The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

64. A Circular Approach to the Customer Lifecycle w/ Wes Schaeffer


How do you envision the customer lifecycle? Is it linear or circular? The latter is your best bet if you want lifelong customers. And it’s as easy as ABC...DE, then repeat.


If you’re stumped on what this means for your sales and marketing team, this episode is for you.


Wes Schaeffer, author, speaker, and Founder at The Sales Whisperer, stopped by The Customer Experience Podcast to break down this circular approach to the customer lifecycle.


What we talked about:


- What an ideal customer lifecycle looks like – courtesy of BMW


- How the ABCDE process works


- When to use automation vs. personal touch


- Why doing things that can’t scale is important


- How to keep the personal and the human in the sales process


Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

You got to think through this and realize everything we do impacts everybody we meet. How we look at them, how we shake their hand, do we make eye contacts at all? Makes an impression. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Hey, welcome back to the customer experience podcast. For today's guest, the customer journey isn't linear, it's circular and it's as easy as ABC d attract, bond, convert, deliver and deer. Will be getting more into the ABCDE sales and marketing method. Will also get into the two things customers say they'll pay for, the limits of automation and more. As the sales whisper, he consults on Crm, trains on sales and marketing process and host more podcasts than I do. West Shaffer, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Hey, may, thanks for having me. You know, you just really an interesting background. You have a degree in meteorology, you played football at the Air Force Academy, you were served in the Air Force From and I think you were using your medir allergy degree in the Air Force. How do you land in sales and marketing and tech and process? I just I want it to be paid according to my production. And Yeah, once my five years were up. You know, I started laying the ground work about a year early, you know, to make the transition. I was married, we had a babe, you had another one on the way, so I couldn't just, you know, throw caution into the wind. So I made some plans that they all change within six months, but he at least I had some plans. But I was always interested in sales. I was interested, so I was motivated to make more money and sales was the clear path. It is a clear path. It's funny it took me. I interned at a television station while I was in college and it didn't take me very long to connect who in the building was driving the nicest cars and said occurred to me immediately. And yet I still spend a dozen years on the creative side of the business. You know, let's let's start where we always start here, which is your thoughts around customer experience. When I say customer experience, what does that mean to you? You know, I learned a fancy word in this world of marketing years ago called congruency and how it applies in marketing, in sales, but it applies in life, you know. If you if you see some by time, I like fancy cars, whatever. They are driving a nice car, but they get out in there in I don't know, grungy clothes and they don't talk clearly or precise Lee. You know, you're like, something's not congruent, there's something doesn't match the driver, doesn't match my image of the car. You know, and we make those judgment about people all the time. But in business, if you have an ad that promises the moon and the stars and the website loads slowly or you know it's outdated or it's, you know, loading flash and playing, you know, air supply at the desk, will you know a level ten it's incongruent. If if the ad looks good, the the landing page looks good, you fill out of form, you don't hear from somebody or it's a pushy sale or somebody immediately calls and starts texting and hounding you. You're like, not congruent there. It's not a seamless transition, and so a confused mind says no, all right. So if anything is not a match, then we protect ourselves. We kind of back up and say, let me read, I must have missed something. Let me reevaluate it. I'll take a moment and I'll get back to you. You know, like we say in sales,...

...time kills deals. So everything must match, and not only up to the sale right, because rookies and amateurs and the money chasers they stop at the sale. But we all know people file charge backstass for refunds. You know, they return the product or they keep the product and they go on Yelp and everywhere else to give you a onestar review and make your life miserable. So you better. You're just like golf right, swing through the ball, swing through impacts. True esport. Right, tennis, baseball, anything you're striking the ball, swing through impact. You know martial arts. You know swing through the strike. So you you must continue selling through the conversion, you know, the cash if you're really going to make it in the world of sales. I think you're right down there. This is obviously where you get repeat purchasing, expanded purchasing, purchasing a different products and services that were available but you didn't take on the first go to your point. Online reviews, testimonials and the entire positive growth loop or positive halo effect of having that congruency from start to finish. Great call there. Where do you think some like you know, you consult, you review a lot of situations. You probably walk into great situations and kind of maybe some crazy situations. Where do you see some companies getting it really right or really wrong with regard to concruency in customer experience? Oh well, man, my local guy here, I bought a couple of BMW's from a guy and they were outstanding, still outstanding, and they know they over delivered and I could say I guess convertly. You know, the local forward dealer. This was years ago and I had my heart said I was getting a truck, you know, but now Texas too long. It was time for a truck. I'm just staying and I went to the local Ford dealer and I've almost never bought a new vehicle and I just told the Guy Straight up what's your best deal? Right, I'm looking at the souls, but I could do this, that and the other. And they want to play games. And I literally just say they were going to go a praise my vehicle or sorry, to look for something on the lot. So, okay, fine, when they walked they turned right, I grabbed my keys. Tom I've still let's go and I had an appointment at the BMW dealership anyway. So when I pulled up, the car I was looking at was backed in right in the front. They had this, remember, they had this like three, three and a half foot tall placard. It was a plastic stand that came up and then angled back and then had a space for a piece of paper and they had just printed up my name, like reserve for West Shafer, welcome West Shay or something like that, you know. So that little stand probably cost fifty bucks and that sheet of paper cost, you know, to two pennies, and it made an impression. They were not pushy, they didn't play games and I was like done, and I've referred him. More people bought. ended up buying three cars from them, and all because they weren't pushy, didn't play the Games. Cut to the chase, got to know me, knew I wasn't playing any games and they made the sale. Love it, and here you are talking about it years later, and I'm sure you've done it many times before. It's the first story that came to mind. It says such a little bit of care and attention obviously left a significant impact, and that's what we're all trying to do. So let's get into your philosophy around linear versus circular and your ABCD system, and I unless anyone hit the bounce back button, they don't remember what the words mean. So I talk a little bit about that. Look, what was the epiphany for you, or what was the what was the how do you start going down the circular road and then maybe get a little bit into the system? Yeah, well, I mean I'm always a student, right. I'm learning. I'm seeing what others are doing with they're putting out, and you see the pipelines and the funnels...

...and you need those. Those are valid concepts within the framework of what I call the abcds. But their one directional. Okay, you need directional. The you know the funnels, you know back. Enough stuff in the top and something's bound to come out. The bottom. You know, the pipelines, one direction, shoving of stuff in one side, some sales should come out the other, and so those, those concepts are okay, like so within the framework, because it gives you stages and time frames and you can identify bottlenecks and problems within your sales cycle. But to think of them as one direction is invalid, I think, or least it's incomplete. They're fine to make one sale and when you're looking at one individual. That's why I say that you can pull that into the framework working it can it can impact or guide you on that relationship. But again that bigger framework. You're looking to attract people to your place of business, to your website, to your trade show booth. Okay, so what are you doing to put yourself out there that attracts them? But we don't need window shoppers. Okay, the baker does not make any money from you pressing your face up on the window and drooling. Okay, you're just slowing people down, and I go clean his window and need you to come inside and, at a minimum, drop a business card in the bowl or do something so they can now stay in touch and that's where the bonding comes in. Okay, you sign up for, you know, the Donut of the day text message. So now he can stay in touch, and preferably that bonding is done multimedia and multi step. You know, one really is the loneliest number. If you only have one way to connect with your prospect, it's easy for them to avoid it. It's easy for them to UNSUBSCRIBE, it's easy to do throw your stuff away and just ignore your message. So multi media and multi step have a system in place. Somebody oppos in with an email. You offer something else, you know, to get their get their address. Maybe you mail them a book. Maybe it's a free book. You know they pay for shipping. Well, now you have all of their Info, phone number, address, credit cards on file. Okay, and now you can really stay in touch with them. Phone calls, voicemail, voice blasts, email, last text messaging. Now you could probably look them up on Linkedin, other things. Didn't engage social media. Okay, and all that leads to the sea. So that's the cash to close. The client, the customer, or whatever whatever C word you want to use. Okay, and that's what I consider the conversion. And granted, each step is a conversion. You're converting them to the next step. But now you know you got five steps in the sea. Is Only the midway point. Where only halfway there. You great sales people look at what can they do to get the second or third or fifth sale from this person and they see it from early on, right. I mean that's truly the should be the goal. You know, put it in a dating analyze. You know, comparison. It's like, don't go on any day with somebody that ideally you couldn't marry, right. So you know it's not just a date just to have a date. To date. You know the goals to get make. Maybe you don't, but you know, because then you that long term relationship is where the real profitability comes in, and I mean just like marriage, right, the relationship gets deeper. You don't just get engaged. You can throw a big wedding and then okay, it's over. It's like no, that's when the work really begins, right, and that's where the d comes in, you know, delight, deliver a while ex variance. It's the baker's doesn't right? Put in that. Thirteen I worked with a company and a subsidiary of the company made telephone and headsets G and Netcom and they include a Tutsie roll in every order...

...right of a headset, and it they end up buying job bro mean it's a big company, and they did that because they learned that chocolate melted. You know, Tutsi rolls didn't, and they just wanted to just a little thing right, and that's the cool thing with all this. I you know BMW it, you know a onetime investment of fifty dollars for a plastic stand and you know a minute of work on typing my name, printing it and walking outside and stuffing it in there. It made an impression. Okay, taking the time to go grab the car and backing. How many times you show up, go, Oh yeah, oh, hold on second and they're gone for twenty minutes. So I couldn't find the car. It's out for a test drive. It was in the backlot. I was getting wash whatever. Like dude, I got places to beat and your lobby ain't one of them and you knew I was coming at this time. Right, right. So nobody in you know, I've been married twenty four years. We've bought a lot of cars. That's the only time ever that any mights pulled a car around up front hand are ready for us, you know. So this delighting to the up side. You know, that doesn't have to be crazy. Okay, including a Tutsie roll in the order makes an impression, you know. And now from there you in dear yourself to them. Okay, way and again, instead of thinking linearly right, it's not top down, it's not left right, it's a circle. So connect all these with an Arrow, because when you endear yourself to them, like David did to me at BMW, now we're back to the attract phase. Okay, I personally went back and bought two more cars from him and I've sent multiple people and even to this day, you know if I'm on facebook and some I think going to get in the car. You know, if they are in southern California, right, I mean not even my town, like it's worth the drive. David will treat you right, you know, not give them a shout out. So I've probably helped him sell a few more, but I'll always tag him. And so that's the attract faith. Now it gets faster and faster and faster, because now these people, they're showing up on my recommendation. So the trust factor goes way up. It's one hundred percent free, right, David and Bor said BMW. They don't pay anymore to get those leads right and that that warm referral takes care of the attract and part of the bond. If someone likes you and trust you and you say you're going to like and trust this guy, I'm partly bonded already. I just need to make sure that it's as described. Yeah, you bet. Is there any other nuance to this circle, or is it really as easy as abcde? Obviously executions hard, but are there any nuances to it? No, it's said, a tention to detail and none of this is hard, but it's being aware right and thinking through each step, being observant, focusing on the customer right. We is exactly always said. You can get whatever you want. Help enough people get what they want. So take the focus off of you. Stop worrying about yourself. Figure out. You always tell sales people your number one job is not to sell. Your number one job is to prospect and the number one focus of prospecting it's just to get to the truth. Okay, yes, I love to make a sale, but you know today's Day and age, man, if I if I force something on you, if I trick you high pressure tactics, you may keep it, you know, you may keep your mouth shut, but you're not coming back and buying more right. But chances are you'll want the dost settles. You realize the game, the tricks, you'll get mad, you'll ask for a refund and you'll explain your story on multiple places online and that lives forever, you know. So you go google that guy and it's what a rip off and high pressure. Avoid them, or you know you can, if... can buy from them, but don't go and buy from David. You use a jerk. You know so. So just you know, to Jutsu we say slow your roll right, chill out a little bit, seek to serve, find out what the truth is. Do they really need you, and then help them get it. I love it. I think kind of in what I took in part from what you just shared, there's something that I've been thinking about a lot and it's an it's an emerging theme for me, even though it's not genius in any way. But it's this idea of you know, if you're if you focus on the things upstream, of the clothes, the clos is just going to happen. The conversions going to happen and you're actually setting yourself up for a better D and e when you're not focused on the conversion itself. And you know it's I think Bill Walsh wrote a book head coach of the Niners. Around is something around. You know, the score takes care of itself. Yeah, you know, you do the preparation, you show up the right way, you do the right work. You don't worry about are we going to put twenty eight up on the boarder thirty one or whatever? You know, the score takes care of itself. If you do all the all the right work the right way. That's great. And there are two things that you say that people will pay for and I really like both of them. I think they're both very interesting. I'd love for you to share that with me and the folks who are listening. Yeah, I mean they'll pay for exclusivity and they'll pay for experience and the to go hand in hand. And you know, the the cool thing from a business standpoint is the more you charge, the more money you have to create exclusivity and experience. So just like like David at BMW, He created an experience right, and and it was exclusive. You know, I was the only one with a car parked up there and it was parked kind of, kind of at an angle, so it was double parked, you know, like this was my spot, this was my moment. Okay, and they charge more than Ford does. Okay. So what can you do to make your prospects and your customers feel like they're special? You know, if you're just, you know, wrapping up the deal, looking over their shoulder like for the next one? You see this at at networking events all the time, of trade shows. You know, unk up, you know you you see me right. Well, I say, good to see you. If I put a face, so name. Oh, Hey, Ethan. Yeah, yeah, how you doing? Yeah, it's just look at a lot, look at over this show. Is there someone more important I should be talking exactly? Oh, yeah, great to see you. Oh Yeah, yeah, I love yourselftware. Yeah, Oh, okay, look, I'll be right back. You know, you're like one am I, you know, nobody right. And so it and again. It doesn't doesn't cost me anything to pay attention to you. And Yeah, so we're at a trade show, we're the networking event. You don't want to get bogged down for thirty minutes talking to somebody. So practice right, like bill wash. You know if you're prepared, if I know how to handle that, if and literally, if I've if I've scripted this, if I've role played it. You know, anything, great to see, man, I love yourself. where, you know, talk for a little bit. How are you joining the show? You say, Hey, you know what, I've scheduled a quick meeting with somebody. See them walking on that would it be okay? You know, can we catch up later tonight? Are you going to be at the happy hour? Maybe coffee tomorrow, whatever. Hey, you're really good to you. Thanks for finding me, man. You know, good to finally meet you face to face. I can still do all that in one minute, two minutes, you know, and and get to the person I'm trying to meet, but still make you feel appreciate it right. And so you got to think through this and realize everything we do impacts everybody we meet. How we look at them, how we shake their hand, do we make eye contact at all? Makes an impression. And that's, you know, the ABCD right at all. It all snowballs at all compounds and it's not it's not like simple addition and subtraction. This is multiplication and division. You know, if that, if I make you feel better, it's like it's a x, three, x, ten x, whatever... you feel that much better or worse right based on how I make you feel. And so exclusivity and experiences. Do what you can to differentiate yourself. People always say, well, that's all, we're different. If they would just give us a chance, they'd see that we're different. Unlike prove you're different by being different. Prove you're different with every single step, every interaction. All right, send a video email instead of a templated mass email. You know, use their name. Send a handwritten hard throw. It puts your role in the order. You know you'll prove you're different. But people are always doing for the easy button. There's no easy button. Yeah, I love it. Those are your two ease. There the things people pay for. They do go hand in hand and I think you probably have a really good pass that you could put together on the two a's, which are attention and appreciation. I mean, I think you know when you talk video email or you talk handwritten note, it's this, it's this attention to the person there's no faking the time and attention it takes to write you a handwritten note or send you a truly personal video and the appreciation that you can express in the appreciation people are going to feel. Those are the deepest human needs is to be seen and appreciated, and so I love where you are right there and I think you have something to do there with with attention and appreciation. It's kind of a handinhand. Let's go to another a that is actually in some ways, depending on how well or how poorly it's executed, could be the opposite of that. Let's go to automation. You know you do a ton of work in in CRM and sales and marketing processes, marketing automation. Just you know, as we approach my favorite questions of the day, which are the closing ones share with folks, talk about the the balance between tech touch human touch, the careful balance where you maybe see it go over the line, that kind of thing. Like you know, in all of your time and experience helping sales and marketing people implement automation as part of their process, you know where does it go well, where does it go poorly? What are some cautions and some advice. Yeah, kind of my my motto the last year at least, and Ryan dispot brought this up when we were at an event last March. Talked about and doing what doesn't scale. And that's kind of the name of the game, I think, because everybody now has a funnel and a pipeline and some type of automation broadcast tool, and so you still need those maybe at the top of the funnel right, maybe early in the relationship, early in the attract phase, but what can you do to make them create that exclusivity, that experience? So you know, a personal email with saying their name, or you know, a video email right and there I whoa, okay, that was not automated. That's somebody taking the time to make me feel exclusive, to give me that experience. So my all means use these tools, used automation, but again, realize there's no silver bulletre's no easy button. Yeah, there's still a few people out there that think you sent the personal email, but most people know. They see the unsubscribed button the bottom, they know it's a mass email. I see, you know, on Linkedin. I kind of found this out by accidents, but I put a little red telephone icon in my first name and I did it just to stand out as you're scrolling, and that did how I actually got to sale two weeks ago because of it and specifically because of that, the guy found me. But what I discovered? All these people are using screen scrapers to bulk harvest names off of linked in. You know they're not supposed to do it, but they do it and then they send bulk messages through Linkedin and they the software isn't small enough to pull icons out of a name so that you know it's always west red phone, Comma. You know your profile. It's very interesting. Well, I...

...know immediately they harvested that name and I just skip right over them, you know. So maybe the other people they reach makes it worthwhile, but because they're doing too much automation or just haven't recognized that little glitch, they're losing some people and more and more people have icons in their name. But I think maybe everybody hadn't figured that out yet. So exclusivity experiences keep focusing on that. Yeah, I think the auto slugs there and the easy giveaway it makes you feel like a number because you are actually being treated like a number. They don't explain. Know that some share of people are going to get like the just the blank first name slug because it didn't come through. I just got, you know, I get I got a piece that flip my first name in my last name, and so when it you know, so when they tried to get personal, it was, you know, hello, butte right like that. You did it wrong, right. If warm your heart, doesn't it? Yeah, it's in especially with large, large volumes. It's so interesting. I think you know, everything you've been talking about is how do we keep the personal in the human in the sales process? How do we let the other person be seen there? It is appropriate at some level to automate stuff, but at a certain point if the human, if you as the salesperson or the marketing person or the customer service, customer success person, is not adding value in that process, you are going to be automated and it's just going to be a highly transactional thing. And you know, when you're talking about the ABCD and how it gets easier and easier the more cycles you do, I started seeing it as this you know, kind of positive upward thing that's shaped like a, you know, a cone essentially, and the alternative is this, you know, the conical race to the bottom that you know, the price goes to the bottom, everything goes out the window. It's strictly a volume play, etcetera. And so we're at this point here, with our technology, with our processes, to make this decision. What are we going to raise up and say is important, and what are we just going to let be a race to the bottom, because, you know, the tools and tech and the market place will let us do either one. We just have to be intentional and not kind of like waffle out this situation. Yeah, I'm you had to figure out are you going to be Walmart or Nord scrums? You know, and both of them make a lot of money. Right we Walmart's clearly a lot bigger. But always tell people if you if you double your prices and lost half your customers, did you really lose all right, you're making the exact same amount of money. Work in half is hard, but the real on the is, you know, most people in business are not going to just go spend that extra time, you know, Sun Tanning. They're going to focus on their business. So you're going to maybe, instead of a fifty minute call with your clients. Now you can give them a seventy minute call. Now they exclusivity and experience. Now they feel better. Now, maybe they renew more often. Maybe now they give more referrals. Maybe you help them just get better results and they explode and they come and buy your next thing. You know so, and maybe it's a radical concept. So maybe you don't double your prices, but what if you had a ten or twenty or thirty percent? Things are going to get better. So don't be afraid to raise your prices, but make sure you give service right, it's commensurate with the price increase. You just raise your prices just to rage your prices, you can probably lose people and they're not going to be happy about it. You raise prices and make them feel better. People never forget how you make them feel right. Love it in this idea. You know, let's see, you do bump up prices twenty percent, don't just pocket that margin. You know, put half of it into the experience and it will be get more sales and yet still have ten points on them. On on the markup. West, this has been great. I think from top to bottom, the themes have been very, very clear. I love your perspective. I appreciate you spending time with all of us. Before you go, though, I would love for you to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career here and maybe give a shout out to a company besides...

David at the BMW dealership in southern California that's really delivering a great experience for you as a customer. You know it's a guy in Austin. I'm going out there and may Roy Williams, wizard of ads, Super Smart Guy, multiple New York Times best seller, but on the smartest people out there. And literally, if he if he didn't have his business, you and I wouldn't be talking because I found my sales mentor through him and that's what led to me creating the sales whisper. So check out his work, wizard of ADS. And Little Old Dion Moser, right here in Myrietta, impact marketing. She's made all my shirts, all my hats, all my swag, my brass coins that I give away to clients. So she's been helping me for Lee at least twelve years, probably probably a little bit more than that. So impact DOT MS awesome. So I know you're the guy with the red phone on Linkedin. We're already connected, but you know, folks want to connect with you on Linkedin or learn more about the sales whisper any of the other work that you're doing. Where would you send folks they want to follow up on this conversation? Yeah, just go to the sales whispercom. Long time ago I move my social icons out of the header and put them into the footer and I teach my clients through the same thing. I don't want people clicking away right away and going down a rabbit hole, you know, and social media. So but all my infos are my phone number, you know, contact us. It's all there, so you can opt in and you if you see a report or something that you like. But I don't use any fancy tools to automate the social media stuff. So if you if you get a tweets or facebook or linkedin message back from me Instagram, it's literally coming from me. So you reach out and say hello. Awesome, West Shaffer, thank you so much for your time today. We're recording this on a Friday morning. I wish you an awesome rest of your Friday and a wonderful weekend ahead. Hey Man, you too, thanks for having me. Thank you. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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