through it. Once the salesperson comes with that energy and tone, the CRM data points that you talked about of knowing who they are, like do they have kids, what are their hobbies, who do they follow, what’s their alma mater, who are their sports teams.
We’re gonna have 10 data points that we’re gonna have talking points that are also gonna lead to the gifting aspect that you mentioned earlier as well that we wanna have. So that’s gonna be in our CRM. We also use a project management tool called Asana. We wanna have that in there.
And, in addition to that, I’m gonna have everybody on the team listen to this episode before it even goes live, and I’m gonna send them the survey again and say, “Now that you know and have this angle, is there anything that you missed the first time we sent the survey that you think could be the stop-cancel-continue aspect as well, too?”
And same thing with the clients as well. Anyways, once that is done and the sale is complete and the client, the new client, is excited and dopamine is high and we’re trying to avoid buyer’s remorse.
And this is where the hand-holding, we thought we were doing that already but we can hold both hands at the same time, is we’re gonna make a video from the salesperson walking over to the account manager and the conversion rate optimization designer that’s assigned to that team.
And we have fun, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we joke and we roast each other on the bios on our website. It’s one of the pages on our website that people spend most of the time, just reading the bios and going down the list. And so I wanna keep that humor. We’re humans, right?
But I wanna introduce and say, “Hey, you know, this is Justin on your team. He’s your account manager. He’s really, really bad at ping-pong and he’s probably number 72 in the office, and that’s hard to achieve because we only have 60 people at the office. But the good news is that he has X amount of years’ experience, he just published 20 case studies in the last quarter.”
And then he’s like, basically says, “Hi.” So there’s a human element before the kickoff even happens, and we’re gonna do that with the designer as well, and we’re gonna send that video based on your communication method. So that was the next step.
Joey: Love it, love it, love it. Wouldn’t change a thing. It’s brilliant. And I will tell you, a video hand-off is probably the single most powerful thing that companies can do where you have someone who is selling you the product or service and a different person who is delivering the product or service.
A hand-off video where they can actually see the other human, where they can hear you talk positively about them, and they know it’s been a hand-off and it’s been effective? Oh, hugely valuable.
Johnathan: Awesome, awesome.
Joey: Love it.
Johnathan: So it’s a definite improvement. The next step is the actual kickoff. And so now, the team doesn’t just have the sales recording and the screen share, they have the questionnaire that the client fills out as well, too.
That, we can actually improve and also ask more of those 10 relationship questions, like the alma mater, the hobbies, the sports teams, the thing that matters to them that gets them excited. I wanna start the conversation off of that, and I wanna make sure that we also then finish with, well, let’s make sure that we have expectations correctly, the goals, the timeline, the ROI that we now wanna have.
And, again, this is done through webcam so that we’re not just having a call. Now that they’ve seen them on the video that was sent to them first, now they get the live version of them on webcam. And, again, high energy, excitement. We’re trying to build a relationship where we’re trying to keep that dopamine level as high as possible. That’s the next step.
Joey: Love it. Two thoughts on that. Number one, brilliant, the use of the webcam and having stuff be on video, whether you’re using Skype or Zoom or whatever tool you’re using. Definitely try to see the other person. It’s so much more valuable.
Be aware that, depending on the industries you serve or the clients you have, they may not have cameras on their computers.
Joey: So here’s how you solve that. You send them a webcam. You literally mail them a webcam with clear, easy instructions. And there are, as you guys know, I’m sure, there’s some super easy user-friendly webcams.
Joey: You ask them to plug it in and say, “Hey, use this for our calls and then use it for anything else you want. Use it for your own calls. Take it home to your house and plug it in for stuff. But just any time we’re gonna have a call, we’d love to do it via video, okay?”
People are gonna be anxious if they’re not used to using video about being on video. Address the elephant in the room and play with that, okay? That’s number one. Number two–
Johnathan: What if they think they’re–
Joey: Go ahead.
Johnathan: What if they genuinely believe that they’re ugly and they don’t wanna do it?
Joey: You know, you don’t wanna ever force somebody to do something that they don’t wanna do. But the way you can have fun with that is you’re gonna have previously sent them the introductory video.
Joey: So let the introductory video be not totally polished.
Joey: Like, don’t try to make it studio-quality. Let there be some mistakes. Drop the phone, like when you’re walking over the other person, right? You know what I mean? Do things that say,
Joey: yeah, we’re humans. It’s okay, right?
I did a podcast the other day with somebody who’s absolutely delightful, and she was podcasting, laundry room. And she was kind of embarrassed a little bit about it. She was like, “Well, I’m in the laundry room and I don’t,”
And I was like, “This is awesome. We live in an era where you can have your own show, you are your own media company, and you’re making a podcast from your laundry room. Get on it, girl.”
I love it. It’s fantastic. Brilliant, brilliant. Be human. Embrace the humanity.
Okay, second thing. You mentioned you’re gonna ask them all these questions in the survey. You can certainly ask them the questions, but what might be more powerful is to go do the research. So here’s the facts. Most people, especially in the professional context, have a LinkedIn page where they’ll tell you what their alma mater is.
Joey: So you don’t have to ask them what their alma mater is. You can just find out. You all work in online digital marketing, right? You go find their Facebook page, go find their Twitter account. Pull as much personal information from there as you can, put that into the CRM.
And then if there are other things you wanna know, go ahead and ask those. But there’s some power to asking in person as opposed to in the survey. You can ask in the survey and that’s fine.
Joey: and it certainly works. But don’t ask all of them in the survey. Ask some of them in person. And the way you get them to volunteer this information is a technique I call you-go-first, okay? Here’s how you-go-first works. You talk about the thing about you, and then they’ll talk about the thing about them.
For example, I might say, “Hi, I’m so great to get a chance to connect, Johnathan. You know, we’re recording this here in December and we’re getting ready to go for the holidays. You know, I’m gonna be spending the holidays with my family in Iowa, which I’m super excited about. I’m one of seven kids. There’s gonna be a ton of nieces and nephews there. All in all, we’ll have north of 22 people Christmas, during the Christmas holidays that are there having a great time. “What are you doing for the holidays?”
See, I went first, so it sounds less weird. Because now I’ve told you, and now, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you’re compelled to say, “Oh, well, I’m gonna be doing this,” or, “I might be doing that,” do, do, do.
Whereas if I’d just said, “Hey Johnathan, what are you plans for December 24th?” That feels a little weird. We’re like, “Well, why are you asking? I’m confused.” So you go first. You can apply this to hobbies. You can apply it to where they like to vacation. You can apply it to which teams they like to root for.
You know, hey, we’re coming up, I don’t know if you’re a college football fan. I know I am. I’m super excited to be watching what happens here in the playoff games and see, you know, how everything’s gonna come together, do, do, do. Are you into sports at all?
And then, even if they’re not into college football, they might say, “Well, I’m not really into football but I love table tennis.” “Really, table tennis? Tell me more about that.” And you get curious, you get inquisitive.
Joey: Find out about the weird things. And it’s often easier to do that in a conversation than in a survey.
Johnathan: Yeah, 100%. I’m taking that feedback. I’m gonna change that and we’re gonna do everything we can to get as many points of love that they cherish and care about.
All right, the second step is, dopamine is still high, we are genuinely excited and also honored that, again, and being flattered that we actually get this chance to work with them, like they’re choosing us when they have other options.
That humility and vulnerability, I think we can do way better with, and also just have the heart-to-heart moments of saying, “Hey, my goal is to be the best partner that you’ve ever had. My goal is to make you smile, make your life easy, so anything you need that I’m doing that isn’t in the way that you want it or that I’m showing it, let me know. Let me know how I can be better.”
We don’t have those conversations from the get-go, and so that’s part of what I wanna bake into the kick-off call. And then the follow-up email is gonna be on the points that we agreed to, just so we have it in writing and then we can continue. It’s also gonna include what we talked about as the next steps and when they can expect it by.
And so what I really would like to have accomplished is the ability to, when we have all these micro-wins on the path, on the road map to the big win celebration, like the actual, the sale isn’t done until the results are there, there’s all these little wins that happen across, you know, over time.
I wanna be able to not only have them access to Asana, which is where they see, complete transparency, what we do, but I also wanna be able to text them that and say, “Hey, we just launched your campaigns. Hey, we just launched that landing page. Hey, we got the first batch of results in. We see improvement here and there.”
Or, also on the flip side, being honest, like, “Hey, this experiment didn’t work out. Here’s what we have planned in prioritized order just so you know how we operate and how we go about it.” So that texting aspect is something that is new in addition to just the follow-up email and the relationship actually has a start. Thoughts on that.
Joey: Love it, love it. Here’s the thing about texting. Some people are gonna love it; some people aren’t gonna like it. What you need to do is let them know, “Hey, we’d love to, from time to time, send you a text update or two.”
“We’re not gonna be texting you every day. We’re not gonna text you every time. But if something is breaking that’s really exciting or really interesting, we’d love to be able to get that to you quickly. Is that cool if we got your cell phone number just to text you every once in a while? And honestly, if that ever gets to be too much, just text back the word stop and we’ll stop.”
Johnathan: Right, perfect.
Joey: Okay, great.
Joey: So now I’m willing to do it and give you some permission. The other thing is, take advantage of the modality of text and the cool things you can do with that that are harder to do via email. They’re possible via email but they’re a little more challenging.
For example, text a little audio note. Hey, just wanted to let you know we launched your campaign. Super excited about this. We’ll keep you posted via email about what’s gonna be coming in, but I just wanted to let you know we are live. Let’s do this!
Johnathan: Awesome, awesome.
Joey: And that’s the audio. And that’s it. And so they can hear your excitement.
Now, if you took that exact same script, or phrase, that wasn’t a script, I was just talking, trying to be like a human, right, you never need a script, and you wrote that out in an email, it would not have nearly the same emotional impact and buy a chemical impact on the recipient as hearing my voice saying it would be.
So take advantage of that. Text a video, showing, oh, the whole team’s sitting around here. Watch, we’re gonna press launch. Ready?
Joey: Click. Woohoo, we just launched it! It’s up! Let’s see how this goes. Just wanted to let you know. Super excited for this. Talk to you soon. And that’s it.
Johnathan: I love–
Joey: We’re not curing cancer here. This isn’t rocket science. You can keep it easy. You can keep it streamlined.
Johnathan: Totally, totally. Love that. And another thing where I’m like, “I’m gonna impress Joey.” And I know that you’re loving this and you think it’s cool and you’re excited about it just like me, but then you just take it another step and I’m like, “I didn’t even think of that. I didn’t know I could expect that from you.” Okay, awesome. Next thing.
Joey: Well, here’s the great thing, Johnathan.
Johnathan: Go ahead.
Joey: The reason we’re able to do this is because you’re throwing out fantastic ideas. You’re doing things that if you were to do any one of these things, any one of these things separates you from your competition. Any one of them. And we’re a half dozen in.
And the reason I’m able to build on top of them is not because they’re not great. They’re great as is. But what I’m trying to illustrate is, it’s okay to never be done. It’s okay to iterate. It’s okay to build on it. And I know, from our conversations, this is a quality that you have in your firm, right?
Sometimes, you run campaigns and they don’t work the way you want. So what do you do? Well, we’re gonna try it again. We’re gonna come at it differently. We’re gonna try some different creative, we’re gonna try a different audience, try a different time of day, whatever it may be. Great. We can always build on it.
And you may send that text little video of them hitting launch on the campaign, and you never hear anything back, and you send it like 10 times and people never reply. And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, is this thing even working?” And then somebody replies back and they’re like, “Yeah, I don’t really, stop texting me.” You’re like, “Ooh, this is bad.” It’s okay. Experiment. Have fun with it.
Johnathan: Mm-hmm. One of the things I’ve told the team before is, it’s kind of a horde analogy but it’s also true of people being afraid of confrontation or the potential, and thinking that I am doing things differently and I do have the focus of wowing the customer, but I’m also, what if they don’t like it, right?
And so the analogy I have is let’s say you have a cough, you’re choosing not to go to the doctor ’cause you hope it’s just, you’re just generally having a cold. But worst-case scenario, it could be lung cancer. But you’re afraid to figure that out. But the earlier you figure that out, the quicker you have chances to remedy and salvage the situation, and then grow from there, too.
So that’s something that needs to be known from a lot of people that don’t have the confidence of that or don’t have that soft-skills mentality yet. Super, super vital, in my opinion, I think.
Joey: Yeah, absolutely. And here’s the other thing. Some people aren’t gonna like you. That’s okay.
Joey: It’s okay. There are some people that started listening to this podcast that aren’t listening to us talk anymore ’cause they didn’t enjoy it. They’re not enjoying the value.
They’re like, “This Joey guy sounds insane. He’s way too high-energy. What the heck is going on? I’m listening to this while I’m working out,” or, “I’m listening to this on my morning commute. This is way too much energy for a Tuesday. Knock it off, kid.” Right?
I’m okay with that. Because the ones who are following are actually the ones who are gonna do something with this. Stop believing that you need to get them all.
Not every one of your customers is gonna become an advocate. Not every one of your customers is gonna become an adopter. That is okay. The only thing you can strive for is making sure that every customer makes it to the accomplish phase.
Joey: You’re not gonna get them all to adopt. You’re not gonna get them all to advocate. That’s okay. But it’s on you whether they get to accomplish or not. So focus on that, and the other stuff has the tendency to sort itself out.
Johnathan: Yeah. And for the people listening, you know, if you do not like what we have to say, you can mail back this episode and I will give you a full refund of the $0 that you paid for it.
Joey: There you go. I love it, I love it, exactly.
Johnathan: All right, I have two more things. And there’s really more to do
Joey: All right.
Johnathan: because you gave the great idea of surveying your actual customers and getting their feedback. That’s more vital ’cause their viewpoint is completely different from what we have internally.
But second thing is, the kickoff is complete, we now have a trigger that is the gift example, but it’s also the direct mail example. We’re gonna send a box. In that box, it’s gonna be branded to our light blue color and it’s gonna say, “Good things come in baby blue colors,” or, “Good things come in Boost berry blue colors.” That’s the color tone that we’ve set it.
And in there, before it was a handwritten note with two gift cards to a movie theater and so it basically says, “Sit back and relax and enjoy the show, we’re gonna take care of you.” But it was written by our office manager. It wasn’t written by our account manager that’s actually the point of contact or the designer that’s the point of contact. That, I wanna change.
And I wanna change the tone and the feel, and their handwriting to that note. It’s a letterpress card, it’s high-quality. I’m very pumped about it. In addition to that, I wanna write another note that’s from me and that actually has my phone number in there.
Because in that follow-up kickoff email, I wanna make very, very sure that the client knows that here’s the hierarchy of people you need to talk to in the event that you’re not happy with who you’re getting answers from today, which is like your first line of defense, the account manager, here’s the director, here’s that manager, and here’s my information, too.
So I wanna make sure that they know that I am thrilled, honored, excited, ’cause I am, that they are choosing us. And it’s something that I want them to know that it’s a high priority, that they can always get a hold of me, and I honor that and I wanna do right.
But, in addition to that, there’s also a physical ROI road map and it’s gonna be in the form of a puzzle, and that puzzle has the steps of the micro-wins to that actual goal that we’ve set. Hopefully, the client doesn’t change the finish line. But that’s something that I want a visual representation.
Johnathan: Go ahead.
Joey: I love it, I love it, but here’s, forgive me for interrupting.
Joey: So many things that are absolutely brilliant about this, but I wanna address it. If the client does change the goal, they still have the puzzle that said what their original goal was. So now they will be aware of the fact that they changed the goal.
Joey: See, half the time, we believe when clients change the goal, lots of times when we’re in business we think that that’s malicious. We’re like, “Oh my gosh, of course, they changed the goal,” or, “Oh yeah, they wanted this all along and they never.” No. Lots of times, the client has no idea what a reasonable goal is.
Okay, and I’m sure that resonates with the folks listening who are just like, “Wait, what’s your goal?” “Our goal is a million dollars in new revenue from the website we’re gonna launch.”
They’re like, “You don’t even, you don’t sell a product, what are you talking about? You sell a service.” “Yeah, I know, but it should lead to a lot of new traffic.” “Well, how?” “Well, because people, we don’t have a website now.” Then they’re like, it’s not that they’re bad people; it’s just that they don’t know what you know.
Joey: So I love the idea of giving them a physical reminder of what the goal was, because then if the goal changes, so be it. Guess what, then we get to say, “Hey, so you’re working on building out that puzzle. We said that this was the goal. Are we changing the goal? Do we need to send you a new puzzle?”
Johnathan: Mm-hmm, 100%.
Joey: ‘Cause now that puts a little bit of an onus back on them to say, “Wow, you’re right, we changed the goal. This isn’t what we said.” And now it gives you the opportunity to potentially increase the scope or increase the price or increase the timeline or just even have an honest conversation about, hey, what you’re asking for is a little bit different than what you asked for in the beginning.
I love it. I love the personal note from you. I love the hand signature. I love having it come from the account manager. I would say encourage the folks, the account manager or the salesperson, whoever, or the designer, rather, whoever’s writing it, to also include something personal about them that they learned in the conversation, right?
So it doesn’t have to be some big, earth-shattering, like, “Hey, and because I was creeping you on Facebook, I noticed this.” No. Make it be like, “And I really enjoyed when you came in for.”
Or, “In the kickoff call, how you mentioned that you had just had a week vacation where you took your dog to this really cool, fun dog park. Sounds absolutely amazing. My dog Benji and I, if we ever get away to where you live, are gonna definitely have to check out that park.”
You know, whatever it may be. Create reciprocity, create rapport by showing how you have some points of similarity or points of commonality with them.
Johnathan: Yeah, love that. Implementing right away. I’m gonna send you pictures of how this looks in the finished product.
Joey: I’m excited. These are gonna get in the presentation.
Johnathan: I love it.
Joey: You’re gonna, I’m gonna have all these great, that I’m gonna get and they’re like, “Here’s how you read the book and put it in place, folks.”
Johnathan: But the last thing in the box that we send as well is gonna be a miniature champagne bottle, and that champagne bottle say, “Don’t you dare open this until that milestone is hit.”
And that puzzle is gonna be very simple. It’s gonna be like five pieces. It’s not gonna be like a 1,000-piece puzzle or anything like that. But I want that to be a visual reminder. And then that actually translates into the next step.
When we know, on our side, that we have actually hit the goal, we don’t prematurely send out and say, “We hit the goal, congrats, everything is awesome.” We need to make sure that we get feedback from the client that we did actually hit the goal and they’re excited about it as well.
Once that happens, we are gonna be in a room at our office where we have the rainbow of colors of balloons, the rainbow of colors of these confetti cannons that you might know from gender reveals that are like the pink or the blue,
Joey: Yeah, yeah.
Johnathan: But they’re gonna be different colors, and we wanna match those colors with the client’s colors, and we wanna have a sign that we actually, ’cause we have designers on team that are amazing, basically say congrats and then the client name.
And then who, obviously the account manager and the designer need to be part of that, but as many people from KlientBoost at that given moment that are ready to come in there, we are gonna come in and we’re gonna take a little video that we can turn into a GIF, for example.
And then we’re gonna pop those confetti cannons, we’re gonna be excited about it, we’re gonna celebrate with them, and we’re gonna say, “Hey, it’s time to drink that champagne.” And we’re gonna send that to them just so they know how thrilled we are that we have accomplished the first goal.
And so that is what we plan on without any additional feedback or thoughts from other people, that I, like bigger ideas that I got from the book that we wanna implement there in those first 100 days.
Joey: So, first of all, Johnathan, love, love, love these ideas. Kudos to you and congratulations for coming up with some really creative ways to do it. There’s BoostSauce all over this. I love it. It’s fantastic, it’s fantastic. I love the confetti cannons.
I will give one small caveat, cautioning about the champagne bottle. As somebody who does not drink alcohol, me personally, sending me a champagne bottle doesn’t have the same impact on me as if you were to send it to people who love champagne. That’s not pooh-poohing on the idea.
Johnathan: No, I get it, I get it.
Joey: That is just flagging. Here’s the interesting thing. Find out earlier in the process, so this may delay, you may have to find out earlier, but find out what their favorite drink is. And find out if–
Johnathan: Root beer?
Joey: Exactly, look at that! Folks who read the book. I talk about it in the book that I don’t drink alcohol but I do drink root beer and I love root beer. So, for me, personally, if I was one of your clients, if the default is the champagne bottle but if you know they don’t drink, you substitute it with whatever they do drink.
Whether that’s a root beer or a kombucha or a, you know, pressed juice, whatever it is that you know about, just swap in for the champagne bottle. Let the champagne bottle be the default.
Joey: Unless there’s a reason to do something else. Absolutely fantastic. And I love, love the confetti cannons and doing the color and the GIFs and that kinda thing. Simply brilliant. Simply brilliant.
Johnathan: Love it. Yeah, I didn’t even think about that in regards to the drinks. That’s way more impactful. For me, it would be Pellegrino. I think it’s even in my bio on the website.
Joey: I know, exactly. Yes, you’re a big Pellegrino guy. Yeah, exactly. So that would be the thing for you.
Johnathan: Yeah. Well, that was what I wanted to finish off with in regards to what we plan on implementing, and there’s probably 50 more things that we’re getting feedback and all that kinda stuff and I want my team to listen to this episode even before it’s live, too.
So, Joey, is there anything that we haven’t discussed or that you wanna wrap up with?
Joey: Boy, I think we’ve covered a lot. Here’s the thing I’ll say in parting, Johnathan. Folks, you know, first of all, thank you so much for listening to this extended version of BoostSauce interview, right? This has been a lot longer conversation than I think either of us planned, but I’ve loved it.
And I’ve loved it because, to me, Johnathan epitomizes what I hope every business leader, every business manager, everybody in business, regardless of what position you have, have fun doing what you’re doing, okay?
I try to give you a system in the book. I try to give you a process, a framework that you can adopt. It’s a methodology, but it’s also a philosophy. And if I can just briefly for one minute speak to the philosophy.
We should be having fun at work. We should be enjoying what we’re doing. Life is too short to be checking boxes. Life is too short to be grinding it out. Life is too short to do something that you’re not committed to, that you’re not passionate about.
Now, I’m not saying, “Oh, is this your life’s passion? ” and, “Are you altering the world?” ‘Cause you may be at a point in your career where you don’t know what that is yet or you’re not sure if the thing you’re doing qualifies as that.
But here’s the thing. If you go to work and you don’t like what you do, please find somewhere else to work. Please find something else to do. Because you may think that you’re hiding that, but you’re not. Your colleagues know it, your boss knows it, your customers know it.
Have fun. Enjoy this stuff. Lean into it. Try new things. You’re gonna fail. You’re gonna come up with this amazing beautiful thing that you’re gonna send to your client, and you’re never gonna get a thank-you note back. They’re never gonna mention it. And you’re gonna think to yourself, “Oh my gosh, I did this amazing gift for them and they never sent me a thank-you note.”
Did you do it for the thank-you note or did you do it for the impact on them? Hopefully, you did it for the impact on them. We shouldn’t be chasing the accolades for what we do when it comes to customer experience.
We should be delivering the experience that we wish we had and doing it in a way that is honest and passion-filled and excited and energized. And if that works for them, great, and if it doesn’t, okay, it’ll work for the next one.
Johnathan: I believe it, I believe it.
People listening, again, Joey Coleman, Never Lose a Customer Again. If you’ve gotten this far and you still haven’t paused and went and bought the book, please do it now. Support this man for his brilliant work and the time and energy that he’s put through.
And it’s so simple, like you said. The bar is on the floor. Joey, I can’t wait to implement these things, hold myself accountable to you to impress you, and then show you and talk about the results, too. We should do a follow-up. This is something I’m very excited about.
Joey: I love it. Johnathan, thanks so much for having me on the show. You have impressed me. You don’t need to do anything more. I love your passion, I love your excitement, I love your enthusiasm, and I love what you guys are building and what you’re putting together not only internally for your employees but externally for the many customers you serve.
So thanks so much for having me on BoostSauce.
Johnathan: Much respect. Thank you, Joey.
Joey: Take care.
Johnathan: All right, bye.