Episode #69

Episode 069: The one about creating dream-come-true experiences

  • Dean & Joe share an intimate moment
  • They talk about their remarkable experience on Saturday night (it’s not what you think)
  • Spending money in all the wrong places
  • Having a vision for what the experience could be
  • Looking for ways to surprise and delight
  • Plus some ‘dream come true’ homework for you

Links mentioned in this episode:

Dean: Hey, everybody. It’s Dean Jackson.

Joe: And Joe Polish.

Dean: Joe Polish, like male polish.

Joe: That’s what some people say, including me, every once in a while, just to remind people how to say my name.

Dean: Look at us, 2 feet away from each other.

Joe: I’m not even going to look at you. I’m just going to look at GarageBand.

Dean: He’s averting his eyes.

Joe: I’m going to look at this. It’s going to look like a heart monitor.

Dean: This is an opportunity for us to share an intimate moment here, because normally, who knows what you’re doing when we’re doing regular podcasts.

Joe: Quit staring at me.

Dean: I’m just gazing in your eyes.

Joe: Yeah, it’s really uncomfortable, actually.

Dean: We have intimacy issues, I think.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. Well, maybe. So, we have a Platinum 2.0 meeting tomorrow.

Dean: Very exciting.

Joe: People are flying in from all over the world.

Dean: And other places, too.

Joe: To mostly spend time with me and have to suffer their way through listening to you. They’re coming into town, and we’re going to basically have some hot seats, some   speed masterminding. We’re going to share useful businesses processes. I wouldn’t even say useful; I’d say “Life-changing, awesome, phenomenal. So, we really appreciate all of the people that are coming here. Virtually all of them listen to I Love Marketing and realize taking some time every 3, 4, 5 months, to come and spend time really working on growing and building their business, dealing with things that are causing them to have challenges, reaching their opportunities. And get to there faster, eliminating problems, and just putting intense focus on building and growing their business using direct response marketing.

Dean: I’m excited to see the results that people have gotten since January. We did our meeting in January.

Joe: But how do I know you’re excited?

Dean: Can’t you tell? Look in my eyes. Come on!

Joe: No. I told you, I’m not even looking at you.

Dean: Just look right in my eyes.

Joe: No. I’m not going to do it. Alright, so we went to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, I guess, home, today, although the guy that gave us the tour said it was a camp.

Dean: Camp. The architecture camp. Yeah, yeah.

Joe: That was kind of interesting. That’s the third time that I went to Taliesin. It’s a pretty cool place. If you ever come out to Scottsdale, Arizona, I highly recommend it. It’s a neat tour. It’s about 90 minutes. It was a little warm today. But it was pretty cool.

Dean: It’s an interesting contrast, because I think one of the things that we’re talking about today is client experiences – experiences of what happens when you experience a business.   We’ve had 2 – now – remarkable experiences since I got here yesterday, one remarkable in a not-so-good way, and one remarkable in, I thought, a pretty good way. I thought that they really ran the show at Taliesin pretty masterfully. It was really orchestrated well. It was a good experience.

Joe: And here we are, talking about it.

Dean: And here we are, talking about it. But the experience that we had last night, with the movie experience, we’ll talk a little bit about that because we had the thought that we would go to the iPic Theater, which we love. We’ve talked about that before, the really high-end theater. Isn’t it in Scottsdale?

Joe: Yeah.

Dean: In Scottsdale. We put a video about that up on I Love Marketing the last time we went.

Joe: Yeah, because it was a really cool experience.

Dean: It is a really cool experience when you go there, but the experience that we had, it was Saturday night, and we were thinking that we might like to go to a movie and have dinner there, at the theater.

Joe: Let me clarify. It wasn’t just me and you. It was my wonderful girlfriend, her mother, and me and you. You’re not my date.

Dean: No, no. There were 4 of us. So, the thing that we thought was that we would try and call ahead, to avoid the situation of exactly what happened to us. Tell them what happened.

Joe: We were literally on hold – and we were doing this just kind of as a joke, because we do courses and stuff on marketing and client service and creating a dream-come-true experience, and we talk about all of this through the 8 profit activators. And we’re continually talking about different ways to impress, bond, create and exceed expectations in the way that you actually run your business. So, this is a company that I’ve got to imagine, in Scottsdale Quarter, where they’re located, in the center, where the Apple store is and True Foods…   

Dean: It’s a beautiful environment, high-end and modern, really great.

Joe: They had to put in millions of dollars in order to build this theater. And so, we literally called in. I mean literally, we’re on hold for over 10 minutes.

Dean: You’re into a voice system. We never did speak to a live person, ever.

Joe: Ever.

Dean: We called in, and it was, “For this, press one. To see what movies are playing, press 2. To make a reservation, press 3,” or whatever the option was, and we did that. And then for probably the next 12 minutes, we ended up in a loop of ringing to a phone that then a voicemail would say, “We’re experiencing an unusually high call volume, and your call will be answered in the order it was received.” And then, it would play music again. And then, it would ring into that. You’d think that you were going into…

Joe: It kept going through this loop. But here’s the challenge. I was on the first time for 10 minutes. Right after about maybe 10½ minutes, I’m looking at my iPhone, and I can see how long I’m on hold.

Dean: Meanwhile, we’re driving there.

Joe: Yeah. It’s on the speakerphone in my car, because I have this lovely speakerphone. Honest to God, texting and talking on the phone, I’m just getting really scared of the whole world right now. We were talking about this today. We’re driving next to a car, and you look over, and you’re like, “I wonder if people in their generation even know what it’s like to drive without…

Dean: Without texting while they’re driving. This young girl was probably like 21, 20 years old, and she was driving. But the whole time, she was staring at her phone, texting away.

Joe: Yep. So, anyway, she’s probably going to plow into you later, if you’re driving around. But, nonetheless.   I eventually hang up, and then I call back because I wanted to go through another voicemail system, to see if we can get through, through one of their caterers, catering option, which was like number 4. So, that goes to a voicemail that’s answered just by one person, someone’s name, like some person, so I left a message.

Dean: You still haven’t had a callback.

Joe: I don’t know if you know this. I left a message of, “Yeah, I’m leaving this message,” and I said it…

Dean: The sales prevention department.

Joe: The sales prevention department. “We’re wanting to come to the movie tonight, and if there’s any way that someone could call us back, so we can get tickets.” This is a place where you literally go, and you can get premium seats that are $27 each, but then they have a waiter, and you order meals. The last time me and you were there, we spent $180.

Dean: For 3 people: me, you and Sony.

Joe: This is like for a movie. So, I left that message. And when we got there, no one ever called back. This was a 30-minute drive. That’s what most annoyed me. We get up there, and we’re standing in line, and this one guy, and he was actually a nice guy, and I said, “Yeah, I called in earlier.” And he’s like, “Oh, is this your number?” So, he actually had written it down.”

Dean: Saw it on the caller ID.

Joe: He actually wrote it down to call, but he’s got a line of people. So, this is the only person that is staffed to actually do this. There was that one girl that finally came.

Dean: There were people everywhere there, yeah.   

Joe: But here’s the thing, though. And I don’t think it’s this guy’s fault. I think he’s just thrust into a position where he has to do too much. But my thinking is if you’re going to spend millions of dollars for putting together a theater like this, why on earth, on a Saturday, wouldn’t you have people answering the phones?

Dean: And what he said was, “Yeah, we’re really busy tonight. I’m doing the best I can.” Basically, it’s what he said. So, you look at it, and on a Tuesday night, maybe we would have had a different experience. But on a Saturday night, I guess, I think that the customer experience, the whole client experience timeline, when you look at it, you have to look at it from a place of what happens when the system is under stress. That’s what you really have to be careful of, because that’s when it’s the most likely that somebody’s going to have a bad experience.

Joe: Yeah.

Dean: So, we went there, and by the time we had got there, all of the movies that we wanted to see, all of the premium-plus seats were sold out. None of the movies we could get 4 seats to go and see it. So, we ended up not going to the movies there.

Joe: The irony of all this is they are connected to a restaurant. We still ate at their restaurant. We still gave them money.

Dean: And the meal was great. The food was really good.

Joe: It wasn’t a cheap meal. I think it was like about $150 or whatever. But basically, we still gave them money, but the annoying thing was there were no seats left. And the fact is you could have looked at the bar or some of the décor there; there were numerous examples that cost probably 5 times the amount, staffing 2 or 3 people fulltime for the next year, that they could have done. It’s like spending money in all the wrong places. It’s kind of like the analogy we’ve used before. You can have the nicest-décor hotel, but if you have a spring sticking through the mattress or the shower doesn’t work, people go to a hotel…

Dean: It’s that bad experience. It’s one little thing that creates that experience. I don’t know whether I told you this, to have a contrast of that, that I was in New York recently, with Brendon Burchard, for his event there. And right across from the hotel, the Marriott Marquee there, at Times Square, that’s where you’re event is, too.

Joe: That’s where I’m holding our event in August, our 25K annual meeting.

Dean: So, right across from there, there’s a restaurant, a diner restaurant, that was maybe the single best single diner experience that I’ve ever had. I went over there for breakfast one morning.

Joe: Why, where they serving Funions or something?

Dean: Yeah, Funions for breakfast. But I walked in, and the lobby was very crowded with groups of 4. And I walked in, as a single, and the hostess immediately saw that I was a single, and she said, “Is it just you? Would you like to eat at the bar, or the counter,” or whatever. They have a bar there. I said, “Yeah.” She said, “Just go ahead and take a seat over there, then. You can go right up to the bar.” And I got up there, I was immediately greeted, and the waitresses all had on their name tags and stuff. So, Lisa, I think was her name, greeted me there, and I sat down. She said, “Welcome. Here’s the menu. Would you like a newspaper?” And I’m like, “Yeah, that would be great!”

So, she gives me a newspaper. While I’m doing that, she brings me these mini pastries that they have, like mini danishes and stuff like this. This is before I’ve even ordered. This is before I’ve even ordered. I walk right in, sit right up at the counter, she asks me if I’d like a newspaper, she gives me these mini danishes. Everybody gets them. It’s part of the experience. It’s a complementary thing, but you get something right away. Then, she took my order, and it was out very quickly. While I’m reading the newspaper, they’re fixing my food. She brought out the food, sat down the food, “If you need anything, I’m right here.” And then, when she brought the food, she had my bill in a little cup that she sat right there, along with it. Brought my food and the bill at the same time.

Joe: Which I like when they do that.

Dean: I love that, because you know you can tell this is a high-volume place, where people are in a hurry, and they have orchestrated that experience so that singles can come in and have their meal and go, right away, and get through there. And I thought, “Man, what a great experience that was. It was really well orchestrated. So, here’s the point of that. And this is what I’m going to talk about tomorrow, in one of our sessions.

Joe: Are you trying to tease everyone here?

Dean: Yeah, just trying to tease everyone. That experience can only happen, because that’s not a random occurrence. That’s not the way that it is sort of randomly. That seems like an orchestrated process. The thing that has to happen is somebody has to have a vision for what that experience could be. And when we look at this in our 8 profit activators, I talk about this in the Breakthrough DNA report, that the client experience is like a timeline, like if you can imagine an experience unfolding like a theater performance, like act one, act 2, act 3. Here’s what happens in each of the experiences. So, act one of that experience that I just described might be arriving at the restaurant. So, that coming in, they’ve been trained to identify people who are single diners, and offer them the opportunity to sit at the bar, rather than wait for a table and go through that whole process, expediting that process.   

Act 2 is arriving at the counter. And Lisa met me there, and gave me the menu. “Would you like a newspaper? And here’s some pastries.” That experience happened incredibly, effortlessly. It’s exactly the way it was designed to happen. And then, taking the order, and I’m reading the newspaper, the food arrives, and the bill arrives at the same time is another part, another act of that, another scene of that experience, theater performance. So, when you look at it, all of the things that happen on that client experience timeline are divided into 2 parts. Everything above the line are the experiences that people actually have. If you just imagine it and narrate the experience in a way that doesn’t talk about the systems or the processes that make it happen, but just talk about the actual experience that somebody has.

When you look at the process of designing a dream-come-true experience for your clients, the very best way to get into that mindset is to create the narrative, tell the story of doing business with you, of going through your client experience in the voice of a raving fan client, somebody who’s had the experience. So, if I were narrating it, it would just be the way that I described it to you, of how that actually happened. And when you design it like that, that covers your above the line experience. That’s everything that happens. Then, when you’re going to work on implementing that process, you can go through there and isolate each of the occurrences that happen in there, and create, below-the-line, the process and the system and the procedure to make sure that that experience is supported every time, because you have to train that, you have to have certain things in place. Like if one of the things of that experience was getting those pastries, that that’s an ongoing thing.

So, there has to be a process in place behind the scenes, below the line, of creating these pastries, of getting these pastries prepared, having them available, of how many pastries to give somebody. The whole process of presenting that really goes in   what could be your kind of client experience operation manual, the scenarios of how to make those things happen. And when you do those 2 steps, designing that experience, narrating it from your client’s experience, and then going below the line and creating the supporting structure that has to be in place to make it happen consistently, that’s really what creating a dream-come-true experience for your clients is in the during unit.

Joe: Yeah. I love the analogy of looking at the acts, the different acts, and looking at the front stage. The backstage in a business, it’s funny, the longer I’m in business, the more I realize that when you part the curtain behind almost any business, there are a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of screwed-up things. There was a book – oh boy, what was it called – it was The Myth Of Excellence, I think. Hopefully, I got the title right, the right book. But they talk about the 5 stages of business, and you’re only really going to excel, at the very best, in 2 of them. If you try to be excellent in every stage, from like price to service, whatever, you’re never going to do it.

So, one of the big takeaways of that is there are some companies that have phenomenal prices and speed, but not really great people presenting you, greeting you, thanking you, that sort of stuff. And there are other people, like a Four Season experience, where it’s typically more expensive; but, man, do they really focus on service. And there are different factors, from the quality of something, etc. I can go into my company and, with laser sighting, I can walk in the door and see a million things that I wish could be improved.

Dean: But that’s a brilliant exercise. Like that’s the thing of really stepping outside of your own myopia, when you’re focused on actually the inside or the backstage part of it, is just going through the process of experiencing your process, your experience as a client, through their eyes, looking at it from their eyes.   

Joe: And let me say this, too. A lot of people, I think, get hung up on this. If you don’t have enough sales and enough money coming in, and you’re spending all kinds of time trying to develop this dream-come-true experience, and you’ve never even sold any experience, your focus is really kind of not in the right place, because you do need to sell something. Dan Sullivan told me, I don’t know how long ago, but we were having a conversation, and it might have been me interviewing him, because we’ve had this conversation multiple times, I’m not sure when originally, the first things. He said this. He’s like, “The #1 job of the entrepreneur is to go get checks.” And if you sit and think, “Okay, is the #1 job of the entrepreneur to have a perfect delivery of an experience for their clients? Well, yeah. You want to get that all fixed up. But first, you’ve got to sell something.”

Like when I was first starting my carpet cleaning business, it doesn’t matter how good the cleaning job was or what I could deliver, if I didn’t have anyone to clean for. See, you’ve got to have something to sell, and you’ve got to have someone to buy something, and you’ve got to get out there and actually do it. You know, we have a lot of people that listen to I Love Marketing, that some are established entrepreneurs, running massive businesses. It was so cool, because yesterday I had a conversation with Graham Weston, who is the founder of Rackspace. And I’m going to fly to San Antonio, because Rackspace took over a shopping mall – I’m going to do it in a few months – and do an interview with him. We’re going to put it up on I Love Marketing, basically because they have 4,300 employees, public company, great customer service. They call their employees “Rackers.” Everyone should check out Rackspace.

But the thing is listen to the first episode of I Love Marketing, the most recent one, the episode right before this one. The first episode he’s listened to. And he said, “I thought it was fantastic.”   Basically, we’ve got people that are running massive companies, and there are a lot of companies that run big companies like his, that listen to I Love Marketing, people that are book authors and stuff. But there are a lot of people that are getting inspired by this, wanting to start a business, or they just started it, and they’re listening to us kind of giving them advice on what to do, where to start, how to become a great marketer, that sort of stuff. And if you’re in that stage, you’ve really got to get the before unit kind of handled. You need to select a single target market; you need to have direct response marketing offers. You need to kind of get that down.

Dean: Compel people to call you. You need to educate and motivate them. You need to get them in there. The next level of that, though, is the thing that can destroy it is if people have a bad experience. And I agree with you. It’s kind of as balancing act, because you have to address the need of getting money. Like you can spend all of your time working on the experience and not spend any time on the marketing, and you’re going to go out of business.

Joe: Right.

Dean: So, I get it. But it’s an aspirational thing, too. I think there’s a thing about this isn’t something that you’re going to get right, right away. This is something that you are ongoing in your effort to improve that client experience, to have an incredible client experience.

Joe: Yeah. Here’s one of the ways that I look at it. The longer I’ve been in business, and I don’t think this is a miss-statement, I think you can go into any company and find areas where they are completely screwed up, completely hosed up, neglecting some area, there’s some area of service that needs to be fixed. Like I said, I can go in my company and, certainly, we’ve made mistakes. Certainly, we’ve screwed up.   You know, where I like screwing up, though, not that I like screwing up anywhere, but where I like screwing up, if we’re going to have mistakes, is not when it is a front-stage experience. Backstage, if we have mistakes or whatever, it just irks me, though, when the client ever has to wait too long, or someone doesn’t get back with them. And that’s assuming the client is a respectable, decent person. Everybody has experiences where someone’s expectations are beyond unreasonable, they’ve had a bad day, and they’re just looking for some entrepreneur to take it out on. You know what I mean?

I’m not talking about that sort of thing. I’m talking about really, when someone makes an investment, that’s why we always 100% guarantee what it is we sell, because I never want someone to buy something and think, “Oh, I got shortchanged.” I never want somebody to ever do business with me and ever have a legitimate reason to say, “Oh, they didn’t treat us well.” We really focus on doing that right, and we really focus on delivering good products that work, that are ethical, all that sort of stuff. It’s just that in business, you’ve got to really look at the front-stage versus the backstage. But also, realize that you’re never going to have it perfect. There’s always going to be room for improvement. And the reason that we will continually talk about and address things from different angles is this is the stuff you keep thinking about. If we just talked about delivering a great customer experience once and then, we go on to different things, people kind of forget about it. But these are all like in weightlifting, there are 3 basic moves. There’s squat, bench press, deadlift. And there are hundreds of…

Dean: Variations or different ways to do them.

Joe: In magazines, literally hundreds of articles about those 3 things, every single month.

Dean: Here’s the new, hottest way to do squats.

Joe: Right. And that will happen unless someone invents a different way to build muscles than weight training. It’s one of those sorts of things.   A lot of this may seem redundant. What redundancy has, though, is the continual ability to hone and improve, I think, designing the experience you think would be awesome. If everyone was to think about what is the worst experience I’ve had in the last week and what’s the best experience, and why, and how does it apply to my business, that’s useful. One of the reasons why going to events like all of the people that are coming to Platinum tomorrow, it gets them out of their own heads, it allows them to…

Dean: Out of their own location.

Joe: Yeah. And they get to talk to other people that are really focused on all that stuff. Dan Sullivan constantly, even when he joined my 25K group, he’s got his own wonderful coaching group in Strategic Coach, some of the best wisdom on the planet. But he’s like, “A lot of the very best things; the innovations are not going to come within my company, they’re going to come from the outside. And unless you’re going out there, finding that, it’s just not going to make its way in.

Dean: Now, when you look at the experiences, too, that you’re able to create for people, one of the things you kind of alluded to was that initially, as you’re just starting into this, you’re not going to have the ideal experience right from the beginning. It’s aspirational. It’s evolving. It’s continuing, but knowing what level it is. One of the things we talked about at the I Love Marketing conference, last year, was this idea of choosing, on the spectrum, which level you’re going to do. Which level are you going to be at the Four Seasons end of the service delivery? Or are you going to be on the opposite end of that, on the Motel 6 or whatever the low end. There’s a hotel in Amsterdam called “The Hans Brinker Hotel,” which they bill themselves as the worst hotel in the world. I have a book called The Worst Hotel In The World, or The World’s Worst Hotel, and they pride themselves on doing absolutely nothing. They don’t clean the rooms. It’s like a hostel. It’s a low-price thing, and people from all over the world come to experience the Hans Brinker Hotel.   

Joe: That is hysterical.

Dean: They pride themselves that there are hairballs everywhere. It’s just like they do the minimum required things for you.

Joe: That’s funny.

Dean: I’ll put up a link to it on I Love Marketing.

Joe: So, you’re going to promote this nonsense?

Dean: Well, I think it’s funny, because they’ve embraced it, and they’ve used it. We know the name of the Hans Brinker Hotel because they pride themselves on being the worst hotel in the world. Nobody’s nice to them when you walk in. They’re mean to people. They just do not care. And it’s all part of who they are. They’re floor travelers, college for kids that are on vacation. Oh, man! You guys.

Joe: Alright. Dean is loving life.

Dean: You should just be glad that you’re not here live, in the kitchen studio.

Joe: That is comedy.

Dean: That’s all I’m going to say right now.

Joe: So, here’s the thing. Say, for instance, you go…

Dean: My voice might sound a little far away right now.

Joe: Oh, my god! Alright, where were we?

Dean: Where were we? My eyes are watering! Whatever that experience is for you, whatever level of experience you decide is going to be for your business. One of the books that I really recommend is a book called Raving Fans, because ultimately that’s what you want to create. I believe that every person that starts a business really wants to have, they want people to have a great experience, they want people to be delighted when they do business with you.   Just that intention comes through. And a lot of things don’t cost money to do. Enthusiasm doesn’t cost money. Kindness doesn’t cost money. Being pleasant to people doesn’t cost money. Being friendly doesn’t cost money. Having a clean facility doesn’t cost that much money. It cost maybe a little money to keep things clean, but those kind of things go a long way, I think. And paying attention to the details.

Joe: Like the thing earlier, with the theater, once you make that level of investment in delivering an awesome experience, the one area to not have…

Dean: I’m having a pretty awesome experience right now, actually.

Joe: Why is that?

Dean: This is an awesome, live experience right here.

Joe: Okay. Whatever needs talking about, I have no idea. We should invite people. We live cast, through Livestream, the last I Love Marketing Meetup group. For the first time ever, we did that, last week, at our office. We recorded the whole thing. It seemed to go really well. I was pulling out all of these silly toys, and people actually got to visually see all the antics and shenanigans that were going on. I think if this was Livestreamed right now, and people actually saw what was going on in this kitchen right now, it would just add to the experience.

Dean: It really would.

Joe: Maybe one day we can do that.

Dean: With a camera, yeah.

Joe: The reason I keep bringing this up is you build this incredible place, you deliver a movie experience that’s awesome…

Dean: Oh, you’re talking about iPic now.

Joe: Yeah. They have the money to actually fix the things, so that didn’t have to occur yesterday. And my feeling is I don’t think that was just a one-off. I think, actually, that’s happening a lot.   

Dean: It’s a weakness in the thing. Yeah. And it’s almost like it’s tough, in a lot of ways. You don’t know whether that is out of I don’t want to say arrogance is the right word, but it’s almost like it’s, “Oh well, we’re sold out every Saturday night anyway. So, it’s not going to change anything. We didn’t lose anything because of not being able to answer the phone and take telephone reservations for people. They didn’t lose anything like that, because they were sold out anyway.

And not to say anything in a disparaging way, I guess, but we’ve had 2 out of 3 really great experiences at iPic. I have. You had a great experience the last time we went. It’s not going to stop us from going back there, because it truly is a superior movie experience. It is a great experience. And just knowing now, lesson learned on our part, that on Saturday night you’ve got to think ahead, that’s what you’re going to do. I don’t think that that’s unique to that one. When I was telling Ryan Diess about the one in Austin. That was the first one that I went to, the iPic Theater. I was telling him about it. He said, “Dude, I’ve never been able to go, because every time I want to go it’s Friday or Saturday night and it’s sold out.” So, he lives in Austin and has never been to it. So, I don’t know.

Joe: That goes back to my supply-and-demand thing. Now, if you’ve got supply and demand on your side…

Dean: Right, which they definitely do in that situation.

Joe: Then you can get away with certain stuff. But the moment that a great competitor comes along, it’s that thing I say quite a bit, where the moment that you let one of your competitors pay more attention to your customers and clients than you do, you’ll lose them to someone else. So, there are certainly opportunities, whenever someone’s really dropping the ball. And everybody drops the ball. The point is that you never know. The manager could have been sick as a dog. Something weird could have happened.   

Dean: Yeah, who knows?

Joe: It could have been a one-off.

Dean: Forget everything we said.

Joe: No, no, no.

Dean: Like we said, the time that you need to design around is the time when that system, the experience, is under the most stress. Where is it most likely to be a problem? And you know what would be a great thing? I really like the concept of looking at that and transforming that, looking at the experience and seeing what went wrong and how it could be fixed.

Joe: So, if you were to go into somebody’s business and you had an hour to actually help them sit down and design a world-class experience…

Dean: I’ll tell you what, there is a great show on television, right now, that just started a few weeks ago, on The Travel Channel, and it’s with this guy, Anthony Melchiorri, who is a hotel turnaround expert. The guy is passionate about hotels, and it’s really about the client experience. Everything that that show is about is about aligning everything that the hotel does to create a better client experience. And the guy is like part Seth Godin and part John McEnroe, like if you imagine those 2 people combined, kind of thing. He’s a New Yorker, and he’s been in the hotel business for years and years and years.

I’m amazed at the show, because the things that he does, he comes into a hotel and the first thing he does, he comes in and mystery shops the experience. He comes in and experiences it as a patron would. And then, he shares that with the people. These are independently-owned hotels. It’s a great, great lesson in designing client experiences. I’ve been chatting with him about coming on I Love Marketing, to do an episode with him, because the guy really is a masterful client experience architect.

Joe: What’s the name of it, again?   

Dean: It’s called “Hotel Impossible.” It’s on Monday nights and Thursday nights, on The Travel Channel, and it’s worth DVR’ing or watching live. It’s an incredible show. I’m going to ramp that up and try to really connect with him this week, and see if we can get him to come on.

Joe: Well, now that you’ve made that public, let’s see if you can follow through.

Dean: Let’s see what kind of pull I have.

Joe: See if your front stage promises can be followed-through with the proper action.

Dean: Let’s Tweet him. I think we should Twitter bomb him.

Joe: This is all you, man.

Dean: Let’s Twitter bomb him. His Twitter handle is @AnthonyHotels. So, say, “Listen, we’re big fans of I Love Marketing. We want you on the show.” Let’s just send a Tweet, something like that to him.

Joe: So, you’re asking all of our listeners?

Dean: I’m asking every single listener.

Joe: To Tweet…

Dean: To Tweet Anthony.

Joe: What’s his name, and what’s the Tweet again?

Dean: The Twitter is @AnthonyHotels.

Joe: You’re sure?

Dean: Positive. I invited him before the show premiered. The funny story is the experience that I had in New York, I Tweeted about it the day that it happened, and that was the day that I read an article in that newspaper, that they gave me at that restaurant, about Anthony, talking about his new show.   So, I actually Tweeted him and connected with him before the show actually aired, and he said he would be happy to come on the show. So, let’s just reinforce that. Let’s do this. Watch the Hotel Impossible tomorrow night, Monday night. Watch the show, and then after the show, Tweet Anthony and tell him that you’d love to hear from him on I Love Marketing. That would be a fantastic thing. @AnthonyHotels.

Joe: There you go. Alright, I’ve got this multiplier mindset card, that Dan Sullivan created with David Ogilvy. It’s Ogilvy’s law, and it’s on selling. And it says, “It’s of no use being an original, creative thinker, if you can’t sell what you create.” I think that’s kind of clever. David Ogilvy was a brilliant direct response guy. He wrote Ogilvy On Advertising, Confessions Of An Advertising Man. Just a smart dude. He had some questions that Dan came up with. What is the single most important idea you have in your head, that you haven’t sold to anyone, and when will you sell it? And the second question is what is your company’s best idea that is underperforming because of weak sales? How can this improve? And which of your clientele are always the best buyers of your new ideas, and how can you maximize their role in your future? I actually really like this card, because it really gets you to think.

Dean: I love this whole concept of the cards.

Joe: We have, which people that are in Platinum 2.0, we have the 8 profit activator cards with questions that focus on all of them. And if you look at the PDF for the I Love Marketing Meetup groups; there’s a list of questions that can be used as themes. And if you’re not currently attending an I Love Marketing Meetup group, or you’ve not started one, which you’re welcome to start, all I say is this: for the most part, the I Love Marketing Meetup groups and everything’s going really well. We have had a couple of jackasses that actually start I Love Marketing Meetup groups. We’ve actually had one   of them immediately stop, because they used the name but then they drive people there and offer to sell them something or do a seminar.

Obviously, everything we talk about, this is designed to be used with integrity. This is designed to help people. And if you genuinely want to get together and have discussions with people, there are some awesome I Love Marketing groups that are going on, put together by great people that just want to help each other and want to have continual discussions. And if you’re one of those people that are like that, start your own I Love Marketing Meetup group. Use the curriculum of all of the I Love Marketing stuff. Tell people to read the Breakthrough DNA. And we have a list of all of the different episodes that we’ve done, and questions, and just an outline of how you actually can run and start a meeting.

A lot of it is really just built around great questions like that. And even if you don’t attend your own I Love Marketing Meetup group, and you just want to take the episodes that we discuss, what you’ll notice me and Dean continually talking about are questions. We throw a lot of questions out there. And all of these episodes are transcribed. Sometimes, when we put them right up, like this, as an example, we’re going to put this thing up tonight, right? So, the transcription may take a couple of days, but the point is that…

Dean: These are happening in real time.

Joe: Right. Right. Right. And we do that, too, because a lot of times we actually want things to be current. I can never see us recording an episode and then 4 months later putting it up.

Dean: No, no. The most we’ve ever been is like 3 weeks ahead, when we know for sure, we’re going to be traveling or there’s no chance of us getting together. But we’ve never been more than 2 or 3 episodes ahead.   

Joe: Yeah. Occasionally, we’ll put out interviews that have been done in the past, like classic ones and stuff like that, that are just timeless wisdom and stuff. But for the most part, this is all real time. But the thing is like questions are really, really good. So, based on these questions, I really like this one: what’s the single most important idea you have in your head, that you haven’t sold to anyone, and when will you sell it? Until you create a deadline, ideas are a dime a dozen. And everyone’s had the experience of like, “Oh, that person’s getting paid tons of money for that idea, and I had that idea.” The response to that is, “So what? They sold it.” You don’t think that people have brilliant ideas? There are brilliant ideas all day long. We point them out all the time. But until you actually execute on it and do something with it, then great.

The other area is the second question: what is your company’s best idea that is under-performing because of weak sales? And a lot of times, the under-performing of weak sales has to simply do with they don’t have good marketing copy. They don’t have a good offer. They’re not following the 8 profit activators. You can have a great idea, but you’re targeting it at the wrong audience. I think if people go through the 8 profit activators just to kind of have their stuff in order, there’s another card, which is from Esteé Lauder, and she obviously had the cosmetic company. One of her laws that Dan put down is based on selling, too. There was Ogilvy selling. This law is, “If you don’t sell, it’s not the product that’s wrong, it’s you.”

Her questions are: “What is your single best approach to selling that always attracts other people’s interests, and how can you continually increase the power of this approach? And I love that question, because if you look at marketing versus selling, what marketing allows you to do, it doesn’t matter how good you are at selling one-on one, you’re limited by the clock.   But if you could take that persuasiveness of your very best approach to marketing and that attracts other people to you, and you can actually replicate that through a sales letter or through a video… Like you take this podcast. If only one person listened to it, great. But tomorrow, 2,600 people, minimum, are going to hear this, just off of iTunes.

Dean: Right, on the thing. We had tens of thousands of people in the first week, for every episode.

Joe: Absolutely. And what I’m saying is from the download thing that we have, this episode, by the end of the next 7 days, will be listened to just on iTunes. Because we can’t even track some of the other stuff, the way that we distribute this, will be listened to between 30,000 and 50,000 people within the first 7 days. Now, that’s a replicable process. The point is how can you continually increase the power of your reach? And then the second one, who are the people in your organization that are the best salespeople for what you offer? And what will multiply the impact of these individuals the most? And then, the third question is what is one aspect of your organization that most prevents sales? What is your deadline for eliminating this sales obstacle? So, going back to what we talked about with iPic, that one thing of not answering the phone is preventing sales.

Dean: That is fascinating. And when you look at that, like on that Hotel Impossible, the #1 thing that he always does is go through and look at the experience and just find the places where, there was one in Miami, where he drove up, and they have valet parking right in front. If you’ve ever been to South Beach, it’s just that strip where the hotels are. It’s not easy parking or anything like that, but you pull up, it says valet, but he stood there, and there was nobody there to greet him, nobody to do anything. It was unclear what to do next. So, he went in, finally, and asked what to do, and you’re supposed to just leave your keys there.   But one of the solutions that he had was to put a sign that said, “Valet parking,” and then below the sign said, “Leave keys at front desk.” And it just immediately eliminates the uncertainty.

When people are going through a new experience, they feel much better about an experience when they know what’s going to happen. You look at the whole thing; there’s a restaurant, we used to do a Main Event, a big real estate seminar in Reston, Virginia, every year, at the Hyatt there, and attached to it was a Panera Bread. It was the first time I’d ever been to Panera Bread, because it was right when they were just kind of getting started. And I thought about that experience. When you go into a new restaurant for the first time, and you don’t know the moves, and you don’t know how things work, like at Panera there’s 2 lines, there’s the dessert line over here, and then there’s the…

Joe: I didn’t know that. I’ve never been there.

Dean: Okay. So, you go in, and you kind of are standing there, and it’s busy, and people who know what they’re doing are doing the right thing. But you don’t want to look stupid. You’re standing there, and you have this little low-level anxiety about experiencing something for the first time.

Joe: It’s like going into a yoga class, and the yoga instructor doesn’t say, “Have you ever done yoga before?” They’re just like, “Yeah.” What do you do?

Dean: Right. Exactly. So, whenever you’re thinking about and designing your client experiences, look at the places where there could be any kind of confusion as to what to do. You look at we went to brunch today, at The Sanctuary, here in Scottsdale, in Paradise Valley, and it’s a beautiful place. It’s quite a ways from the parking lot up the hill, to where the actual restaurant is on top of the hill. But it was clearly marked at every transition point. Like every time where you were unsure what to do, there was a sign right there that had an arrow pointing to where the restaurant is.   So, you’d go that far, and then you’d get to a point where you don’t quite know where to go, and there’s a sign that’s pointing you in the right direction. You felt confident at every level. And 300 stairs later, you reach the top of the hill, and you’re at the place, and you have a good experience.

Joe: It’s like trying to find a yard sale, when their signs are just properly aligned. Is that what you’re saying?

Dean: That’s part of what I’m trying to say.

Joe: The point is it’s actually leading you to remove…

Dean: Anytime you can remove uncertainty. It’s the whole process of above and below the line. I used the example in real estate, that when you go to list somebody’s house, you go and you sit at the table, you talk about how the marketing systems are going to work, everything that’s going to happen, and you list the house. And then, you go back to the office, and all that stuff is happening below the line, that you have busy, busy, busy work ahead to get that listing processed, to get it into the MLS, to get the signs ordered, to create the brochures, to create all of the flyers. All that stuff can be happening below the surface, without any indication above the line that anything is actually happening. So, it could be, if you don’t have a process in place for it, you are creating this sort of uncertainty among people, who maybe start to think, “Did we make the right choice? We’ve listed the house, and we haven’t heard from him in 4 days.”

Meanwhile, below the line, all kinds of stuff are happening. It’s just like what Dean Graziosi was sharing when people would go to their seminars on a Sunday, and they would buy something for $3,000, and then it would be 2 or 3 days before they would ever get a call, because they couldn’t overnight all of the orders or whatever to the office. And looking at that from the client experience, looking through their eyes, he realized that was broken, and set something in place to make sure that within 24 hours they get called. And that’s an above-the-line experience.   When you start looking at that, eliminating confusion, and looking for opportunities, this is the turbo fuel of all of it because the real intangible that is happening in your during unit experience is that it’s setting the stage for your after unit relationship with them.

When you’re talking about creating lifetime relationships with people and orchestrating referrals, so much of that depends on whether they had a great experience in the during unit. That during unit experience is going to set the stage for what happens in the after unit. So, you’re constantly looking for places to make sure that you’re not going to screw up, look for places where there’s any uncertainty that you can remove, to add that certainty and confidence. And then, the turbo fuel of all of it is looking for places along that line, where you can surprise and delight somebody.

When I look at that restaurant experience that I was talking about, in New York City, it was nice to get to sit at the counter, but that in itself is not remarkable. What was remarkable are the surprise-and-delight elements that happened there, of getting these little mini pastries without asking for them or having any knowledge that they were coming. That was a surprise and a delight. Asking me if I’d like a newspaper to read while I’m waiting for my food, that was a surprise and a delight. Having my check right there, along with the food, was a surprise and a delight. Those things, combined, are what created that experience in a way that now I’m talking about it.

Joe: Yeah, totally.

Dean: Because how many times have you been to a restaurant, and you got to sit at the counter, but there was nothing surprising or delightful about what happened after that?

Joe: Yeah. Another thing, too. We go down to Lululemon yesterday, because they’re right downstairs from iPic’s. And we go into Lululemon, and what do they have there? Like   a little water container, and someone greeting us at the door. And they’re just like, “Hey, have you guys ever been here before? This is your first time?” I’m like, “Yeah, I’ve probably bought $5,000 worth of clothes from this place in the last 6 months.” Not from that particular store.

Dean: From Lululemon itself.

Joe: And, of course, your famous joke is, “You guys selling men’s clothes yet?”

Dean: You’ve got to get it right, because my favorite thing – disrespectfully – to say to Joe is that, “I think they’re going to start making clothes for men next year,” even though Joe’s got a $5,000 closet full of Lululemon clothes.

Joe: You only need to buy 3 shirts to spend like $100,000 at Lululemon. But the funny thing is the gal there was so professional, so personable. I don’t even know how we got on the topic, but she’s telling me that, yeah, they have a library there, where they let people read business books, and Atlas Shrugged is up on the wall. Oh, by the way, I took a picture today, of Frank Lloyd Wright’s bookshelf, in his bedroom, and there was a freaking copy of Atlas Shrugged, from Ayn Rand. When was it, 1953?

Dean: 1957 is when it came out.

Joe: 1957 copyright. We should take a picture of that, and put it up on I Love Marketing.

Dean: Yeah. But here’s the thing. The funny thing about that is we’re in his bedroom, and everybody’s around looking at the architecture, and you and I are scanning the bookshelf to see what he was reading.

Joe: He clearly was kind of a hosed-up individual, lots of problems, owed everybody money, a genius, but also left a trail.

Dean: Do you remember the quote that the tour guide said about him? He said, “His philosophy was take care of the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves.”   

Joe: Which they never really did, for him.

Dean: It’s beautiful.

Joe: Yeah, it’s so funny. Okay, so we go to Lululemon, and the gal’s saying the current book she’s reading is Good To Great, by Jim Collins. And I’m like, “It’s fantastic. You’re going to love that.” So, here’s the thing. What I want to do, because I know we’re coming towards the end of…

Dean: We’ve got about 4 minutes.

Joe: Alright. Basically, there’s another law from W. Edwards Deming. W. Edwards Deming, he basically did a ton of work in management and process design in Japan, and he wrote a book called Out Of The Crisis, and he had theories on management. One of the laws that Dan Sullivan actually created was based on process. Based on everything that you’ve been saying and we’ve been talking about, his law is if you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” So, the 8 profit activators is a process. Selling is not an event; it’s a process. So, everything that you’re doing in your business, in the before, during and after units, making a sale, there is a process. And everything you’re that is creating success that is replicable, not like one-off luck, that sort of thing, the right person just walked in the door, and I made a big sale, the things that you are continually doing, that are working really well, the more you can really look at, “What am I doing and how am I doing it?” and really understand the process.

If you can’t break it into a process, you’re never going to be able to teach it to anyone else. Right? And then, the second thing is all of the things that you’re doing that are not working; there is a process for failure. There really is. People can successfully   replicate failure over and over again, because they have a process. And the chain is only as strong as the weakest link. So, when you improve the strength of those links, the better you are. So, one of the questions is if you were to take your most challenged personal situation, right now, and organize it in your mind as a process of smaller challenges, what would it look like?

And I think that’s kind of a good way to end this, to kind of think about. We talked about designing a wonderful experience, and taking a look at other people’s processes and showing examples, good and bad, or what are happening from your diner experience to our iPic experience, to all that sort of stuff. I think it would be good for everyone, right now, to really think about, “Okay, what are the things that I really want to improve upon? And what is the process for doing that?” And however you’re communicating, however, you’re delivering, however, you’re packaging yourself, taking a look at setting all of those things up as a process and continually improving it. And the next time you have a great experience, kind of work backwards. Why is that happening? How is it happening? So, I think it’s just a great thing to look at this week.

Dean: I think so, too. One of the exercises that we’re going to do tomorrow, in our Platinum group, and I think that everybody who’s listening would really benefit from doing this, is taking that process of narrating the dream-come-true experience, not necessarily that you deliver right now. But what would be your vision for the dream-come-true experience from your client’s perspective, how they would comment about the experience that they had, and just tell that story. Tell the story of exactly what happened, and then look through that and start circling the things that are unique steps, things that could require a process to make that happen. So you’re doing kind of a forensic analysis of your narrative, to identify the   things that would have to be in place to make that experience come true, and to map them out on, and to map them out on your own.

Just take a sheet of paper, 8½ by 11, turn it sideways, draw a line across the middle of that page, horizontally, and on the top half of that put a dot along that timeline and describe those benchmarks, describe those elements. If you’re thinking about it as theater, you’re talking about it as acts and scenes of what actually happens when people go through that experience. And then, start to think below the line, what would have to be in place to make that happen? What system? What procedure? What processes have to be there to support delivering that experience every time? That’s how you can kind of create the operating, the beginning of the operating manual for creating a dream-come-true experience for people.

Joe: Yeah. And if you are providing an awesome dream-come-true experience for people that is creating tremendous value and they love it, then you really need to sell yourself on the importance of doing this. The last thing I’m going to say is if you’ve not seen the “Is Selling Evil” video that we’ve posted on ILoveMarketing.com, you can go to YouTube and type in “Is selling evil” and my name, Joe Polish, and watch it. It’s 3:40. That video’s getting a lot of airplay, which is cool. And I’d love for anyone to make comments about that on YouTube and say whatever you think about it. That would be cool.

Dean: So, final instructions? Remind them one more time. Watch Hotel Impossible tomorrow night, Monday night, or Thursday, watch it either one, on The Travel Channel. Set your DVR or watch it live. It’s well worth it. I’ve watched every episode, and you get something out of every episode. And then, let’s Tweet Anthony, at @AnthonyHotels. It’s so funny, isn’t it? @AnthonyHotels@Twitter. Just say, “Loved your show. Love to see you on I Love Marketing. Dean Jackson and Joe Polish are great.”   

Joe: Yes.

Dean: That would be good, if you tell them how much you like us. Batman and Robin.

Joe: Alright, it’s been real. Boy, am I glad this is over, because now I don’t even have to look at Dean anymore. It’s terrible.

Dean: You made good eye contract there, right through the middle.

Joe: That’s cute.

Dean: I thought we had an intimate moment.

Joe: Oh, Jesus. Alright, everyone, have a great day, a happy week. We’ll talk to you next week. Take care.   

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