The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

6. Be a Problem-Solver, Not a Seller w/ Steve Pacinelli


How do you get people to pay attention to your message?

Whether you’re selling to a customer online or speaking in front of a live audience, you need to create a shared belief about what the other person will be getting out of it.  

To deep dive into that concept, I spoke with Steve Pacinelli, the CMO at BombBomb who is my co-author of our book Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience.

Here are some highlights of what we discussed.

  • Customer Experience as the Exploration of a Shared Belief
  • Enthusiasm Is Contagious
  • Making Yourself Valuable to Your Audience
  • Keep Your Audience Interested
  • Little Things That Make a Big Difference


And when you see a passion within someone else, that shared passion. Again, oh I got this person's passionate about our product and what they're doing. That makes the CS person passionate about it, or the salesperson that sold some more people like us that speak with our customers, you know, on a daily basis, and it's just sharing and that belief together which makes the great experience for the customer. You're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle. Get ready to hear how sales, marketing and customer success experts surprise and delight and never lose sign of their customers humanity. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Welcome it to a bonus episode of the customer experience podcast. Every week you hear from me, marketing, sales, customer success, branding or another functional expert about how they're building better customer experience across rolls and across functions inside their organizations and with and for their clients. But once a month you're going to go inside bombomb. We're a software company and we're trying, of course, to build a better customer experience as well, and this is the first bonus episode that you're going to get. You'll get one every single month. Here I've got a longtime friend, a gentleman I have known for years. He was a bombomb customer him or before he became our chief marketing officer, a role he served in for more than four years. Prior to that, he spent a dozen years leading outside sales teams for realtorncom. He's traveled all over the place. He's given thousands of presentations. He's my coauthor on rehumanize your business, the definitive guide to simple personal videos to accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Steve Passin Elli, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you for having me. That I you know as being the bonus that that makes me. It makes me happy that that I'm the bonus of the of the session totally. I mean every Tuesday you're going to get something new, but will surprise you once a month with a bonus, and thanks for joining me on this first one. Steve. I'm going to start with you, to put it so, I'm going to start with you the same way I start with everybody, because I think it over time this is going to create a really interesting body of information. I'll just ask you to define or talk about customer experience from your perspective. Yeah, and you know, I was thinking about this, you know, a lot lately and I don't know if I fully have this this concept flushed fleshed out, but it's something that that I believe and I'm starting to believe more and more as as we begin thinking about it this way for our company. But customer experience comes down to that exploration of a shared belief and no matter where you are, no matter where the customers in that process, and this even spreads down to the employees, but it's exploring a potential shared belief or an actual shared belief, and all the touch points throughout the entire life cycle is the exploration, either the advancement or the regression of that shared belief based off of your actions and interactions that people have with the individuals in your company. So, for example, you have bombomb and we believe that if people are in front of people more often they would do more business through through video, and so that share belief is in all of our marketing materials. It's in our messaging that we send out, it's in our ads and that's what we use to hook people to engage with our brand. Right. And so if people are interested in that shared belief and we get them to believe the same thing, then they start exploring down the waterfall. They elements that lead lead up to that. It's like yeah, I am you know, I am an important part of the process. I'm an important part of the sales or see US process. Now let me explore this company in terms of how they can benefit me,...

...the process in which they can benefit my you know, my business. The price to value, comparison and all these other elements come in as you go. And then when they speak to a salesperson, does that salesperson share the same belief? For are the people on the same page? And then when they go back and look at the marketing material, does that convey the same message? And then when they buy the product, you know, and they have on boarding and they begin using the product, it's the exploration and still of that belief and how well you do as a company to come along, it'side aside beside them and guide them along that expiration. And then even when, if they're about to turn. It's like, do they still believe fundamentally in what your product offers or are you doing a bad job throughout the customer experience in building that up and getting them to understand the value that you're offering? And so, I don't know, was a really long answer, but it's I'm really believing in the exploration of a shared belief. I love it. I'm thinking about some of the really, really early adapters of our technology and our way of believing, seeing and practicing in the world, using video to get facetoface. I'm thinking about some of those really early adopters who they just got it right, like they already had that belief. They maybe already had that frustration and saw a better way and they and we just happen to fill the gap for them. More is other people we interact with need to understand the belief and then start to identify with it. I it's really interesting language. I love it. Yeah, and when you see a passion within someone else, that Shared Passion Again, Oh my God, this person's passionate about our product and what they're doing. That makes the CS person passionate about it or the salesperson that sold to them or people like us that speak with our customers, you know, on a daily basis, and it's just sharing and you know that that belief together which makes the great experience for the customer. So you talked about belief. You talked about a shared belief, shared across employees, communicated clearly and consistently, and then customers identifying with and being drawn into living out and or you also offered regression, walking away from the belief because maybe it's not true for them anymore. It reminds me of an idea that I know you're you're really big on. Recently we've been using this language a lot and talking about the work that we do, that we are repelled by confusion and attracted to clarity. When we are confused, were repelled as people, as humans, and when things are nice and simple and clear, were attracted to it. Can you go on that for just a minus? I think it's related to the importance of a consistent communication of the belief to be shared. Yeah, you know, it's funny. That comes from Donald Miller in the story brand book, and there their their live classes and that's what that's what he states over and over and over again in his podcasts and it's funny. I am so attracted to some of the they're messaging and the things that they are doing over there. It's story brand. And why is it? It's because we have a shared belief, right, and that's what I believe. I didn't quite articulate it in the same way that Donald did and he did a much better job, and now I'm articulating in that same way. But it's through that shared belief that that attracted me so much to to that message in the first place. And it's absolutely true. You know, your brain is the Zi designed to survive and thrive and also reduce the amount of calories, because your brain, despite being only two percent of your body weight, actually takes up twenty percent of your resting metabolic I don't think of get this right, metabolic rate. And so twenty percent, two percent of your body rate, but it takes up twenty percent of your calories is a better way to say. And so it requires a massive amount of calories. And so when the brain has to think too hard or you're trying to make it jump through too many hoops, then what's going to happen? Well, that's confusion, that's repelling right and how easy and how quickly can you convey what you want to say your products, value proposition, how you... the customer, how you help them solve problems? The faster that you can say that and communicate that, then that's your customers going to be drawn into that, to that clarity. And so our messaging, and I don't know how deep you want to get into this topic, but everything from, you know, our emails we've been revamping, to our website. We've been revamping and some of it is just so plain simple. It's like we try to get so fancy with the headline of, you know, of our websites and we we try to make ourselves seem smart and fancy by having a statement when people just really want to know what the heck you do at the very at the very top of your website. And it's like changing your mindset of not being fancy and just being straight and direct and forward. And that's what people enjoyed, because you're helping them can serve calories and survive and thrive. I love it. It reminds me of another lesson we got out of this kind of exploring the themes of the story brand, is that you know, this tendency to want to be clever and in fancy and Fussy with our design, in our language, in the way we position things, and I think tunneld set it this way at one point. Look at this fancy Ridd al I've made for you. I hope you enjoy it. Right like trying to figure out what I'm offering you, and and that that comes from a position of weakness and that we want to show how smart and clever we are, when in fact the strongest thing you can do is often a challenging and be perceived as boring, which is being as straightforward as possible. Yeah, and to swing that back to like overall customer experience, it's applicable throughout every interaction that your company has. If someone phones in because they have a problem with your system or your product or your service for that matter, they don't want to convoluted answer. They want an answer as quick as quickly as possible that solves their problem. And if you look at it the same way, when you're trying to sell your product online, they don't want a fancy long answer. You Sho you want to distill your messaging, do down to the absolute bare necessity that conveys the value and the problem that you overcome for for your customers as quickly and easily, you know, as possible, and even in your inner departmental relationships and the relationships within the office, people just want answers faster and they want clarity on everything that they do. So it's hard. It's hard right, just like photography. I took a took a photography class from one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world and and it's the same concept. He said the best photos out there are the photos that remove all the unnecessary items and stick with the main subject and make the main subjects stand out. And it's extremely difficult to remove all the unnecessary items and that's perfection. That is perfection. You know, in scheduling this with you, I wanted to make sure to tap into something that I would argue you're very uniquely expert at. I. You're one of the best speakers I've seen present. You've done it thousands of times, and so I thought for for a listeners. You know, whether you're presenting to your own team or function or department, or whether you're presenting to an executive team or whether you're presenting do customers, whether it's by Webinar, in person, on phone, on Zoom, whatever the case may be, in a video email. I would love to get into just a couple value points in terms of helping someone who maybe is not an accomplished or experienced presenter maybe get a little bit better. So talk about your audiences. Let's go with a live audience, whether it's an, you can separate this if you want to, in person or an online think about your audience as a customer. What do you you know, is your as you're preparing for a presentation, what are you trying to do in terms of delivering an experience for the audience? The customer said audience a number of times, and that's that's actually the answer, and it's truly understanding your audience and why they're there and what they would like to learn. A lot of people will speak, you know, different webinars or live events, but...

...they don't know who their audience is comprised of or the struggles that they might be trying to overcome and there in their day to day, day to day business. And so at first if you understand your your audience and who's going to be there you can craft clear and better messaging that will help them, and that's and that's what that's what, ultimately, you're trying to do. You know, if you look at getting on a stage, I most of the time I'm selling a product most of the time when I get on the stage, but I don't start with the premise of how can I sell the most products? That's not the question that I ask myself first. The question I ask myself first is how can I be a value to the audience that I'm speaking to? And once you identify all the different points you can be of value, then you can figure out where you can intertwine, you know, a product because the product is helping them in some way, because you're most people that get on stage always trying to sell something. Very rarely you going you you don't try to sell anything, whether it be a book or your product or your service or just the continued exploration of a particular topic. So understanding your you know your audience, solving a problem for them and figuring and making that your thrust in the main goal for the presentation, even though what you might really want to do is sell a bunch of products and then making it clear and we can get super tactical. I don't know if you want to go that. Yeah, yeah, give us a few specifics. So two things come to mine right off the bat, and it's it's the beginning of your presentation. When you start your presentation, it's okay to be a bit unclear and wind that back and be totally clear with what's going to happen with the rest of the presentation. And so being unclear opens up a story loop. It catches him off guard. It you might want to start off with a story that doesn't seem like it relates to the topic that you go to and rather than getting on stage and popping on stage and saying hi, thank you so much for having me here, I am so excited to speak with you. Is this Mike on? By the way, you know that that first impressions terrible. So getting on stage not even introducing yourself has this is bad to say, but a lot of times I forget to even tell people who I am. It's why I always make sure I have it on the slide behind, because I hop on stage and I get right into a story, like here's my dad signature, and I'll have my dad signature on the on the screen behind me and people are like, I came to a class about video. Why we looking at his father's signature, and there's a tie in there. But it keeps people engage. It opens up a story loop for them and you're different in the first few minutes of the presentation than the other presenters. But after you do something like that, it's it's like the juxtaposition between something unexpected and then something very expecting, because right after that you need to tell them exactly what the presentation is going to be about and exactly what they're going to walk away from the presentation with. That also keeps them engaged throughout. Going back to clarity and the experience that people are having with you while you're on stage. People want to know what they're going to learn. Forty five minutes into the presentation and if you're not opening up story loops and telling them like hey, here the three topics that we're going to go over, here's why these topics are going to benefit you and here's what you're going to be able to do after watching this presentation, that's a three step plan that makes this presentation extremely valuable and draws them in because they know the benefit right out of the gate and then you tell them what you're going to tell them and then at the end you say, okay, here's what I promised that we would do. Did we do this? And you loop it back around. But while you're going through those examples, you can open up those story loops and I'm going to give you the four best ways that you can get people to open your email, or I'm going to give you the five best ways to get people to play your video. Will talk about that in the third section. And it you know, it keeps people engaged throughout the process and makes it clear at the same time. I love it. Some really good tips in there. If you missed it, hit that thirty second back and bounce back z you are some really gold nuggets in there about the way to structure your presentation, the way to think about your...

...audience. We've actually presented on stage together. That was probably one of the best presentations I've ever been a part of because of the that was the first time. It was one day at Bombom we're like, okay, let's just present together there. That was amazing. It was really fun and we in in this a little bit counter to what you should have shared when we got to the point of straight selling a product. That's true. Was it an ovation or was it a standing ovation? I don't remember. There's a few people that it wasn't. Not everyone had a standing ovation, but we definitely had a few. Yeah, so crazy. That's when we released a video in Gmail to that particular community. But we solved the problem. We solve the problem there and it was a shared belief and it was a problem that they knew that they had and that that's what caused that right. It's totally like a strong physical and emotional reaction. It was amazing. So we've been on stage together, we've done a ton of videos together. We've done some video training series together, like some do, like an hour of training content, you know, with some back and forth, and so we've co authored a book called Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improved customer experience. Talk a little bit about that. A unique format to teach people about the the fundamental flaw of relying exclusively on plane typed out text by giving them three hundred pages of plane typed out text. was some beautiful illustrations. Are Design team did a great job. But talk a little bit about the book. Why a book? WHY DOES IT Exist? Why should someone participate with it? What do you what do you love about it, and what's your relationship with books in general? Was a whole? That's a lot of questions. Quite well, first I want to say yes, we we co authored, but luckily for all the readers of this amazing book, Ethan actually did the authoring, the in the typing, actual typing of the message. I had a great time, you know, with Ethan brainstorming topics, but Ethan is one of the most brilliant and amazing and he would never say this, or I want to give him the props that he deserves. We would talk about topics, we brainstorm, we would outline and then Ethan would sit down and and just the most eloquent way, put everything that we talked about into words. And I think the books amazing because I see so much of your fingerprint on the book and Your Passion, you know, for the book and The Passion for video and people getting facetoface, and that really is the most exciting, and I told Ethan this, but like that was one of the most exciting several months working with Ethan on a daily basis and and feeling his passion come through in words, because you are one of the best writers I've ever met. So thank you. It's very kind. Yeah, so one that was fun for me too. You know, it's like a it's like a paradox, I guess. You know, as you mentioned, talking about video in a book format. But people learn in different ways, right, and the video that we talked about is fundamentally different in the delivery then a video that would be about this book, because the main premise here is or the the the two that's not battling. Use both. But we talked about relationships through video and marketing through video and if we were to take all the information that we put into this book and made a video, it would strictly be about marketing through video. And where we really focused and dial it in within the book is short form video messaging, quick messages to relay something more effectively, relay or convey emotion, connect in the sales or see US process on a one to one emotional level, not a mass marketing piece, and so that that's one way that the book does provide, you know, a better format, because the book is all about the short form video messages, not three hour, four hour, seven hour. I mean if we...

...were to do the book in a video, it would be an eighthour video, right. And so so it was fun putting it down into words and really thinking it through and allows people to see a process, you know, on the page. Some people are visual and they need to see the process and see the triggers of one to use video throughout their daytoday business. And we break it down into four parts of why they would want to use video, when to use video, how to use video and and getting better results, and those four segments right there. It's just a nice little transition from one topic to the other and I do think the book for a format is a great way to convey that and get people excited. Now course we have amazing digital training assets online where people can Ben Watch the videos and then get the guides and they work hand in hand. So it's not just a book. You're getting something much greater than a book that you can sit down and read and re read over and over again when you need some motivation. But you're getting those digital assets with the videos so you can continue your education. That question, I don't know. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was basically. Basically, that was my longwitted way of saying, Hey, talk about that, this thing, talk about that. Yeah, it's really fun. I think of it a little bit as a celebration. I mean, we've come so far with and for and through our customers. So we have about forty different customers mentioned in it as specific stories and examples, and it's just is. It was fun for me too. I really enjoyed working with you and and taking the very best from the stories that we teach, the examples that we share, the blog post, the webinars, the stage presentations, the frameworks, the structures for what do you do? What do you do when you send a video email and no one opens it? What do you do if they open it but don't play the video? What do they do if they play the video but they don't reply? All these things that we've learned over, well, it's more than a decade that we've been doing this together, and so, yeah, it's really fun. II. The other thing, I think too, is it in a way it meets people where they are. Right like a lot of people who are very comfortable or reliant on text or comfortable working with text and consuming it in an addition to producing it. And so it was fun to try to capture the spirit of the of a video or even like this alive conversation in the written word. So, yeah, it was great and I will say it would have been a much more boring and academic book without your participation, much more readable and and really value late, and I mean you really challenge throughout the whole thing, pressing in on you know, where's the reader value here? Hey, it's been too long since. Hey, we should inject some of this here kind of thing. And so it's a it's a it's teamwork because it's just a longer presentation. Is it's the same. It's the same methodology, right, it's the same thought process and getting in the book. And just like on stage, like if someone's not writing something down or someone's not laughing every three to five minutes at a minimum, then you need to inject some more value in that and it's the same thing with the book. If someone doesn't have an Aha moment or writing something down, you know x amount of time, then provide some value keep them engaged. It's another great presentation tip right there. Yeah, so good. Yeah, keep an eye on the audience sometimes it's hard, right. So, just going back to presenting, when you're up on stage and all the lights are on and, let's see, you're in a room of, say a bigger room, let's say a room of, you know, four five hundred people to you know, beyond that, like any any room that's for five hundred people, it's going to be lit in such a way that it's hard to see the audience. Yeah, how do you deal with that? How do you? How do you, because I know, I know from watching you, that you do interact with the audience, even if it's not in like a really direct, overt explicit way. You know, there's a lot of interaction there that you draw from that. You look for that audience give back or engagement. How do you do that with all those massive lights on? Yeah, well, you need to get a get some audible feedback. Then, of course, a lot of times you can still see these days, people hold up their their phones...

...and you can see the phones, you can see a little reflections off the shiny phones of people are holding up sake photos, and that counts as one of those three to five minute elements. But how it's how you start the presentation to and getting people to respond to you quickly. Another you know, another nice tip is get some type of interaction or agreement or audience members saying things allowed as soon as you start the presentation, within the first several minutes, because if you wait a half hour and you try to get the audience to participate with you a half hour in, it's going to be hard. But if you hit him with something provocative right off the bat, he told them a story, you started your presentation differently and then you got them to agree with you about something and you say give me a huh if you believe this, and they'll say uh Huh. Right out of the gate. You got them to verbalize, you know, some responses for you and that will continue throughout the entire presentation and they experience. Tying us all back to experience is going to be better for them because every time that they do something different, every time you which topics, their brain starts paying attention again. Every time they say something, it's like a restart and their brain starts paying attention again, or every time they laugh it's a pause and a restart in their brain starts paying attention again. And so after you get one of those moments, what you say directly after is the thing that the people are going to remember, so you can strategically place those throughout. None over going late. Now, that was great, I like. I love that you wove shared belief in there. You also kind of did a drive by on something that we talked about in a variety of ways, which is that every email you send trains people to open or delete your next email, and that's what you're really offering there. It's the same thing with the book, right, like every sentence, for every paragraph is what is going to draw someone through, and these moments of engagement where you draw the attention back to you as a presenter, resets people and draws them back into the presentation. Against really good stuff. Hey, as you well know, relationships are our number one core value here at bomb and we work that out here on the customer experience podcast as well. So I want to give you a chance, as we're wrapping up here, to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or your career. Okay, and a company who you think is doing customer experience really well. Okay, at the risk of sounding to cheesy, but it's connor and Darren for the founders of bombomb for believing in me so much and bringing me over to the team. They had a major, major impact you. I grew so much at bombomb in the first like two years and I did in the previous date five years, that it was doing the same thing each and every day and it was a lot of marketing. There's a lot of sales, but it was the same thing with the scent, you know, with the same group, and then doing something entirely different and having the support even through the successes and the failures, and still having that support throughout the entire process and working as a team. Like the team environment and the introduction to the rest of the team, and you like that. Bombomb has, you know, bombomb in, the people at bombomb and of Putten, the cofounders of really bit my inspiration and people that I want to thank. It's awesome and I agree and I'm glad you're here. Talk about a company. Some people give more than one, but a company that you've had a really good experience with. Someone that comes to mind. There's a little embarrassing. I like boots anything. You know this. I mean you've nonmals were like I like shoose. But, but, but boots in general. For some reason I just I really dig boots. And so taft is an online company that's a direct to consumer company provides an amazing experience, and not just through sometimes, when I buy a pair of boots for them or pair of shoes, I get a nice little handwritten note. So there's a an awesome it's an awesome feeling when you know that someone sat down and they say, Oh, I hope you enjoy your new such and such shoes.

Let us know if you have any questions, like when you get the box in the mail, like that's amazing. But also the experience that they have. The the reason why I'm so fanatical about the the brand and the company is their social media. The founder comes on all the time. He shares his family, his you know, his daughter like comes in and they do these instagram posts about how they choose the shoes and how they make the the boots and and the people and the customers and it's all about the people at the company and their plate and it's just so awesome to be invited, you know, into into the story and have that shared story with them because, Hey, I got a family to and hey, we're building something special over here as well, and hey, you make an awesome product. At the same time. It's they're doing everything right, that's for sure. Taft, Taft. Yeah, yeah, tift to taft, original, I think is is the website. Awesome. Love it. Now I had, you know, the answers to these because we communicate all the time. But for the folks who are listening, how can someone connect with you or connect with bombomb or check out a book? Yes, that's bombombcom for bombomb the books, that Bombombcom Book and you can get more information about the book, the value the book provides, and it really clear and concise way that hopefully matches your beliefs. It's your goals. At the at the same time, anybody can connect with me, you know, on facebook or on twitter, and it's Steve Passionelli PAC and Eli. So it's fbcom Steve Passonelli or at Steve Passonelli on twitter, or have instagram. I think I'm Steve Passonelia at instagram. I'm is instagram. Lurker like for Taft and you and I follow stuff that you do. I don't post that often instagram, but I have a lurker so feel free to connect on instagram if you want. A lurker, I guess Nice. I appreciate it. This was fun. We talk all the time, but we donn't always record it. Probably for the best, but I hope folks found value. I know I loved a lot of your presentation tips. I really appreciate your time and I hope you have a great afternoon. Thanks you for thanks for having me on. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're entrusting some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better. rehumanize the experience by getting face to face through simple personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experience podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit bomb bombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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