Michael: Welcome to HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And we're so glad you're here. Do you want to hear something funny right off the bat?
Kathryn: Yeah, I'm just I'm going to do this. Like, we just spent 15 minutes of this podcast already only we weren't recording, and it was really good. So-
Michael: It was good.
Kathryn: ... if I'm a little snarky with my counterpart over there, it's going to be because, he just wasted 15 minutes of excellence on a non-record.
Michael: It was really good too. We're going to try and give you for the first time, an amazing experience on today's podcast. What we're going to talk about today is what we call customer value optimization, and the value journey, or the customer value journey.
Kathryn: Essentially what that means is we're really talking about how do you take somebody from a place where they are not even aware you exist as a company, all the way through a journey to the point where they have become a customer and then ideally a raving fan who refers other people. What is the journey? Sometimes we call it the buyers journey. It's a little interchangeable. But what's the journey from being unaware to all the way through raving fan, user of your product, don't even know how they lived without you. Like, "How did I live before I knew these people?" If that's what you want.
Michael: To refer, you said refers?
Michael: Yeah. Refers in the midst of all of that. This is huge. What happens a lot of times when people come to us, is they come to Half a Bubble Out for marketing and consulting advice, right? They want to either market, advertise, whatever term you want to use right now, I don't care at the moment because they're after one goal. The main goal is somewhere along the line of getting new customers. They want to improve the bottom line. When you're talking about getting new customers, everybody comes in from a different perspective of what that looks like, where they're need is in that process. There are some people who've come to us over the years and said, "My challenge is that we keep telling our message, our story, but it just doesn't seem to be connecting with people because they either don't understand it, and they get confused.
Michael: And they don't like we think we're saying x and they're hearing why. And when they tell us back, "They say, Well, I don't need that." You're like, well, that's not what we're doing, so we're mis-communicating somewhere, or we're just not compelling enough but I know they need it, and for some reason they're not hearing that we have a solution for them, and they're just, they're not saying yes and closing on the sale." That's one of the problems is, how clear is the message? Sometimes it's not enough people know about us, and we need to get more people know it. Because when we get people to know about us, our message is clear. And then they go, "Oh, this makes sense." And-
Kathryn: We often hear people say, "My problem is getting people to talk to me. Once they're talking to me I can close them." Right?
Kathryn: Your job is just to bring me the leads, bring me the leads.
Michael: What I love about that is they are convinced they can close 100%.
Kathryn: Yes, they are. They're wrong but-
Michael: If they're being humble, they say, "Oh, well, maybe not 100, maybe 90%, nine out of 10 I can close." I'm like...
Kathryn: With my charming smile and [crosstalk 00:03:18].
Michael: I remember for a while, very short while I had that close rate, and then I didn't.
Kathryn: Then life set in, yeah.
Michael: And then there was a second person who came to the office and said no. For you when you're marketing your business, there are so many different things you need to think about, and there's so many different strategies and pieces. Well, how do you design this? Can you articulate right now if you're thinking about the way you market your company, from finding strangers, to closing people, to motivating past customers to become repeat customers, to become raving fans and then to refer. Do you have a system? Do you have a process that you can articulate? Can you write it down on one piece of paper?
Kathryn: Yeah, so the question is, do you have an intentional way that you're moving people through and building trust in that journey as they get to know you?
Michael: Well, and it's not just that, because I think that's part of it. But the other part is, can you articulate it? Right? And which is...
Kathryn: Well you said that.
Michael: Well, no, but you rephrased the question for me, so right, you... Come on text and...
Kathryn: Okay, snarky, I'm going to get snarky now. 15 minutes.
Michael: Nope, just stop, leave me alone. It but it's important. You need to have an intentional system, but a lot of people are intentional, and I could say in the past, I was very intentional But I couldn't articulate the system. I was incredibly intentional. You come in, this is what I do, you come in... If I went to write it down, I didn't know how to write it down. I didn't know how to show it to somebody else. I didn't know how to show them the key points in the process.
Kathryn: Well, and from any the system probably as we'll talk about doesn't have quite enough steps in it.
Michael: Well, and then happens to a lot of people too, doesn't it?
Kathryn: Yeah, it does.
Michael: Because you might say, one step it's like, "Oh, yeah, we take the phone call and then we figure they're calling us for a reason when they need it, and we start telling them about our products, and we ask them if they want to buy it." Well, there's a lot of people who don't even ask, they just go, "Well, hi. Oh, okay. Well, we have X, Y, and Z." And then they sit there and not say anything. It's amazing how many people don't ask, "Which one would you like to buy?" They don't ask for the sale. When I was a kid growing up, we did fundraisers, because I was in Boy Scouts and we did tons of stuff.
Michael: We would work at fairs and big events, and the farming events and stuff like that from and around where we grew up in the northern California area. And so you're selling hot dogs, you're selling hamburgers, you're selling candy, you're selling soda. We made a lot of money selling food like that, and there's something that happens that's like, when somebody walks up and they're in line and they're hungry, I mean, you just assume they came to you because they're hungry and you sit there. If you just sit there and go "Hi," and just stare at them, and then you're quiet. It didn't work. But what happened is, immediately the first thing we would ask is, "How can I help you?"
Michael: I was just taught that as kid. "Hi, how can I help you?" I know they're there for something, but I don't know which one it is, and then the next thing I might ask is, or I might say this way, "What can I get you today? What would you like?" I'm assuming they're standing in line, and they've been waiting there five minutes.
Kathryn: Assuming the sale, assuming the sale.
Michael: Yeah, and you're... as a kid it's really easy to assume if you're at the candy stand you want a soda and you want some candy. "What can I get you? What would you like?" And then there's always the, "Would you like fries with that?"
Kathryn: The upsell.
Michael: I mean, there's always the upsell. Disneyland, not Disneyland [crosstalk 00:06:58].
Michael: McDonald's does it amazingly well, and anybody else, Chipotle. If you do go to Chipotle, if you don't order chips. They almost always, if they don't, they forgot to. They go, "Would you like chips with that?" I mean, it's a corn tortilla sliced up and thrown in a bunch of oil and frozen, and they're going to charge you like three bucks for like 15 cents of tortillas. But it's a great upsell. It's a great process we'll talk about. Okay. When you're doing these sales, there's asking for the sale is a stage. It's a part of the process of the sales and marketing process.
Michael: What a lot of companies do is we were... What we were talking about when we weren't recording.
Kathryn: I learned a whole new concept, we're going to try again. It's not brand new to me now but it's [crosstalk 00:07:47]-
Michael: It's not brand new, but it's new to you and new today. It's fresh today.
Kathryn: Let's talk about carny mentality let's look at the carny mentality.
Michael: The card mentality or the carny method.
Kathryn: The carny method, oh that's it. Not be confused with the Carnegie method.
Michael: No not at Carnegie, carny is in?
Michael: Carnival. You're walking down the Midway and "Hey, come on over, come on over, come on over." Then throw the ball and knock over the things and win your woman a stuffed animal, right? Come on and show your manliness knock over those three milk bottles that are screwed to the ground, and we will...
Kathryn: You know you can do it. You're a man.
Michael: Come on, and there's all these different games and stuff.
Kathryn: Your kid wants wants one of those you got to do it.
Michael: That carny mentality when you're doing this, oh my gosh, this is so much energy and fun. I'm an extrovert, I suck up the energy but walking down the Midway and hearing all this and ignoring them and everything else. It happens in some cities in the world with the bazaars that they have or the trade shows and different things like that. And they're trying to get you to come over.
Kathryn: And your entire job at that stage, if you don't want to interact is just don't make eye contact. Just don't make eye contact. Just avoid them, just duck.
Michael: But if you really want to have fun, you engage them, you start to negotiate. You spend five to 10 minutes negotiating and then you will walk away without buying.
Kathryn: Oh it's so rude.
Michael: Oh it's so much fun sometimes. It's a little nasty and it's like giving everybody a little taste of their medicine. But okay, now that mentality is a sales and marketing process, you have to realize that. If you can think about it like that, it's an extreme example, but I relate that to the old model of cold calling that still exists today.
Kathryn: Cold Calling, door to door salesman, whatever that is.
Michael: Okay, so what's cold calling? What happens when a cold call?
Kathryn: Cold Calling is just basically when you answer the phone, and someone's trying to sell you something that you maybe have never heard of, or probably don't care about, and they have not asked permission. They haven't invited you to be part of their world at that particular point, and-
Michael: You land up and so you weren't invited, nobody called you anything else. You just walk in and cold call and say, "Hey, I'm in the neighborhood and I sell x, y and z." Now a huge company that's grown really big over the last 50 years is Aflac. Aflac their entire sales model up until just the last three, four or five years, maybe five years ago was based on cold calling and it still is, in many ways still based on cold calling. It's just... it's starting to change and shift a little bit.
Kathryn: One there's a lot more of the national advertising that they're hoping will back up the showing up on the doorstep kind of moves.
Michael: That give you a little bit of credibility. So you're not a complete stranger as Aflac because many of them have heard of Aflac, but that a lot of people don't know these salespeople. A friend of ours actually did this for a couple of years. And I remember walking through and hearing about all their sales training and how they did it. Okay. That whole process has a philosophy behind it. I was trained in it as a young sales guy, and I understand it, and I was taught that that's the way I do it. In certain companies as a younger man, that's how we worked. You do cold calling on the phone, or in person. You show up or dial. "Hi, there." And your job is to make that sale in that time.
Michael: Sometimes there are a group of cold call people who are trying to set an appointment to come back, but their goal is to close on that sale. They feel like they're really advanced, because they're more consultative they say, they're really not. They're cold calling you for an appointment, and then that appointment is a one gun, because they have this philosophy. If I'm dialing for dollars, is one of the terms for it. If I'm dialing for dollars, and I call you at night, and I pick up your phone, and you pick up the phone, I'm going to start talking because my goal is to not let you off the phone, because I may have a one in 100 chance of you actually buying something.
Michael: But I know that once you're off the phone, that one in 100 chance of you buying something goes to just almost nothing. I mean, it's so bad. The idea of ever getting a second chance to pitch to you is not going to happen. What you get is you get this whole genre in the sales history and marketing history of the pitch man, because it's one and done, and if you blow it... And so you start creating your philosophy and thinking, well, there's a lot of organizations that are... You don't get to do that it's more, put a bit out and everything else and you're looking for leads, and you're looking for opportunities and it's a longer process. But when you can identify and shift to the other side of this is a consultative sale, we're going to build relationship, and over time that relationship is going to grow and change and mature, and we're going to work our way into a trusted relationship where you're going to buy from me.
Michael: There is an argument between people who are in direct marketing, direct marketing sales-
Kathryn: Direct response marketing.
Michael: ... who'd say, "I really don't have that much time and I need to get you now because I'm not going to get you back," to people who are building branding. This branding idea is if I just build a big positive enough image at some point, you'll come over to me. What you need is, you need people who are building relationship awareness to the potential customers, but you also have to ask for the sale. You got to bring those two worlds together. Today, we're going to talk about go into that even more detail now about what that journey is. Now, I want to take a stop here real quick. And just say that Half a Bubble Out Kathryn and I, we run a marketing and consulting firm. Half a Bubble Out is a firm that actually does this for people.
Michael: We love the fact that you're all listening to the podcast, and we're here to give you education and hopefully entertainment in this context, and we love hearing the comments from folks that are listening and all of you. We got to take a trip with somebody back to Atlanta or something this last week or two we heard.
Kathryn: Yeah, it awesome.
Michael: That was funny because he said, "I owe you guys [inaudible 00:14:00] on a trip with me." And we're like, "What are you talking about?" And they listen to the podcast, that was great. But what works? What I wanted to say right now is if you are interested and you're learning more about this and you're getting educated, and you realize that you want to talk to a company that can help this is a selfless promotion, you could call us. Call Half a Bubble Out or go to halfabubbleout.com and fill out the contact us form, or pick up the phone and call us. We would love to hear from you, but we would really love an opportunity to maybe talk to you about working with you. That'd be phenomenal. And we work with companies across the United States from East Coast to West Coast north to South.
Kathryn: It was not a selfless promotion, by the way.
Michael: It wasn't selfless, very selfish.
Kathryn: [crosstalk 00:14:42] absolute the opposite of selfless just-
Michael: Oh you're right, bad word choice. Words matter, and that was the wrong words.
Kathryn: Words are hard.
Michael: Okay, let's... Now that the commercials over let's go back to the buyers journey. If you can, I want you to take a pencil and paper out and we're going to walk you through the eighth steps today that we have for buyers journey. This buyers journey actually was refined through our friends over at DigitalMarketer. We are certified partners with them and certified instructors, because we do training with people. We also do services, but we do training of marketers, for marketing companies if you're developing your own marketing team or anything else. And part of our curriculum that we use is what we're talking to you about today. Kathryn why don't you start us in on what does this look like? This is a written plan on one page you can have that allows you to describe the stages of the buyers journey, and then how do we optimize for value.
Kathryn: Okay, so if you think about the very first stage and if you're a stick figure person, I want you to draw a stick figure of somebody who just looks a little sad. They just, they have an issue, they got a problem and they're trying to solve it and they just look a little down in the dumps. That's your starting points right.
Michael: Poor stick figure person.
Kathryn: That poor sad bent over stick figure person. Just "whoa is me" stick figure. All right. The very first stage, the very first piece of the value journey is what we call the awareness stage. And essentially, what that is, is content that you would have out there. And it could be as brilliant as a referral, those are sometimes the easiest, but this prospective customer's trying to solve a problem and you have created something that allows you to be found when they're looking for the answer to that problem. If you think about the online world, right, they're going to a Google search bar and they're typing "My cat has hairballs," I don't know.
Michael: Well, we have podiatrists. My feet hurt.
Kathryn: Okay, my feet hurt.
Michael: I have a hammertoe or I have a bunion.
Kathryn: Yeah, and they're really looking to solve that pain and that problem. The awareness phase is really something that you're creating that allows them to know that you exist to solve the problem that they are looking to solve.
Michael: Yes. Another example is one of our other clients sells almond products and almond butters, nut butters, and almond butter's their flagship product. You might be going on looking for almond butter because you're in the CrossFit industry, you're in health industry and you're looking for some kind of almond butter, and you're-
Kathryn: Or your kid hates peanut butter or they're allergic to peanuts.
Michael: Yeah, that happens too.
Michael: You're looking for something like that, and so you're trying to become aware. Another way of becoming aware is through ads in Facebook or something like that.
Kathryn: Yeah. And if you think about... I mean we're talking specifically online, if you think about offline, a radio ad is an awareness thing typically.
Michael: Okay, so why don't we step through the phases first, and then we can come back and describe what happens there.
Kathryn: All Right. After awareness comes engagement, after engagement, after they've become engaged with you initially, then there's a subscribe step where they actually... Well, we'll talk more about that later. I'm getting eyeballed like, "No, don't get stuck." Okay. There's a subscribe stage, there's a conversion stage, there's an excite stage, there's a send, then advocate, and then promote. Let me walk this through again so you can [crosstalk 00:18:08] write them down.
Kathryn: Aware, engage, subscribe, convert, excite, ascend, advocate and promote.
Michael: This actually does a couple of different things, and this is designed very carefully on the progressions of relationship.
Kathryn: Actually the stages of intimacy right?
Michael: Absolutely. There is a gentleman, I wish I could remember his name right now. And he-
Kathryn: I'll find it.
Michael: He wrote a book called The 12 Steps of Intimacy.
Kathryn: He was a zoologist.
Michael: He was a zoologist. He was looking at how primates... I think was primates mate and build relationship and community, and what stages do they go through and there was actually 12 stages from first contact to mating. What he started realizing was that same pattern was in humans, and then from there realizing that trust was violated if you skipped two or more steps at any one juncture. If I walk up to you in a bar, and I say, "Hi, nice to meet you." And you go, "Hi, nice to meet you." And I go, "Hey, you want to sit down and start naming our children?" You go-
Kathryn: You might have skipped a couple steps.
Michael: You go, "Ooh, and-
Michael: ... there's a problem." Or I just walk up to you go, "Hey, you're really hot, and we should go somewhere." Like you're a stranger go away. But if I spend an amount of time like I did with my wife, and I build conversation, and we do chit chat, and we laugh a little bit, we have a good time, and then I say, "Hey, would you like to get a drink or maybe go have coffee?" Whatever it is, wherever we are, and she says, "Yeah." And then we have to there, and then, "Would you like to have lunch?" Yeah, that's a little bit more serious and takes a little more time, because sometimes you just don't want to have a meal with these, with people, right? And then-
Kathryn: It's a big commitment to have a meal.
Michael: ... and then lunch is less commitment than dinner. Because, at lunch, you got to be back at work and you have other things you got to do and you can get out if you need to. Dinner, it's like, I don't have to be back at work anymore. And then you move through this... A healthy relationship usually has these progressions. Sometimes people say it takes months, sometimes people say I've met people who were married 50 and 60 years happily married, who said, "I met her." She said, "I met him. Within three days we're engaged, and within three weeks we were married." I've met people who are happily married like that.
Kathryn: I literally just talked to somebody on the phone like that.
Michael: Oh, you did?
Kathryn: Oh, yeah. He was great. He was his pastor and he's in Nevada. And he said my wife and I have been married, I think it was like 70 years. No six, it must be 65 because he's just over 80, and they met and eloped when they were 17 and 16. And it all happened within six day weeks.
Kathryn: And he said it's evidence that God blesses the young and the foolish because we were both. He was hilarious. By the way, the guy who wrote the book is Desmond Morris, Desmond Morris wrote the-
Michael: [crosstalk 00:21:25] 12 steps to Intimacy.
Kathryn: 12 steps or 12 stages of Intimacy.
Michael: Yeah, phenomenal. Okay so-
Kathryn: [crosstalk 00:21:32] So it can happen quickly but normally it takes a little time to step walk through some of the steps.
Michael: Here's what we're saying it, having a sequence that builds that optimizes or gives you the best chance of building trust with somebody in a process. Trust and a relationship that's going to last is to walk through these stages and not skip two or more. You can skip a stage. You can like... if there's 12 stages you could skip six by doing every other one.
Kathryn: If the drink goes really well you might be able to go straight to dinner.
Kathryn: If everyone feels super good about it right?
Michael: But you can't skip two steps without it starting to feel like a violation, and actually, Desmond says that if you skip more than two steps, it's perceived as assault.
Kathryn: That's pretty intense.
Michael: That's a really big deal. Well, have you ever felt assaulted by a salesperson or a company in their marketing? Have you ever... Do you ever feel assaulted on the carny midway? Yeah, [crosstalk 00:22:34] all the time, right? You know that that's coming, but you never are going to feel like I'm going to build a relationship and trust with these people because it's not going to happen. A lot of people hear the word salesperson, and they think that carny. They're a cold caller or something like [inaudible 00:22:48]. They're somebody that just hammers you, hammers you, hammers you because they have a belief that it's like the first time I meet you, you need to buy from me and I'm going to do everything I can and every trick I can to get you to buy, and then that's where buyer's remorse happens.
Kathryn: Yeah. And you know it's interesting, because you think about the relational model in general, and you all know people like this, where there's a person where it just takes a really long time for them to feel comfortable and to open up. It's no different in business than it is in personal relationships. Sometimes people have been hurt, they've been injured, they've been damaged by a former company, and when they come to yours, it just takes time for them to be confident and to feel like you're not going to screw me over the way the last guy did.
Michael: Well, and here's the other thing that happens here, is that these phases can be... This whole timeline can be stretched out or shrunk also based on the price and the magnitude of the purchase. If the purchase is something where I have to spend a lot of money on, it's typically traditionally on the average is going to be a stretched out longer time frame to walk through these stages.
Kathryn: If you have to spend more money and if there's a commitment in it, like you have to sign a contract for whatever, yeah.
Michael: Yes, or let's say it's a big price, you're going to buy a house, you're not going to... You may have been looking at houses and you may be ready in a fast market to buy a house quickly, but you've already been looking and thinking and you have this idea, so you're in the process of looking for a house. But traditionally at a large price, you're not just going to walk in and think, "Five minutes ago, I wasn't thinking about doing this at all, and now I'm going to be super spontaneous and I'm going to buy it, because I wasn't planning on buying any of this and the salesperson cold called me, and I didn't know about their company, I'm going to buy it."
Michael: If they're selling something that's five bucks, you can move through it a lot faster than if it's $5,000.
Michael: Right? That's really important to understand. The other thing is, is this a big deal and how much... So I think the length of a contract, or this might be something that you only buy once every five or six, 10 years. Take a refrigerator or a washer dryer. People tend to... First of all, they only... They happen on average about once every five to seven years is the sale cycle on a appliance.
Kathryn: Yeah a ton more research than-
Michael: But there's a lot more people who take even longer. I want my stuff to last 10 years if it can and 15 if possible. But there's that knowing you're going to be... the goal is to be with that piece of equipment or with whatever for very long time, that stretches out the decision making process and the sales process too.
Michael: You have those two things. Some people break this into three phases, and I've heard some three phase models, but I like this one a lot, especially when you're doing online even better, because we're walking through and we're saying okay, we've taken the 12 stages and shrunk them down to eight. Partially because and just if anybody is thinking, "Wait a minute, you got eight stages, that was 12 stages over there of intimacy." The last four stages actually are physical intimacy.
Kathryn: They're PG13, we don't go there in business, at least not if you want to stay in business.
Michael: Well, unless you're in that business.
Michael: So, but-
Kathryn: The other thing too you've heard is probably and it will not be the last time, you've heard us talk about awareness, consideration, decision. That's a three stage, but this fits within that.
Michael: That definitely within it.
Kathryn: It's just a higher level of talking about it. Hopefully we're not going to confuse you with making it eight suddenly when we've talked three in the past.
Michael: Okay, so and that's a great example because if you're talking we've talked about awareness, consideration, decision in the past or-
Kathryn: Or the decision funnel.
Michael: TOFU, MOFU, BOFU, if you're familiar with that, top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel. We haven't talked a lot about that, but you may be familiar with that and where are they in your sales funnel or your pipeline? On this model here, these eight we have the first three are aware, engage and subscribe. The aware and engage are actually in that TOFU topic. Once they've turned into the subscribe, they're transitioning from the top of your funnel to the middle of your funnel. And really they're just still in the top of your funnel, just transitioning, because they're saying, "You have something that I'm interested in, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. That's a free offer you're giving, free download, you're giving." Something like that.
Kathryn: I'm curious about that blog, I'm curious about... In these first three stages, when you think about an online strategy, what you're doing is you're designing, designing things that will attract and cause awareness to happen of your company. And then if somebody types in a search, and it's my "feet hurt", and you have a solution for that, then they find you and maybe they read a blog, maybe they peruse your website a little, maybe they find you on social media, maybe there's a video. There's something that happens, there's some sort of an asset that you have created, content that you have created that allows them to begin to engage, so they move from, "Oh, hey, I didn't know you existed," the awareness stage, to suddenly "Oh, okay. Now I'm going to actually read a little bit about who you are, what you do, and just engage you."
Michael: Yeah, awareness takes you from, "I don't know who you are" to "I'm aware of your company", and they found you. Engage gives them something to engage in, to start to learn more here you're saying if they're like Kathryn says, if they're watching a video or reading a blog, they're starting to hear your voice.
Kathryn: Yeah. We had an example yesterday of a guy who called us, and he had found us on the... It turns out, he had found us on the DigitalMarketer partner page.
Michael: Which is a directory of partners.
Kathryn: Which is a directory of folks who provide digital marketing services. He looked for some specific stuff he needed. He perused one other company and our company. He looked at our website, he looked at our social, he just started looking around. And then he called us. That's an example of we had materials, content out there for him to go and look at and as a result of those, he was interested enough to then move beyond engaged to let's actually have a conversation and go from there. So [crosstalk 00:29:00].
Michael: Yeah, the next step was subscribe, and that's then then they opt in to receive what you might call gated content, but it's really content that like a white paper or a PDF or an ebook, or even... Well, that's-
Kathryn: Or it could be a video.
Michael: Yeah, it could be a video something like that, where you can see this, take this survey, and then to get the results, fill in your name, give your email. And it's that kind of thing, where in the old days, if you called a company and said, "I want to look at your price sheets or something like that." "Great, can I get your name and number and where can I send them? Or what's your name and number, I'll have somebody call you back and talk to you."
Kathryn: Right. Gated content essentially means in order for you to get through the gate to where that content is, you have to give me something. And typically-
Michael: It's usually contact information.
Kathryn: Typically, it's just contact information and email right, so that we can nurture and follow up with you. That's that subscribe stage.
Michael: Alright, so the next stage is convert, and it's the first conversion you might have, and we sometimes call it a tripwire, but what it is, is it's the very first time you're getting somebody to buy something from you. Oftentimes in retail and a lot of other places, it's a loss leader. What you're trying to do is you're giving them a low barrier of entry. It's a low price product, or maybe it's instead of paying with money they're paying with time, so it's a free-
Kathryn: A demo or a free consultation or something that means that they're actually committing something of themselves to it. They're stepping over a threshold that actually transitions what's happening in their brain with regard to how they perceive you.
Michael: Yeah, and it depends on what kind of company you have and what kind of product you have. That it might be just selling them like, "Oh yeah, we have this 39.95 product, or we have this $7 thing that we can have." The cost is inconsequential. It's easy, throw away money, but when you do it, something happens. Two things. One, you've actually made a purchase so now I can get all your purchase information for something like that online, or you're doing a demo or something, I'm getting all your contact, and you're more willing to share information and content with somebody on that about yourself, about your situation. You're willing to engage in the conversation, and really the goal is to get into some conversation with your prospects.
Michael: From there, there's more opportunity to really suss out now, instead of just trying to force a sale, it gives you more of an opportunity to find out are you a good fit for them and vice versa. Do you have something that can help them? I can't tell you how many times we've talked to people and go, "We're not the right place for you." I'm sorry, I can't help you with you that because we're not a good fit. We either don't do it, or we don't do exactly what you need for your market.
Kathryn: Or my favorite was when the guy approached me about wanting us to make graphic t-shirts.
Michael: Oh, early on in our company-
Kathryn: [crosstalk 00:31:59] I just, I'm not sure our values align. I'm pretty sure that I can't do that no matter how much money you have.
Michael: What do you mean by graphic t-shirts?
Kathryn: I mean, like pornographic t-shirts.
Michael: Yeah, he had-
Kathryn: He was crazy.
Michael: He was super nice and everything else, and he walked up to us and said he wanted to put all kinds of vulgar sayings on his t-shirts, "Would you guys help me do that and market that?" No, that's not... That-
Michael: That crosses our values so it's not a good fit. We had somebody walk in the door today actually wanting a website, and they're really in a very small budget, budget, budget. They need to do it themselves, or they need to find somebody who does it as a hobby to help them out because they just don't [crosstalk 00:32:39] have the budget. That is that convert, and it's put somebody over a psychological line. When they make a commitment of time or money, even a small amount, what they're saying is, "This is worthy of some form of investment." Which is significantly different in the brain, then not worth any investment or time.
Kathryn: Right and then once they actually do that, then the job is that they need to get value from that initial transaction. The goal if it's product based is that they would receive that product and they would be so excited about that, they'd be so thrilled. Or if they come and see you, or they have a demo or whatever else that you would absolutely, that you'd wow them. They'd begin to get excited about who you are, that's the excite stage. It isn't enough to put content that's out there to attract people in and then have it not be particularly valuable, because you really are trading time or small dollars for value so that you have the opportunity then to take them to the next place, which is what is called the Ascended stage.
Michael: Right. Now we've taken somebody from awareness, they didn't know who we are, we're making them aware. We've engaged them. We've actually gotten them to subscribe to some free content or something like that. And we got them to either schedule a demo or make a small purchase so they became a, some kind of consumer of our product gave up time or money, and then we actually gave them value for that. Whatever we sold them or the demo time or something was extremely valuable to them and helpful in their process, so then you can start to move to your core, selling then your core offer and then potentially up selling them once twice, three times whatever is appropriate. You might-
Kathryn: Depending on what you're selling and what you have.
Michael: Yeah, so you might have an upsell or a side sell. An upsell is if you buy this, it comes... This is the base model, and then if you move into the next model up, you get these extra features, and if you move into the next model up, you get all the features. Or you might go into a cross sell, where you move out of that model of services or anything into something completely different. Like, "You know what? This really isn't the best for you, but what if I took you over to something else that's a better fit."
Kathryn: Another upsell and you've all seen it if you shop on Amazon is the famous "Customers who bought this also bought".
Kathryn: Right? That's another form of an upsell. It's like, okay, you bought this, which shows your interest level, and so I'm going to show you what other people who bought this also bought to see if I can continue to increase your value to me as a customer.
Michael: Now from a business perspective, sometimes this might seem calculated, most of you probably don't have problem with it, because you've already been in business a long time. But this is where you start to make sure that you're asking again and again, how do you increase that... We're value optimizing. Because we're using this model we're optimizing the percentage of people that are going to go from becoming aware of us through the process to the end. We're getting actually more people to stay in the funnel longer. And then because of each one of these phases being specifically architected the way it is, you're getting a greater percentage of people moving to the next step.
Michael: In this while you're moving them to the next step, the goal is at the end of the day to have more customers who make more purchases of larger amounts. And if you can optimize, you can optimize in all three... each one of those areas individually, any pair, or all three of them. And if I can get you to buy three products instead of one, and you buy the upgraded model on all three, and then you come back and buy more often, well then I have radically optimized the value. And because in this whole system your goal is not to just get the sale, it doesn't stop the sale.
Kathryn: There's two more steps.
Michael: There's two more steps. It takes it from the sell to the next step is to advocate.
Kathryn: In the advocate stage, what you're really looking for is you're looking for successful customers who are willing to give you testimonials and case studies that you can utilize then to continue to promote your brand and to sell your services. And so you're really looking for them to begin to advocate for you just by value of a testimonial.
Michael: It's huge. And what you have is because your system is designed to continue to give value, you [inaudible 00:37:00] want to give an equal or greater amount of value than what it costs them time and money. Because of that, you're constantly reinforcing and building goodwill. You're building a sense of "when I do business with your company, I'm taken care of. Man it's a great deal. It's a great value because for what I'm spending, I'm getting all this." A person example, I did it yesterday. We were having a conversation with a prospect, and I... We said, "Okay, we're going to evaluate your marketing plan." And they asked us if we would... They had already built it. They are asking us to review it. We gave them a price and said, "I think it's going to take X amount of hours, so here's the price."
Michael: And then I made the comment I said, "Well, okay, based on that those hours might be a little low, we might need to invest another couple of hours. This quote we're giving you is, if it doesn't great, if it does, we're going to invest a couple more hours, and the price is fixed. We're not going to give you any... we're not going to charge you anymore, but I want to make sure we're thorough. And that right there, there was this... a moment where he said, "Well, thank you very much, I appreciate that." He saw that we were giving extra value. You can calculate that a whole bunch of different ways. You can go, "I know that it's going to take us seven hours, and I think the price is fair, and we can do it four or five and then all of sudden, [inaudible 00:38:24] I'll throw more hours."
Michael: Those are the games you can play and stuff like that, but the bottom line is, however, you calculate that so that you're not losing money, you're increasing the value and it's super important. Because after the advocate stage, that successful customer the testimonial, they turn them into a case study. Then you move to the last stage.
Kathryn: The promote stage. This is really the goal of the whole journey, and that is where this successful customer that you have built and nurtured and built relationship with and who thinks that you walk on water begins to tell their friends and colleagues the same. "This is a great company. You've got to go get help from them. And then in our world, it's when the person calls and says, "Well you know what? So and so said, you just did a really great job for them, and so I want to talk to you." This is the promote stage. At the beginning you had sad stick figures, right? The bent over, "I have a problem I'm trying to solve. I'm very, very sad." And at the end, you can draw happy stick figures. Arms raised in the air, superhero cape, like they are just stoked, because you've solved their problem, and they continue to then talk about who you are and what you're doing.
Michael: Let me say this a different way because this is how clients come in, and these are the major phases. Client comes in, and this may be one of you and what you're thinking, their needs. "I need more people to be aware of who our company is, because we just don't have enough awareness."
Kathryn: Favorite phrase, "we're the best kept secret."
Michael: We're the best kept secret.
Kathryn: We have at least 12 clients that say that.
Michael: Another stage... well, after they become clients, as far as they become-
Kathryn: I said that.
Michael: Said that.
Michael: Okay, wow, I'm just worried there. Okay, so they want to become... we want more people to be aware of you, great. Then the next is we're not getting enough leads. That's that subscribe process. Our company doesn't have enough leads. We have enough traffic to our website, we have enough people calling the company but we're not getting enough leads. That's the next phase of one of the problems people have. And then they're saying, "You know what? We're not converting enough people into customers. We got all these leads, but they're rotten leads, they're awful leads because we can't convert these leads into customers, or we're not converting as many as we think."
Michael: One of two things is happening, either they're bad leads which is possible because of the something upstream wasn't working right. Or, actually, you've designed a system that the leads are not bad leads, they're good leads but you're trying to force them and push them into sales too fast. And so there's a understanding of just like cold calling is a system or a model of, and a philosophy of I don't have it, I'm going to have to sell them everything now, because I, if it doesn't happen now, I'm never going to get a chance." In this model, you actually don't rush that, so you have another philosophy of sales that says, "This is a stage process." And sometimes you have to slow the customer down a little bit to help them out and to increase their value.
Michael: They're asking, "We went from enough leads, to enough sales, to when we do sales we want to have, we want to increase the dollar amount of our sales, and we would love to upsell and cross sell and figure out what that looks like. And we would also like to resell", so that's great. Or, "We don't have enough..." Then the next thing they'll say maybe is we don't have enough testimonials.
Kathryn: Or we don't have a mechanism for collecting testimonials.
Michael: Or we're getting a lot of complaints. We're getting a lot of returned product. What do we do that? And so we're hemorrhaging at that place there. And then what so many companies say is they say, "My chief method of getting customers is referrals, and all this marketing and advertising doesn't help." Well, it actually can help, because when you start to design a referral system, even though if your business lives on referrals, are you getting enough referrals? And you can actually use this whole model to continue to make sure that you have enough referrals or more referrals, and continue to increase that.
Kathryn: Yeah, absolutely. I mean we talk about number of impressions, and sometimes if you are actually engaged online, and you're really putting stuff out there, then when somebody refers your company, there's actually a pretty good chance that anybody who's in that market or has been looking has probably already seen some of your stuff, and it just strengthens the referral.
Kathryn: That's also helpful.
Michael: That's the end of today's episode. A little long, but I think it was incredibly valuable. I tell you what? You need to understand, this is absolutely critical. We try not to bring fluff, and we'll try and tell if it's not super critical, here's an option and you could try this or that. But this process, 100%, we have to abide by it with all of our clients if we're going to do the best we can for them, and we want our clients to understand it, and we want our clients to engage in this process, whether we're doing the services for you, or whether we're training and equipping you.
Michael: Now this is a great moment, let me reiterate the selfish commercial. But-
Kathryn: Shameless is the word you're looking for. Shameless plug, [crosstalk 00:43:43] that's what you're looking for.
Michael: But just to make sure that I'm asking actually doing what we say and we're asking for the sale, this is so soft. But if you're a company who actually thinks that you want help, that what we're offering, what we're talking about on this podcast is helpful, please go to halfabubbleout.com and fill out a contact form, describe your situation or scenario, and somebody will call you back. And we can set up an appointment to talk, if that seems to be the proper approach, or you can get on the phone if you like to get on the phone, give us a call, we'd love to hear from you too. And just know that we offer consulting and advising and marketing services that help from building the overall strategy and how do you craft a message that is compelling and unique and highlights who you are and celebrates who you are, and tells your story well, to designing strategies for marketing, to actually building everything you need, from the website, to landing pages to Facebook, AdWords, ad buying, and an extension of all of those to helping you and coaching you through content development to get more traffic from Google or anywhere else.
Kathryn: And all of that because we care about building Passionate Provision companies.
Michael: Absolutely. We do it with that mind and that value at heart, because this entire podcast is for you to continue to go, what does it take to create a passionate provision company that provides enough money for your daily needs, and the goals and dreams you have for the future, as well as making it a fulfilling journey along the way for you, and everybody who works for you. Thank you very much for joining us today, we really appreciate it, and we value you and we wish you the best in your endeavors and your work this week.
Kathryn: If you want to refer this podcast to a friend or rate us on iTunes, that would also be stunning. Thanks so much.
Michael: Go out to iTunes and hit subscribe. All right, have a great day, we'll talk to you soon. Bye bye.