Jay Baer | The Biz That Doubled in Size with No Ads

Word of mouth can be responsible, at least in part, for 50% to 91% of your sales, depending on your industry. But, says Jay Baer, are you under the mistaken impression that word of mouth is something that just happens?

Jay, digital marketing pioneer and co-author of the new book Talk Triggers, shares techniques for ensuring that word of mouth happens “on purpose” and has a measurable and major impact on your sales.

It’s all about grabbing your prospects’ attention, and wowing them, without gimmicks.

Tune in now to find out…

  • Why customers are your best marketing department
  • When marketing “tricks” go too far
  • How to really think like a consumer
  • The conversations that turn prospects into customers

Episode Timeline:

00:11 Today Steve speaks with president of Convince and Convert, Jay Baer. Jay has created 5 multi million dollar companies and helps business “clone” their customers.

01:32 Jay moved from politics to marketing, to working for the government to finally working with the first internet company in Arizona back in 1993.

03:11 Jay tells us how he sold the domain “Budweiser”..for beer!

04:31 Jay tells us a moving story and why we should always keep an even keel.

06:39 Jay tells us about his brand new book, Talk Triggers.

09:23 Jay tells us that it’s important to think like a consumer.

12:04 Jay takes us through the framework of word of mouth marketing.

14:10 Jay talks about how being repeatable is so important.

17:17 Jay explains why you shouldn’t go too big with your customer.

20:54 Jay explains the 5 talk triggers in his book.

23:12 Jay gives us some fantastic real world Talk Trigger success stories.

31:04 Jay tells us how and how not to come up with a talk trigger.

35:30 Jay tells us how best to get in contact with him.

37:13 Jay tells us what Steve’s talk trigger is for the podcast!

Mentioned in this Episode:


Jay Baer | The Biz That Doubled in Size with No Ads

Welcome to The Unstoppable CEO podcast. I’m your host, Steve Gordon, and you guys are in for a treat today. This is going to be a special interview, particularly if you’re interested at all in growing your business. I imagine that’s pretty much everybody that’s listening. Today I’m speaking with Jay Baer. Jay helps businesses clone their customers. He’s created five multi-million dollar companies, and is a seventh generation entrepreneur. He’s the president of Convince and Convert, a firm you’ve probably heard of. They’re a consulting firm that helps the world’s most iconic brands like the United Nations, Nike, 3M, and Oracle use technology to win customers and keep the customers that they’ve already earned, which is really important.

He’s a New York Times bestselling author of five books, and he is the host of the award-winning Social Pros podcast. He’s also an avid tequila collector and a certified barbecue judge. We may actually just change topics and talk about barbecue today, Jay. Welcome to The Unstoppable CEO.

Steve, thank you very much. I would be happy to do that. We’re also recording this on a Friday, so I’d be delighted to talk about tequila too.

Yeah, absolutely. It’s almost that time.

It is indeed.

I would love for you to give everybody a little bit of context around your background. We’ve heard the highlights, but how did you get to this point in your career?

I think like everybody else, it’s a winding road that makes a little bit of sense in retrospect, or made no sense at the time. I started in politics. I was a political campaign consultant. Ran political campaigns as a young man. Got out of that business. It’s not a real excellent family-friendly career choice. I got into traditional marketing, working for a big corporation for a few years. I left there and worked for the government for about 20 minutes as a spokesperson, and I really, really, really did not like working for the government. I ended up having beers with some friends of mine from college who had started the very first Internet company in Arizona, where I’m originally from. They said, “This Internet company of ours it’s getting a little big. We don’t know anything about marketing.” I said, “That’s okay, because I don’t know anything about the Internet. In fact, I don’t even really know what that means.” This was 1993, Steve.

Stories From the Internet’s Early Days

I said, “I’ll do anything to not work for the government again.” I walked in and quit, and started an Internet company having never really been on the Internet. This is the days of Prodigy and AOL copy serve. I’ve only done two smart things in the last 25 years. One is to convince my wife to marry me, and it definitely required a lot of convincing. Two, to have the good sense to get involved in digital marketing in 1993, and not get uninvolved. Since then, I’ve had a series of consulting firms and helped a lot of different brands get better at digital marketing. I’ve written a lot of books and given a lot of speeches, and here we are. I keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Wow. 1993. I didn’t even know the Internet existed in 1993.

It barely did. Here’s a true story to give you a sense of this. When I started, domain names were free. You could buy whatever domain name you wanted, and you didn’t have to pay for it because who would want such a thing? It had no practical or commercial value. So much so that my partners and I, in that first Internet company, in 1993, we sold budweiser.com to Anheuser-Busch for 50 cases of beer. That is true. That is 100% true. It was early days, for sure.

That’s actually not a bad price probably. I don’t know, 50 cases of beer.

I’m not kidding. We’re like, “Man, we did great on that. That’s a lot of beer.”

Right. That’s funny. In Internet years, you’ve got to be like 200 years old or something.

Yeah. I’m like a wizard of some sort.

Clearly, it probably wasn’t a perfectly straight line path. All perfect success from that point to today. As you think over the years, when you’ve run into challenging situations and into even roadblocks, what do you do to push past those? Is there a particular way you like to think about them, or a way you approach those things?

There really is. It’s particularly relevant this week. My new book just came out three days ago, and less than a day before the book launched, my father passed away.

Oh, my goodness. I’m so sorry.

Thanks. Just Monday this week. He told me something, and he told me it several times. I rely on it a lot, and especially this week. He used to always tell me that things are never going as good as you think they are, and they’re never going as bad as you think they are. That was really useful this week, and it’s been useful many, many times in my career. I try to keep a pretty even keel. I get disappointed like the next person, and I get excited like the next person, but I try to not get too wrapped up in the victories or the defeats, because I know that the next opportunity, the next at bat is right around the corner.

That’s tremendous advice. When things aren’t going well, we tend to take it a little bit deeper than maybe we should. When things are flying high, I think we often believe we’re invincible. I don’t think either of those states of mind helps push us forward, but I think that’s tremendous advice, and I think worth everybody listening, actually taking pen to paper. Write that down. Next time you’re in a situation where you need it, pull that out. I think it’d be hugely helpful to you.

Jay, you mentioned that you just had a book that was released. You’ve done five that have been pretty wildly successful. That’s not an easy thing to do. Just writing it is not an easy thing to do. When you think about putting this book together, and the time that it took, obviously, you have something important to get across, otherwise you wouldn’t have invested the time. What do you think is most important about this particular book that you want to get across to folks?

Word of Mouth Is the Most Powerful Marketing

Thanks. This is my sixth, and you’re right. I’m not going to write one just to write one. I wrote this one with my good friend Daniel Lemon. It’s called “Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth.” The key lesson here and the imperative for this book, Steve, is that word of mouth is the most important thing in business that nobody pays any attention to. We all want word of mouth, and I think we all know that it is an important way to grow a business, although we probably undervalue it. The data show that word of mouth is responsible, at least in part, for between 50 and 91% of all purchases, depending on your type of business. That’s a pretty significant driver of growth and of success, yet it’s the only thing that we don’t ever have a strategy for, which is such a mystery. It’s so important, yet we sort of take it for granted.

We’re so laissez faire about word of mouth, it’s mind-boggling to me. You’ve got a marketing plan, and you’ve got a content marketing plan. You might have a social media plan. You might have a public relations plan. You might have a crisis plan, or an HR and recruiting plan, a customer service plan. Nobody has a word of mouth plan. We are just like, “Yeah, our customers are going to talk about us.” Are they? If so, what are they going to say?

What Daniel and I set to do in this book was to give every businessperson, large or small, B2B, B2C, a reliable, practical, achievable framework for doing word of mouth on purpose instead of doing it on accident.

This is a big problem. We hear it from people that we work with all the time. They come to us because they’re looking for some system to attract customers. Almost every one of them tells me when we ask them, “What’s working now and what’s not working?” The answer to both questions is almost always word of mouth. Literally, they tell us, “That’s kind of working for us, because we do get customers that way, but it’s not really working because we’re not getting them enough, and not predictably enough.”

When you begin to talk with a business owner about this, the things that I hear are “We don’t have a whole lot of influence over it. It just sort of happens organically.” I think that’s why people are drawn towards some of the types of customer acquisition where they can see this defined process. I put money towards this, and theoretically, I get client or customer out the other end. When you’re talking with a business owner, how do you get them to understand that they do have influence?

Later we’ll get into how to influence it, but how do you get over that initial mindset where they don’t believe it?

The key is to help people think like consumers. We’re so good at this in business. We forget how we behave as consumers, and every businessperson is a consumer first and a businessperson second, but we tend to forget that fact. I don’t know everybody listening. I probably know some people listening, but I know this for a fact, Steve. Nobody listening right now has ever said, “Let me tell you about this perfectly adequate experience I just had.” Nobody says that, because it’s a boring story. Word of mouth is all about customers telling your story.

How to Get Your Customers Talking About You

This idea that if you just run a good business people will talk about it, doesn’t hold any water, because competency doesn’t create conversation. Nobody says, “It was a good restaurant,” because every restaurant is at least good. All your competitors are good. If you want to create conversations and do so reliably, you have to accept the premise that same is lame. You have to do something different that your customers notice. That becomes the propellant of your word of mouth strategy, as opposed to just focusing on not being bad. That’s not enough. Competency isn’t in and of itself noteworthy, unless everybody else is incompetent, which I don’t think you can assume.

I don’t think you can assume that, and I think you’re absolutely right. We don’t look at the way that we behave. We’re constantly creating word of mouth as business owners ourselves, but for other folks. I want to dive into the meat of the book. Before we do that, I want to take a quick break. We’re going to come back and talk with Jay. He’s broken this whole idea of how to create word of mouth down into a process that you can begin to wrap your arms around, and do something practical about, which I think is the most important thing. Stay tuned. We’ll be right back.

Welcome back. This is Steve Gordon. I’m talking with Jay Baer. He’s the author of the new book, “Talk Triggers.” Jay, walk us through your framework. Word of mouth is this nebulous thing that we think we don’t have any influence over. Walk us through your framework for creating word of mouth.

It really is a framework. I should say this too. That’s the key to this book, and why this book exists. You don’t need me and my co-author, Daniel, to write a book about word of mouth being important. There’s lots of great books about that already, although not everybody follows that advice, but still, there’s a lot of other good books out there about word of mouth being important. We do that too, but I think where we really have added something to the conversation hopefully, is giving people a system where they can actually do word of mouth with intent, as opposed to hoping for the best and buying a word of mouth lottery ticket every day.

The book is structured in a four, five, six system. It’s the four requirements of a Talk Trigger, the five types of Talk Triggers, and the six step process for creating, implementing, testing, measuring a Talk Trigger. I should start off and just define a Talk Trigger, which is a strategic operational difference that compels word of mouth. It’s something that you do differently that your customers talk about. The fact that it’s an operational difference is really important, Steve, because a Talk Trigger is not really marketing. It creates marketing advantages, for sure, but it’s not a price. It’s not a product. It’s not a promotion. It’s not a coupon, a contest, a campaign. It’s something that you do different. It’s an operational decision, a choice that you make in your business, that your customers don’t expect, and that they talk about. That’s not the same as let’s have a sale.

Completely different. I love that you’ve broken it down this way. You start off with the four Talk Triggers criteria. You list those out, and you talk about be remarkable, be relevant, be reasonable. My favorite one is be repeatable.

My favorite one too, actually.

Talk us through at a high level, those, but particularly with be repeatable because I think this is where a lot of the word of mouth thinking falls down for people, is they think it’s all one off.

When we think word of mouth, today, when we hear those words, we often times think some sort of big, bold, crazy stunt. Let’s do something to get people talking. That’s not the same as a Talk Trigger, or a word of mouth strategy. In fact, it’s often called in marketing circles especially, social marketing circles, where I roll around a lot, this idea, and I’m throwing up the air quotes now, “surprise and delight.” The notion of surprise and delight, Steve, is that you take one customer in a particular circumstance, and you purposely treat that customer differently. You do something grand for them, a colossal gesture. Hotels try this gamut quite a bit. If somebody checks into the hotel and they realize that there’s as live panda bear in the room, and a eucalyptus tree, they’re like, “Oh, my God!” They’re hoping that somebody’s going to share that on social media, and it’s going to go viral, and then MSNBC will pick it up or whatever.

That might work, but it’s only going to work once. After it’s done working, however you want to define that, what are you left with? Not a lot. It also very much might not work, so it is kind of like buying a lottery ticket. It really isn’t a reliable strategy. I also feel like purposely treating customers differently can backfire, because the next person who checks into the hotel is like, “Hey, man, where’s my panda bear?” That customer then feels less than, not more than.

How to Market Using Cookies

We prefer the reliable, systematic, day-by-day, blocking and tackling approach of a Talk Trigger, where every single customer has access to this differentiator that you are known for. To use the hotel example, one of the most famous and most persistent Talk Triggers in the world is the warm chocolate chip cookie that DoubleTree hotels gives you when you check into the hotel. They’ve been doing this for 30 years. Today, they bake and hand out 75,000 cookies a day worldwide. That is a tremendous amount of talkable activity. In fact, we did a lot of research for this book, and one of the projects that we undertook was to interview DoubleTree customers.

We found that more than a third of each customer group mentions that cookie to somebody else proactively without being asked. That’s what propels the brand forward. On a related note, when’s the last time you saw a DoubleTree ad? You probably haven’t, because they don’t do a lot of advertising. The cookie is the ad, and the guests are the marketing department. That’s when you know you’ve got a word of mouth strategy that works.

It’s funny, I stay in DoubleTrees periodically, and our son has stayed with us in one before, our youngest. He’ll ask if I’m going on a business trip, “Are you going to the cookie hotel?”

Nice. That’s perfect.

It works.

Perfect example. He doesn’t know anything else about it. It’s the cookie hotel. Yes. You nailed it. That’s it.

That’s great. The other principle that you talk about in here is be reasonable. What do you mean by that?

Sometimes in this climate especially, and I would say this is true in the last three to five years, more than perhaps it had been true prior. Competition for attention is unprecedented. Consumers of all stripes have the technology and the capability to really tune you out in ways that were really not present before. What happens a lot today is that marketers and business people will say, “Boy, I’m really having a hard time breaking through. What we should do is make it really, really big. Let’s have a contest, and everybody enters, and somebody is going to win an island,” or some crazy thing like that. If I say, “Steve, you get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car.” Who says that?


Oprah says that. Who else can say that? Oprah.

Nobody I can think of.

Oprah is the answer. Nobody else. Nobody else can get away with it. When you deliver to your customers an experience that is too grand, too big, the largesse factor is too much, what it creates is not conversation. It creates suspicion. The conversation that it creates is around your terms and conditions. People are like, “Wait a second. When’s the other shoe going to drop here? What are the strings attached to this?” You don’t have to make it big. Let’s go back to DoubleTree. Incredibly successful. It’s a good cookie. As cookies given to me by hotel standards go, it’s probably the best I’ve been given, but it’s still just a cookie. They’re not giving me a kidney, or a car, or even a popcorn popper. It’s a chocolate chip cookie. Your Talk Trigger doesn’t have to be big, and it probably shouldn’t be big. It just has to be something that people notice.

I think that’s really important. I’m so glad that you put that into the book. I’ve written a book on referrals. I’ve read probably every book on referral, and word of mouth, that I could get my hands on. In some of them, they advocate for this over the top experience and go and create that, but I love to boil things down to what can you actually implement. If you can’t implement it, it’s the greatest idea ever that is worthless to you. If you can actually take it down to something that now, in your business, wherever you are, at whatever stage you’re at, with whatever team you have, you can implement it on a consistent basis. Then you’ve got something. I think you address both of those with be reasonable and be repeatable.

Thanks. Again, I just want to make sure people understand. I’m not suggesting that approach of taking the home run swing is a failed idea. It’s just that it’s not a reliable strategy.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a failed idea, but for the average, everyday business in America or in the world, it’s not as accessible as something like what you’re describing here is.

Completely agree.

What can you do day in, day out? I think that’s really critical. I’m really happy that you see that approach. You talk about these five different types of Talk Triggers. I think this is probably one of the most important parts of the book. Can you walk us through those?

We wanted to make sure that people could understand that it’s not just one way that you can execute on this. Again, it’s an operational choice. That operational choice can be implemented in a lot of different elements of your business, depending on what makes sense to you or how you’re structured. We thought it would be useful to have a taxonomy of these, so that A, people can find their own easier, and also so they can notice them in the wild. Now that you go through the book, you’re like, “Oh. That’s a Talk Trigger, and it’s this kind.” People will start to see them.

Figuring Out What Talk Triggers Will Work for You

The one that we encounter most often, because it’s the easiest to implement in a business, is talkable generosity. That’s when you do something more generous than your customers expect, i.e. a free, warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in at DoubleTree. That is talkable generosity. There’s other kinds. That one is definitely the most common. There’s other kinds. There’s talkable empathy, where you’re more warm and human and kind that customers expect. You have talkable speed, where you’re more responsive than customers expect. You have talkable usefulness, where you’re more useful than your customers expect. You have talkable attitude, which is where you’re just a little different than customers expect.

Usually it’s funnier, or just more carefree than they anticipate. All of those can work, and we’ve got examples, of course, of companies large and small from all over the world in the book. We are really careful to try and use examples that people haven’t heard before. We’re not trotting out Amazon or Zappos or Apple, or all the usual marketing tropes. We really tried to find stuff that people haven’t thought of before.

You’ve done that very well. In my mind, the reason I said this is I think the most important part of the book, is it gives people a really concrete way to think about this. Instead of just saying, “Oh, God, what am I going to do to become more talkable to create this?”, you’ve given them boxes to work in. I’d love if you could share a few examples from the book and-

You bet.

Illustrate how this has been applied by some businesses.

I’ll give you a couple. On the talkable empathy side, small business example, professional services, my friend Dr. Glenn Gorab. Glenn is an oral surgeon in Clifton, New Jersey. He operates in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut tristate area. There’s hundreds, literally hundreds of oral surgeons in his region. He is the highest rated among them, and also the only one out of all of them who’s never been sued. Despite the fact that by his own admission he is not the best surgeon. He says, “Yeah. I’m quite good. I’m not the best, but I do have the best relationships my patients.” Here’s why, Steve. It’s his Talk Trigger.

Every Friday, Glenn’s office staff gives him a list of names and phone numbers. Every Saturday, he calls the people on that list. He says, “Hi, I’m Glenn. I’m your oral surgeon. I understand that you’re coming into the office for the very first time next week. Do you have any questions before you get here?” People can’t believe it, because if you’ve had an oral surgery procedure, you may have had your surgeon call you afterwards, like, “Are you bleeding to death?” Is usually what they’re checking on. That’s nice, but that’s expected. You have never had a physician call you before you ever set foot in the office. It’s simply not done. Why isn’t it? It makes such a statement about your desire and your values.

Glenn says that every single day he gets patients making an appointment who say, “I have to drive 12 miles out of my way. I have to pass up dozens and dozens of other oral surgeons, but I want to visit you because you’re the doctor who called my friend Shirley before she ever came to the office.”

I love that. You could take that story and translate it to almost any industry, but particularly in medicine. They don’t even call.

Or law. Any professional service. Law, accounting, real estate agent. Line them up. Everybody should do it, but nobody does.

They’ve built a system that’s-

It’s an operational choice. They choose to call customers before they come in.


Every Talk Trigger is that. It’s an operational choice. I’ll give you another one in business to business. This is one that really tickles me, because I think the strategy is so smart. It’s a company called WindsorONE, which is a manufacturer of high end wooden trim. They make crown molding and baseboards, and wainscoting, and chair rails, and all that jazz. Their customers are carpenters, master craftsmen.

Like a lot of manufacturers, they create a bunch of different products, from sizes, and shapes, and colors, and trims. One of their challenges as a business, as is true for a lot of manufacturers is making sure their customers understand the full breadth of the product line. What they used to do, Steve, is they would spend about a half a million dollars a year on magazine ads in the trades. Carpenter Today or whatever. I don’t know what it’s called. Each of those magazine ads was essentially a mini-brochure, a mini product catalog. “We make this one, and we make this one. This one is in the new golden oak stain,” or whatever.

They were spending all this money, and had a tracking phone number on all the ads. Didn’t get any calls. They were never getting any calls, but they were like, “This is just what we do. What if we instead used a Talk Trigger?” Now, every single WindsorONE board that they manufacture, on the reverse side of the board, has a stamp. The stamp says, “Prime all of your cuts,” which is good advice when cutting something. Then it says, “Call Kurt for a shirt. 888-779-2700.” You’re there with your saw, and you then you look down, you’re like, “Huh. Who is Kurt?” Curiosity gets the best of you, as it does, and you call the phone number.

First ring, pick up. “Hey, this is Kurt.” You’re like, “Whoa. A real person.” He’s like, “Hello? This is Kurt. Who’s this?” “It’s Jay.” “Jay, what are you doing?” “Well, I’m working on a church renovation in Indiana.” “Are you a fat guy, Jay?” I’m like, “Excuse me, Kurt?” He’s like, “I got to figure out what kind of shirt to get you.” I’m like, “I’m like an XL.” He’s like, “You got anybody else working on your crew?” I’m like, “Yeah. I got five other guys.” “How fat are they?” “It depends.” Takes down all the orders for the shirt sizes, then says, “Jay, what kind of products are you working with?” “We’re working with the 816 trim board here, and a 142 crown molding.” He’s like, “That’s cool. Did you know that we also have this new one? Blank, blank, blank, blank, blank.”

Kurt is the head of inside sales for WindsorONE. He has a whole conversation about the products I’m using today, and the other products I might want to consider. Finished the phone call, FedEx’s to the job site all the t-shirts and samples of every product we discussed on the phone. Company has doubled in size. They now don’t do any ads, but they have printed out in the last two or three years, 50,000 t-shirts that say, “Got wood?” On the front.

That’s brilliant. How many Kurts do they have to have?

They just have one Kurt. Dude is one guy. He is one guy. That’s all he does all day. One guy.

Every time I hear these things, what’s always so striking about them is they are so simple.

Every good one is simple. I got a new one. You’ll love this. It’s not in the book. I heard about it later. That’s the thing that’s so frustrating because I’m doing keynotes about this all over the world and stuff, and every time, someone comes up to me afterwards the Q&A and is like, “Jay, I got this great idea. Have you heard about this?” I’m like, “No.” I wish I could rewrite the book because there’s all these new ones that keep popping up. I think I might have to start a podcast, where each week I talk about a new one.

I’m already laughing because I like it so much. A guy comes up to me, and this is three weeks ago in Seattle. He’s like, “Jay, have you heard this one?” “Tell me the story.” There’s a doctor in Seattle. He’s a surgeon also, but he only does vasectomy surgeries. His name is Dr. Snip. That in and of itself is great, but that’s not the Talk Trigger, Steve. Here’s what happens. On the way out the door, every single patient is given an engraved silver pocket knife that says Dr. Snip on it. You can imagine three weeks later, you’re playing golf, you’re on your boat, you’re watching football with your fellas, and you open a beer with your knife and your friend Billy is like, “Dude, that’s a sweet knife. Where did you get it?” “This knife? I got this knife from Dr. Snip, the vasectomy surgeon.” That is gold.

That’s hilarious.

Isn’t that great?

That’s awesome. What I love about it is you can actually be creative, and you can be human with all of these, particularly you talked about talkable empathy. I think these things can probably overlap one another. In other words, you combine some of these ideas.

Some of them end up being in a couple of categories, for sure. That’s totally fine.

You can be totally human with it and have a little fun with it, and give someone something that is just the perfect thing to get them talking about you. It’s brilliant. Now that we know all this, we know that there are the five types of Talk Triggers and the four different qualities of a Talk Trigger, how do we create them? How do we come up with them?

Here’s the wrong way to do it, which is to get everybody in a conference room and riff. I hear this all the time from people who may be familiar with the Talk Triggers concept, but maybe don’t know the process part. We’re going to get everybody together and we’re going to have a brainstorm, and come up with our Talk Triggers. I’m like, “No!” If it was that easy, you already have one. If all it required was everybody in the conference room and buying pizza, you’d already have one.

What we have to do instead is really understand customers in a way that most people frankly, don’t today. What we recommend, and this is the exact same process. The process in the book is the same process that my team and I convince and convert you when we create Talk Trigger strategies for companies all over the world. This is the exact same process. We just gave it away.

What you do is you first document all the different touch points, inflection points that you have with the customers. You create a customer journey map, it’s often called, of all the different things that the customer interacts with you. Then, what you want to do is interview three sets of customers. You want to do telephone interviews, ideally, with new customers, with longstanding long term customers, and with lost customers. People who bailed recently, or maybe never signed up at all. For each of those groups, you want to ask at each of those touch points, what did they expect would happen. You’re trying to map customer expectations to the customer journey. Once you know that, Steve, once I know what the customer expects, I by definition, know what they don’t expect. The difference between what they expect and what they don’t expect is where the Talk Trigger lives.

One of the things that you could do in a business like mine, I don’t do this, full disclosure. We don’t do this, but we should. Maybe we will. It’s very common in a consulting business like mine. One of the key inflection points is the customer gets a proposal. You send them a proposal. If you asked customers, you said, “What do you expect when you get a proposal?” Typically, they would say, “We expect that you would take a proposal, maybe save it as a PDF, attach it to an email, and email us the proposal for us to look at.” That’s the typical perfunctory way that step in the process is handled.

What if instead, Steve, that you, every time you’re in that situation, sent that prospective customer a sheet cake, and the frosting of that sheet cake was made to look like the cover of your proposal? The proposal itself was printed out and put in a laminated sleeve underneath the cake, so that in order to get at your proposal, your prospective customer had to eat an entire sheet cake. Would that create conversation? Would that be a Talk Trigger? Would that customer tell their friends about your proposal?

Without a doubt.

Yes, they would. Could you do that? Hell yeah you could do that. You absolutely do that. You could start doing that tomorrow. It’s just an operational choice. In order to figure that out and to do it the right way, it really helps to understand what your customers expect at each of those steps. They’re like, “Oh. That’s boring. What could we do that’s not boring?” For example, my business card, the actual business card that I carry and hand out and have for 10 years, is a steel bottle opener. It’s an actual metal bottle opener. I’ve given out thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of them. They cost me $3 a piece, which is more than a typical business card. All the time people come up to me and say, “Jay, I got your business card at a conference seven years ago, and it’s in my golf bag,” or “Jay, I still have your business card. I keep it in my boat.” I’m like, “Man, I don’t care where you keep it, but if you can see me and on site tell me where my business card is amongst all of your worldly possessions, that’s a Talk Trigger.”

That’s awesome.

You just take something boring and make it not boring.

Exactly. Absolutely. Such great insights.

Jay, where can folks find out more about the book, find out more about you and the work you’re doing? Where should they begin discovering more about you?

Go to talktriggers.com, because we have tons and tons and tons, probably too much, frankly, of totally free information there. We’ve got a six step process summary for doing your own Talk Triggers. We have a PowerPoint presentation about Talk Triggers you can download. We have a book club discussion guide. We have infographics. We have a 30 page research report. All of that for free at talktriggers.com. That’s definitely the best place to go. You can find more about me at convinceandconvert.com. Quickly Steve, I’ll mention this. It wouldn’t be a book about word of mouth if we didn’t have Talk Triggers in the book itself. That would be kind of absurd.

Two things. One, the cover of the book includes a giant picture of two alpacas talking to one another. If you see a business book, and on that cover is alpacas, it’s almost assuredly the right book. You won’t see any other business books that look like this one. Second, on the back of the book, Steve, it says this, “Satisfaction guaranteed. If you bought this book and didn’t like it, go to talktriggers.com and send the authors a note. They will buy you any other book of your liking.” And we will. If you buy this book and you don’t like it, and you want, I don’t know, a first edition Bible, we’ll figure it out. We will get you whatever book you want, so there’s literally no reason to not buy this book because you have quite literally no risk whatsoever.

I will tell you, you’ll like it. It’s a good book.

Thank you.

It’s going to be one that if you get it, you’re going to hang onto it. I know it’s one we’re going to be dissecting, and just fantastic stuff.

We got to tell people about your Talk Trigger before we go, Steve.

What’s our Talk Trigger?

I have been a guest on hundreds of podcasts in my career. I have hosted a podcast every week for eight years. We’re on episode 350, or some darn thing like that. Steve sent me, in the mail, before this show, an entire printed out kit that says, “How to prepare for your interview on The Unstoppable CEO Podcast” with tips on how to make this a good conversation, questions that he might ask, how the show is formatted. It was absolutely extraordinary. I’ve never, ever, ever received something like this in my entire life. It is a perfect example, and one that I will be sharing everywhere of talkable usefulness, which is one of the five types. Steve, bravo to you and the team. It is extraordinary. Thank you.

Thank you. We actually do that. For many of our clients, we produce podcasts for them as a way for them to connect with the people that we want to do business with. That’s really where that came from. We wanted to create a situation for our clients where, when they were connecting with someone, that it was a memorable experience, that it was unlike anything that they’d ever experienced before. We certainly will continue to enhance it, but I appreciate you sharing that. I know that’s something that the team will enjoy, because they’ve worked hard on it.

I’m going to start talking about it in my presentations, so well done.

Thank you very much. Thank you again, Jay, for investing some time with me. Great book, “Talk Triggers.” We’ll be linking to that in the show notes. Hope everybody enjoyed this. This is one you’re going to want to talk notes from, and go put into action in your business. Go create some word of mouth for yourself. Jay, thanks again for being here.

Thank you.

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