Author Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Request an Introduction

Request an Introduction to Meet a Big Name

If you do not know someone personally and want to reach them, I would not contact them directly. Instead, I would find someone that knows them and I would request an introduction. When you request an introduction to someone well-known or very successful from a trusted third party, it smooths the path to meeting them as you network up.

That is exactly how I met Harvey Mackay, author of “Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive”. Back in the ’90s, I had not published any best-selling books yet, so very few people knew who I was. Still, I wanted to meet Mr. Mackay to ask him if he would write a section of my upcoming book. I thought he would make a good contributor as he had written about networking before. No matter how many times I tried, I could not get past his assistant without name recognition.

A well-connected driver

I started asking everyone I knew if they knew anyone who might have a connection to Mr. Mackay personally. A year later, I was on a book tour in another state. A BNI member in that city picked me up at the airport. While on the one hour drive to the hotel, he asked me many questions about my book. He attended the book tour event that week and asked if I would like a ride back to the airport the next day. I agreed. On the ride to the airport, he thanked me for all the suggestions I had shared on how to build a powerful personal network. Then he asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” 

So, I said to him, “I’ve been trying to connect with Harvey Mackay. I have not had any luck getting past his assistant. You wouldn’t happen to know someone that knows Harvey, would you?” He said, “Sure, I know his assistant pretty well. In fact, I have her mobile number”. He went on to explain that he always volunteers to drive visiting authors from the airport because he learns from them during the hour drive. That is why he volunteered to drive me.

Request an Introduction to a gatekeeper

He knows Mr. Mackay’s assistant because he talked to her many times the previous year when he volunteered to drive Harvey Mackay to/from the airport. He wanted to know why to qualify me before he passed it on to his trusted contact. I told him, “I wanted to ask Mackay if he would be willing to contribute to a book I was writing called “Masters of Networking”. Mackay had written a book on networking and I knew he would be a great contributor”. The driver said he would be happy to reach out to Mackay’s assistant and request an introduction to him.

Introduced to Harvey Mackay

Guess who called me the next week? Not the assistant, but Harvey Mackay himself. Mackay is an icon in the business world. I was honored to have a fantastic conversation with him. I learned that he absolutely “walks the talk” when it comes to networking. He took the time to learn about me and my book. My luck changed when he agreed to write a contribution to my book. Over the years, we have talked together on many occasions. He was even a keynote speaker at one of our BNI conventions. We have strengthened our relationship and I consider Harvey a good friend.

I was able to request an introduction to Harvey Mackay because I asked people who I knew and who I believe trusted me. I would ask people who trusted me for the referral. They knew I would not betray their trust. People do not want to give a referral to someone who just wants to sell something to their contacts. It still works for me today.

Infinite Giving

Infinite Giving

I have a new book,Infinite Giving”, that was just released this week and is available for purchase on Amazon.

Our book reveals for the very first time, the 7 principles of Givers Gain®  which leads to a life of giving not just for the benefit of others, but most importantly for you as well.  All the while allowing you to protect your time, energy, and resources to ensure you can practice Infinite Giving throughout the world. This law of reciprocity has allowed hundreds of thousands of people to take part in this powerful philosophy while also building a business to support them and those they care about. Givers Gain seeks to imagine a world where giving is a strength, and everybody can create success through Infinite Giving.  The philosophy of Givers Gain® has the potential to change the world. Full stop.

The Seven Principles of Givers Gain®

  1. Are They in Your Light?                     ∞ Do you want to live a more fulfilled existence, one
  2. Give Without Expectation                    where you’re building a life and business where you
  3. Give More Than Expected                     don’t have to choose between winning or helping?
  4. Give What You Can Afford                ∞ Have you ever felt like people take advantage of your
  5. It’s OK to Gain                                           good nature, both in life and business?
  6. Stay Humble                                         ∞ Do you feel alone when you need help, despite your
  7. The Gratitude Effect                               previous generous activities?

The Infinite Giving Authors

Two Brits and a Yank make an important decision about the book in this video.

Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization.  He has written over 25 books including three New York Times bestsellers.

Greg Davies is a corporate trainer, inspirational speaker, and multi-award-winning Director of BNI.  He also has a passion for stories and is known as The StoryFella, using narratives to inspire people and businesses all over the world.

Julian Lewis is a portfolio entrepreneur, with diverse interests including, IT, film making, and business coaching, he is also a multi-award-winning Director of BNI.  He continues to coach, mentor, and consult to businesses globally.

Infinite Giving is available for purchase on Amazon.  

Infinite Giving

∞ Order multiple copies of this book for yourself and

    others.

∞ The possibilities of who you can be GIVING this book

    to are INFINITE.

∞ Please use this link to order your own copy of this

    amazing book: https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGiving

 

Acclaim for Infinite Giving

“The perfect balance between developing yourself and impacting others”
Lisa Nichols, Author of Abundance Now

“If you like stories, you’ll love this book. These aren’t just stories that inspire because they show vs. tell; they’re real-life examples from around the world that motivate you to give generously because it’s a shortcut to a meaningful life, successful business, and enduring legacy. Read it and reap.”
Sam Horn, CEO of the Tongue Fu! Training Institute 

“These principles will always work if you work the principles”
Jack Canfield, Author of Success Principles and Chicken Soup for the Soul

NETWORKS AREN’T FLAT: The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships by Andy Lopata

Today’s guest blog is an extract from Andy Lopata’s book, “Connected Leadership”, about the seven stages of professional relationships.

When we picture a network it’s easy to visualize a flat entity, a single structure comprising all of the people we know. Much network theory focuses on the number of people in the average network, with classic studies such as Girard’s Law of 250(1) and the Dunbar Number(2) often quoted.

In my opinion, both of these studies are flawed. They are flawed in their interpretation: The Dunbar Number was never intended as an indication of the average network size. They are outdated: they were both developed in the last century, well before social media dominated our lives and networks. And flawed in the basic premise: Girard’s Law is based on the observation that the average number of guests at a wedding or funeral is 500. I went to a funeral recently that was described as ‘busy’ and I can promise you that nowhere near 500 people attended.

The way both studies have been used in network theory is the biggest flaw. We have been told that ‘the average network size is 250’ (based on Girard’s Law). Other objections aside, this oversimplifies the nature of a network.

Rather than being a flat structure or simple grouping of contacts, networks are more complicated organisms with people flowing in and out and between various levels. I tend to visualize a network as seven levels of a professional relationship with a group of expanding circles, much like the side section of half an onion.

The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships

Within that network, there are seven levels of a professional relationship:

  1. Recognize
  2. Know
  3. Like
  4. Trust
  5. Support
  6. Advocate
  7. Friend (moving into your personal network) 

 

Towards the center of the network are people you have a lot of time for and want to support. That feeling is likely to be reciprocal and you’d be available whenever the other party needs and, at stages six and seven, actively looking out for each other.

This is what we’d call your trusted network, people you are likely to see day in day out, week in and week out (although absence doesn’t necessarily exclude people from your trusted network).

As you move further out through the layers, the relationship becomes a little less trusted, not as deep. You might see each other less frequently, be less inclined to share openly with each other, or ask for help.

At the outer edges of your network are people who come in and out. If we meet at an event or dinner party I’ll be in your network for a few days. By that, I mean that if we bump into each other or I call you, you will remember me and know who I am. But that link is tenuous. After a few days or weeks, we will probably be strangers again.

Compare this to someone in the center of your network. You could probably go three years or more without speaking to each other but still, pick up where you left off as if no time had passed.

People on the outskirts of your network will come in and out. If you want to embed people in your network, your first challenge is to get beyond that outer circle and into their long-term memory.

 

Andy Lopata‘s book, “Connected Leadership” can be bought from amazon.com at a promotional price of $0.99 TODAY. As Ivan’s readership is global, this page lists the book on all of Amazon domains. 

Case Studies

How to Create Case Studies that Make Customers Buy, Engage and Ascend

I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site.  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  He previously shared the topics of “The New Customers Experience” and “Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company” on my blog.  Today, he is sharing the topic of creating case studies. Read closely – Robert is truly an expert.

Creating Case Studies

Your customer has three important decisions to make about you and your products. With each decision you have the opportunity to win or lose the customer.

Those decision points are:

  1. Should I give this product a try?
  2. I bought, is this really worth what I invested in time and money?
  3. I’ve been a customer for a while, I’ve enjoyed this in the past but is this still worthy of my time and money?

There’s one marketing tool that can help your customer choose you each time: a well-crafted client case study.

Really? A client case study?

Yes. These case studies and client stories are the most powerful tools you have on your side to foster strong relationships with potential customers, new customers, and long-time customers.

The publishing industry has undergone a huge transformation in recent years with subscriptions at historic lows. Today, Business Week is a shell of what it was with fewer than 950,000 subscribers each month. People Magazine, however, has more than 3.5 million subscribers. People want to read about other people.

Your customers want to hear about people like them. They want to hear stories of striving, overcoming, and of the underdog beating more powerful rivals. As great as your teachings and training resources are for your members, these stories are what they really want. You’ll attract and retain your customers in proportion to how well you deliver these stories.

These stories also prove that what you say is true. When you deliver example after example of individuals who have used your product or service and succeeded, you impact how your members think about your program and themselves. Even if a customer hasn’t gotten results. After reading or watching a video about one of your client success stories, they think, “Gee, maybe this is possible.”

After enough of these stories, your customer says to himself, “If that guy can do it, I can do it, too.” After this mindset transformation, she’s a lot more likely to use what she purchased and consider buying more. Which brings us to the question of the day:

How do you write a terrific client success story?

Recently, a long-time client asked me the following question about case studies; perhaps you have wondered something similar:

“My question for you is do you use these questions on clients based on what YOU did for them? YOUR process? Meaning, should I do these to sell myself and my product? Or do I put these forward as their own case studies of how my client became successful and leave me out? Then just mention some of the things I teach?”

On how far to promote yourself and your strategies in your case studies — it depends on the how you are using them.

If you are presenting case studies within a sales presentation, then you’ll want to make it clear where you were involved.

Or, if you are presenting this case study to existing members, you may be advocating a key philosophy. In this case, you may indicate the person is a member or client, then describe how using a particular product or service you sell created the impact.

To summarize: If you are in an overt sales situation, then be overt about your involvement. Then, in many other cases, it may be appropriate to illustrate the power of implementing your philosophy.

My formula for creating case studies is simple. I start by recording an interview with my member. I then provide the interview transcript to a writer to create a written case study.

Here are interview questions to get you started.

As you read the questions, replace the words “your member breakthrough process” with the name of your product or coaching program:

  • What’s your background? How did you get started doing what you are doing now?
  • How did you discover “your member breakthrough process”?
  • What did you think of it when you first saw it?
  • How did you get started implementing “your member breakthrough process”?
  • What has changed in your life since you discovered “your member breakthrough process”?
  • What advice do you have for someone else who has just discovered “your member breakthrough process” and is deciding whether or not to try it?

For best results I conduct these interviews personally. I can explore areas that would be interested to members by asking follow-up questions. However, if time is short I’ll often send these questions out as a survey instead.

Once I have a good interview recorded, I use the transcript to craft a compelling success story.

Once you have these case studies, you can use them in presentations, monthly newsletters, pull them together into books to give to prospects, or include them in email follow-up sequences to convert more prospects int customers.

Use demonstrations, capture case studies everywhere you can, and teach through examples rather than relying only on lectures.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

 

Raymond Aaron

Raymond Aaron shares how to write a book

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council (TLC) member and friend, Raymond Aaron, discusses with me in this video below his “10-10-10 PROGRAM™”. It is a book writing program that he is running for coaching authors and it is amazing. Raymond is an expert on branding yourself to stand out from the others and has been on my blog many times over the last several years. Check out this previous blog.
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I am a real believer in writing books to build a brand

I discovered that if I went to the media, They do not want to interview me about my company. However, they will interview anyone with a book. As I have written 24 books, I have received a lot of requests for interviews by the media. It is the best way to improve your brand. When you write your book, you are NOT selling your book, you are selling YOU. Becoming an author improves your name. In his 10-10-10 PROGRAM™,  you write the content of your book. However, Raymond will help you with the marketing messages to build your brand.

Raymond Aaron noticed that most people are drowning in the “sea of sameness”. Whatever your profession or business is, you all look the same. You need to stand out in some way and the easiest way to stand out is to write a book. Becoming a published author is easy if you get guidance on doing it right. Raymond has published 138 books. Therefore, he has figured out how to easily write a book effortlessly.

The 10-10-10 PROGRAM™

Raymond’s 10-10-10 PROGRAM™” will pull the book out of you and onto the page that you always wanted to write. If you are procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed with the process of becoming a published author, Raymond will coach you with his series of 19 “how-to videos”. You just watch each video and do the work. Once you play the 19th video, you will be holding your published book in your hand.

Please click this link to learn more about Raymond’s 10-10-10 PROGRAM™” at https://10-10-10program.com/

raymond aaron

The “10-10-10 PROGRAM™” includes:

  • 19 video series.
  • Three-day writing workshop with Raymond personally helping you with your book.
  • Private one-on-one coaching is provided to make sure that you get published.
  • Offered around the world.
  • Official book launch.
  • Award on the cover

The tuition that Raymond normally charges worldwide for this program is $2800. However, if you personally contact Raymond Aaron by email at Raymond@Aaron.com, he will offer this program to you at a 50% discount for only $1400. That’s half off with the code “IVAN”

If you think you have a book inside you, use Raymond’s program because he can help you do that. Raymond will teach you what you don’t know about writing a book. It will be easier than you think if you take Raymond up on his offer to coach you. Life is much too precious to postpone. It’s time to put yourself in your own story and write your book. The whole world changes when you have a book. 

 TLC

Terry Jones

Terry Jones shares “Disruption Off”

The founder of Travelocity, Terry Jones, discusses his book, “Disruption Off” with me in this video about how to inoculate your business from being disrupted in this day and age.

The most important thing a company can do is to take risk.

When companies grow, they stop taking risk because they got to make the quarter. Instead, companies need to experiment and take risk. They have to be willing to fail because 75% of startups fail. We need to get back to the steps of experimentation, failure and moving on. As a company gets bigger, it is a little bit like moving a battleship, rather than a little boat. You do not have to get everybody in alignment. It just takes a few people to make a change. To make the change, start with something small. For the small business owner, try something new. However, keep the system you have, but try this at the same time. As a business owner, your opinion doesn’t matter. It’s only your customers’ opinion that matters. So, you know, just take the risk and change, please.

Terry Jones has battled the frontlines of business disruption. And now he’s here to share his hard-won wisdom and insider tips to give you an edge in an increasingly volatile market.In today’s aggressive, hyper-connected economy, a growing number of startups are transforming the way we do business. Disruption OFF is your all-in-one playbook for understanding the latest technological breakthroughs and industry innovations shaping your future. Drawing from a wealth of expert knowledge and his own in-depth experience, Jones provides you with the tools and techniques you need to enter a new age of prosperity. Disruption OFF is your no-nonsense guide for thriving in an ever-changing business landscape. If you like real-world applications, bite-sized advice, and simple strategies, then you’ll love Terry Jones’ essential resource.
Buy Disruption OFF to crush the competition today!
TLC
Profit Growth Banking Blueprint

Roxanne Emmerich shares the Profit Growth Banking Blueprint

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council (TLC) member and friend, Roxanne Emmerich, discusses her upcoming book, “The Profit Growth Banking Blueprint”, with me in this video about how banking companies can create a workplace you and your customers love.
 
Roxanne has been trying to help the banking industry to get its act together. They have gone from having18,000 banks to 5000 banks, which tells you something is wrong. The problem is that when a local bank goes out of a small community, this causes the small businesses to go away too. According to Roxanne, the problem is that banking is set up to be transactional, not transformational. Banks are transactional and not about making sure people are winning. Banks are a cultural train wreck because their system is wrong. And it’s not just banking, it is all industries. The model we have right now in banking and most businesses is “Get your numbers, or you are fired”.

Her goal is to have others saying, “I feel so good about myself because I feel like I’m helping people”.

Her new book will help people purposely understanding how to perform. We raise the bar a little bit higher, so we’re building confidence in a way that is inspiring them. Roxanne will show through her upcoming book how you build confidence in systems so that we eventually tie everyone to profit in a way that creates a performance breakthrough because they understand they are being purposeful. The banks that Roxanne has worked with have doubled their profits in the first three years and almost all their employees report that their bank voted “The Best Place to Work”. Roxanne is a banking guru.

The Profit Growth Banking Blueprint

You may not be a banker, but her concepts will work with a lot of different industries too. The people that work with her absolutely love her.   Roxanne has authored many different books which I highly recommend. In a previous video, I give my recommendation of Roxanne Emmerich’s book, “Thank God It’s Monday!”. When her new book comes out I will post the links on my social media.

TLC

Circles of Support

Richard Branson Shares his Circles of Support Concept

Last week, I was back on Necker Island to celebrate “International Networking Week®” by “networking up” my circles of support with Richard Branson. I did a video a few years ago with Richard when we talked about a concept he had called, “the B Team”. It was brilliant and as a result of that conversation, we created the “Business Voices” initiative for the BNI Foundation. My wife, Beth, came up with that concept based on the conversation we had with Richard.

The B Team

Richard has an organization called “The Elders”, which is supporting some of the big issues in the world today: such as climate change and other things. He thought that maybe a business version of “The Elders” would be good too. They now have about 40 of the topmost respected business people in the world as part of “The B Team”. They are doing great things.

In his book, “Finding my Virginity”, Richard discusses his concept about circles of support. It perfectly aligns with my networking organization. Richard shares with me about circles of support in this video.

Circles of Support

According to Richard, when a new person joins Virgin, they will say, “Don’t try to solve all the problems of the world, just draw a circle around yourself first”. Start by drawing a circle around yourself to make sure everything inside that circle is working well. Ask yourself: Am I meeting my fitness goals? Have I got my alcohol intake right? Have I got my work-life balance in harmony? Once you feel that circle is fine, you widen the circle to include family and friends. Once all that is manageable, you can start thinking about bigger things and do everything you can to help others. If you have a small business, make a difference in your city. Support local programs that support health or education. Finally, you can draw a circle around your country and the last circle around the world.

circles of supportOrder this book by Richard Branson on Amazon

I highly recommend the book, “Finding my Virginity”, by Richard Branson. The concept of managing your circles of support on page 354 works so well for BNI members. The network that I created is where you got a small circle of people and over time, taking that circle a step further by building relationships. If everybody who reads this blog creates a circle, the world will be a better place.

circle of support

 

 

ihug

LuAnn Buechler shares “ihug”

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council (TLC) member and friend, LuAnn Buechler “The Hug Lady”, discusses her book, ” ihug “: My Journey as a Hugger with me in this video about bringing people together and the scientific benefits of sharing a hug.
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I’m gonna hug you unless you stop me!

The scientific benefits you’ll find in the book, “ihug” will help to bring people together. Read delightful stories of LuAnn’s experience with the ihug movement and learn about her journey as a hugger. Discover the importance of hugging and how you can join the movement. This easy read will inspire you and bring you great joy. In the book, you also hear from other incredible transformational leaders about this powerful human connection we call hugs. Includes; Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield, Robert MacPhee, Mabel Iam, Dr. Ivan Misner, Dr. Sue Morter, Kathleen Keating, Brian Hillard, Doreen Virtue…just to name a few.
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This is a link to Purchase the Book off the ihug movement website.

 

 

ihug =  Inspiring Humanity Uniting Gratitude

The ihug Movement campaign is to inspire human connection and spread joy in the world during a time when the narrative that is running is one of polarization and disconnect due to political tensions. This is a non-partisan movement. We are modeling acceptance, setting an example for love to heal the world because hatred will never fix hatred. Hugs are a tangible representation of the common need for love and connection we all have. Enjoy #ihugmovement

ihug TLC

Vibrant Community

Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company by Robert Skrob

I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site.  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  He previously shared the topic of “The New Customers Experience” on my blog.  Today, he is sharing the topic of “Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company”. Read closely – Robert is truly an expert.

Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company

What if you had 45 percent of the available customers within your market?

The mutual fund company, The Vanguard Group, does just that. More than 45 percent of the money flowing into mutual funds today goes into a Vanguard managed fund.

You’d think they wouldn’t need to do much for their customers. Since they specialize in index traded, set-it-and-forget-it type investment vehicles, you’d think they wouldn’t need to communicate with their members. In fact, the opposite is true. The Vanguard Group has one of the most vibrant customer tribes in the investment world, and it’s a large part of their success.

The term “Boglehead” may not mean much to you, but I’ve been a Boglehead since 1991. Actually, we weren’t called Bogleheads then; instead, we were known as “Vanguard Diehards.”

While I pursued my master’s degree in accountancy from Florida State University, I wrote a paper about index fund investing. Mind you, this was during the big recession of 1990-1992. Through my research, I discovered that fewer than 30 percent of the professionally managed mutual fund companies beat the S&P 500 index in any one year. And a much smaller percentage could beat the index over a period of five or 10 years.

I figured if full-time professionals couldn’t consistently beat the S&P 500 index, why should I believe I could pick stocks any better working part-time? I became a believer in index fund investing and have stuck with it ever since. Of the index funds, The Vanguard Group is consistently the least expensive, so I’ve been squirreling away my savings there ever since.

Jack Bogle, the founder of The Vanguard Group, passed away in January 2019 at the age of 89 years old.

As the founder and while CEO of Vanguard, Jack was an avid promoter of index fund investing. He was an outspoken critic of high-fee mutual funds and “financial buccaneers offering a panoply of silly investment strategies that people may not understand.”

Jack Bogle created thousands of fans. One of them started a membership site called Bogleheads.org. It’s grown to have an annual meeting with appearances by The Vanguard Group executives, a field trip to Vanguard headquarters, and featured speakers from the world of personal finance.

You may have different opinions with regard to investing. You may be a financial advisor who offers investment vehicles that directly conflict with what’s published on Bogleheads.org. However, see Bogleheads.org is an excellent case study on how you can create a vibrant community around your company, no matter what you offer.

Within the “Start here” menu, Bogleheads.org outlines the investment philosophy first promoted by Jack Bogle during the 1980s.  This gets new members caught up on the values of the Boglehead community. In a word, it indoctrinates them. This is a critical piece that’s missing from most information marketing businesses.

Bogleheads.org gives its members valuable information (ROI), a connection to a community of like-minded people, an opportunity to contribute by posting content, recognition for being helpful to other members, and an opportunity to be part of something greater than themselves.

Even though the site has a dated design and the founder of the philosophy has passed away there are still thousands of active users every day.

Plus, for Vanguard, it insulates its members against all the conflicting investment offers within the marketplace. The community helps customers believe the single best investment option is low expense mutual funds. The same low-cost mutual funds Vanguard happens to specialize in delivering.

What if you had a community indoctrinating new customers into believing the products and services you offer are indeed the best solutions to your customers’ problems? Perhaps like Vanguard, you could own 45% or more of your market?

It all starts with your core values. BNI’s core values are Givers Gain®, Building Relationships, Lifelong Learning, Traditions + Innovation, Positive Attitude, Accountability, and Recognition. When BNI members experience the power these values have within their business life they become excited members for life.

What are the core values of your company?

For The Vanguard Group, Jack Bogle had to convince investors that index funds were the smarter way to invest. What must your customers believe and how should they behave to get the most value from what you deliver?

This may be an “advanced” marketing skill. But when it’s complete, it can give you a fast-growing world-wide business that leaves competitors scrambling for second place.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

New Customers

Are you pushing your new customers away or building trust for repeat business? by Robert Skrob

Today, I’ve asked Robert Skrob to do a guest blog for my site.  I thought it was fitting because Robert was recently a guest at my home to work on a new book that we are writing (the working title is: The Connector Effect).  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  I should also note that he was a great guest at our home. That statement has nothing to do with the incredible Cabernet Sauvignon that he gave us as a gift for staying with us.   Today, he is sharing the topic of “The New Customers Experience”.  Read closely – he is truly an expert.

The New Customers Experience

Imagine yourself walking into a restaurant at 3:32 p.m. It’s three hours past your regular lunchtime, and you are starving because you were in a hurry and skipped breakfast earlier, as well as your normal lunch. You have a headache from not eating. Just from feeling so hungry, you are grumpy and all-around sick. You finally get the attention of the hostess who was busy with table work as the lunch rush has long passed. The hostess walks you to a table where you are immediately greeted by your server. Your server takes one look at you and says, “You look hungry. I’m here to help you get the food you need, as quickly as possible. These are the three items that come out of the kitchen the fastest this time of day. They are 1. Salads 2. Soups and 3. Sandwiches. Would you like one of these three options, or would you like to see the entire menu?

How would you feel about that experience? A lot more confident, right? I know I’d be excited to have a server who recognized what I needed and dedicated herself to getting it to me as quickly as possible.

What if, instead, the server showed up with a tray full of desserts saying, “Darling, we’ve got a bunch of desserts left over from lunch. Here are some key lime pie, cheesecake, and a bowl of ice cream. Enjoy.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d be frustrated. Dessert may be fine later, but right now, I’m starving. I’d like to eat something before dessert. You’d likely feel the same way. You’d begin to wonder if you were in the right place or if you should find some other restaurant where the people working understand their job is to give real food (rather than desserts) to hungry people.

Too many businesses make a similar error with their customers. I’ve come across many who welcome their new customers with friendly conversations, follow-up calls from customer service reps. and/or gifts of cookies, coffee cups, and T-shirts. This is similar to delivering desserts to a hungry, grumpy, in-a-hurry guest in a restaurant.

Chances are, your customer didn’t join because he wanted to speak with someone from your support department. So when she receives the call, she’s thinking, “That’s nice, but this doesn’t solve my problem.” To you, it’s another contact to demonstrate you care. To your new customer, it feels like pestering.

If I buy your product to get a tool or to learn how to relieve some pain in my life, that’s what I’m going to be looking for. And anything I get that’s inconsistent with that solution is going to make me wonder if I can really trust you to deliver the solution you promised. So think: How can you craft the first thing your customer receives to be your version of the “Here are the three items we have that come out of the kitchen the fastest …” solution to your customer’s greatest hunger? After all, in order to make the sale, you did all you could to point out your customer’s pain points, irritate that pain, and make him so uncomfortable he couldn’t do anything but buy immediately. He’s ready, so why are you making him wait? And it’s not just friendly calls and gifts.

There’s a place for dessert at lunch. Let’s go back to our restaurant story. What if, after you enjoyed a hearty lunch, served promptly, the waitress came by with some free desserts? At that point, dessert would be awesome. Those desserts would have a tremendous impact. To have a positive impact on customer retention, you can deliver those bonus “desserts” after you’ve delivered on your core promises and have built trust with your new member. When your customer chooses to buy from you, you have a short window of time to solve the problems you promised to solve, or you will quickly lose their trust. This is your opportunity to deliver your very best solutions, quickly and concisely, so you can establish yourself as someone your customer can rely on.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

Love Is Just Damn Good Business

Love Is Just Damn Good Business – Ivan’s Inner Circle Interview

Join me as I join fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Steve Farber, to discuss topics from his book, “Love is Just Damn Good Business”. Steve is one of the best speakers I’ve seen on the stage.  His message is both surprising and impactful about focusing on finding love in creating a damn good business.

According to Steve, “Love is what leads to customer loyalty, it’s what leads to word-of-mouth and growing your organization.”

I think this advice is spot on. If your customer relationships are held in as high regard as the service you provide, you can only benefit. Customers want to love you-they want to trust and believe in you, which are foundational building blocks of love. Focus on building those blocks with the goal of creating loving, loyal customer relationships, and you’ll create a strong reputation that will hold up in the business community.

His game-changing approach to love as a practical business strategy will help you to:

  • Identify your passions and share them with others
  • Create a culture of love at work and spark innovation, productivity, and joy
  • Serve your customers, so they love how you treat them and have them coming back for more
  • Invest time in making personal connections that are mutually rewarding
  • Focus on serving the needs of others they’re going to love it
  • Do what you love and make it your business, so others love it, too

Love Is Just Damn Good Business,” is one of my favorite books and I am looking forward to these interviews with Steve. We are going to host three different sessions so it is convenient for everyone to join us:

Monday, December 9th at 10:00 AM / 4:00 PM / 11:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Click here to register: SteveFarberWebinar

Steve Farber, the founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, is a popular keynote speaker and leadership expert. Steve’s been featured on my blog before. He’s the bestselling author of The Radical Leap, The Radical Edge, and Greater Than Yourself. Learn more about Steve on his website at stevefarber.com

I hope you are able to make one of our sessions as I know this will prove to be a great use of your time.

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