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Interviews with Experts | David Pierpoint | Creating Conversations That Sell

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John Jantsch Interview

Author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine

David Pierpoint:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with John Jantsch. John is a successful marketing consultant and award‑winning social media publisher, and he’s also the best‑selling author of two excellent books, titled “Duct Tape Marketing” and “The Referral Engine.” He’s also the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world. So, welcome, John.

John Jantsch:  Hey, thanks for having me.

David:  It’s my pleasure. Well, let’s just jump right into it. My question for you today is, what is your favorite marketing strategy or tactic that’s working really well for you or your clients right now?

John:  Well, I really take a very systematic view of marketing, and so what I really love to do is, from a strategy standpoint, create this kind of umbrella for businesses. And it’s turned into a great way to simplify marketing in general. It’s something I call the “marketing hourglass” and it has seven steps to it.

If you can imagine the shape of an hourglass, the top half is shaped much like the traditional marketing funnel. The bottom half then, of course, the idea behind the funnel is you throw a whole bunch of leads in the big end at the top and you try to squeeze a few out at the small end.

David:  Right, that’s how most people think of the traditional marketing funnel.

John:  And what I suggest is, that particularly in this day and age when it’s gotten a lot easier for our potential prospects to block our messages out if they don’t want to receive them – and gotten harder to fill that top end of that funnel for some organizations – that you really have to start focusing on the middle part. And then, focus attention on the ever‑expanding part of the hourglass, which is theoretically another funnel, but flipped over to form that shape.

So the idea is that, for anyone that comes into the top of the funnel, we’re going to take them through a series of services, products, processes, touch points. And then we’re going to turn them into a referral source.

David:  Okay – that make sense.

John:  So the seven logical steps in that series are: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer.

David:  Great. Those all sound like important steps.

John:  I’ve actually asked clients to write those seven words down, draw a line out to the right of them, and then let’s just start saying, “OK, what do we need to do so people can come to know us? What are the things we need to do so that once somebody refers or once they see an ad, that they can come to like, or respect, or at least be interested in us?”

Next line, what about trust? How do we build trust? What are all the ways we’re going to build trust either in our content, our SEO, our follow‑up? And then, the next step is “try.” And that’s a step I see so few people really working on – and that’s the idea of asking, how can they sample what we do? Is there a low‑cost version of what we do? Is there a way for them to come into contact and engage us in a way that would allow them to really say, “Yeah, these guys know what they’re talking about,” before we ever ask them to buy?

Then the next step is the buy, obviously. What are our products and services? But then immediately, we go to work on that experience, you know, once somebody becomes a customer – making that a tremendous opportunity to turn into repeat business.

So what does our transaction look like? What does our follow‑up education look like? Again, just thinking in terms of the steps we listed. And then the last one, of course, is referral. All the other previous steps were to make sure that we deserve referrals, but then what are we actually actively doing to try to stimulate that, too?

So, a business can just be getting started and fill in those seven blanks. A business can be pretty mature and ask, “OK, where do we have gaps? Where are we not taking advantage of creating this kind of hourglass, and creating this incredible experience?” I wrote a post about it recently on my website. In today’s age the new lead generation is keeping happy customers.

David:  That’s great. I really love that systematic approach that you’ve laid out for us. And I was going to ask you about that. For an experienced business that may want to go back and attempt to utilize this system, do you encourage them to just go ahead and start from the very beginning and work through it?

John:  Yes. Let’s start by getting a baseline. I haven’t found many businesses yet that have a process where they go back and actually systematically, routinely evaluate the results their clients are getting. That step, just having a results review or some sort of follow‑up, is an unbelievable opportunity to get repeat sales and referrals.

It’s also a great place to fix things that you didn’t know about from a customer that wasn’t so thrilled. So that would be one place that I always find a gap. But quite frankly, even successful businesses want to go from “know” to “buy,” and there’s always a lot of room in that trust-building, and that like-building, and even that trial phase.

[…read full interview]

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Dan Ariely Interview

Author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality

David Pierpoint:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with Dan Ariely. Dan is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He’s also the author of two New York Times bestsellers, “Predictably Irrational” and “The Upside of Irrationality.” Dan’s research has been published in leading psychology, economics and business journals, and he’s a popular speaker at events around the world. So, welcome, Dan.

Dan Ariely:  My pleasure. Nice to be here.

David:  Perfect. Well, all right. Let’s just jump right in. My question for you today is, based on your own personal experience and some of the research that you’ve done, what’s your favorite marketing strategy or tactic that seems to be working really well for you or others right now?

Dan:  I think that my favorite one has to do with how you establish a basic idea of value early on when a new product is introduced.

David:  OK.

Dan:  The idea is as follows. It turns out we have a very hard time to know how much something is worth. We deal with money all the time, so we think we’re really good at it. But the fact is that if you stop for a moment, and you asked yourself, “how much is a cup of coffee really worth to me in terms of pleasure?” you would realize that it’s really hard to do. What do people do when we have a task in which it’s very hard to accomplish it correctly? We find wrong ways to do it. One of the wrong ways in which people think about value is they look at the past decisions, and they say “What did I do before? What I did before must have been fantastic. Let me just repeat that again.”

So what does this strategy look like? Let’s give an example of the iPhone. Do you remember when the iPhone was first introduced? It was introduced at $600, then a few weeks later they said, “Sorry, sorry, sorry. It’s only $400.” Now was this a smart strategy or just a stupid strategy?

Let’s think about the following. Imagine that you saw a new type of a phone, with a new type of screen, and you – as the consumer – ask yourself, “how much is this worth to me?” It turns out it’s a very hard question to answer. Here’s a phone with a screen where the main feature is that you can pinch and make the pictures bigger and smaller, and you can slide right and left. It’s not really clear how much you should pay for that particular privilege.

But now, let’s imagine that Apple has anchored you on the price of $600. What would it do to your willingness to pay $400? Imagine two universes. In universe one – it’s the one we are living in – the iPhone was first introduced at $600 and then a few weeks later, they said, “Sorry, sorry, sorry. It’s only $400.”

But in the other universe, let’s say it just started at $400.

Ask yourself, in these two universes, which one of them would you appreciate the iPhone more, and would you be willing to pay more for it? The argument is that when it starts at $600, even though it’s no longer the price you’d pay, it still influences your assessment of its value. You’re still thinking about it; thinking about it too much, and actually thinking now that $400 is a really great deal.

It basically tells us that early prices really matter, because they tend to stick in people’s minds. They tend to stick in people’s minds for a long time, which means that once we adapt to a certain price, we get used to it. Once we get introduced to it, we don’t keep on asking ourselves, “should I do it or shouldn’t I do it?” But, in fact, we just accept the price. We assume it’s a reasonable price, and we just keep on repeating our behavior over and over.

David:  Interesting. That’s a great example, Dan, and I’m curious what your thoughts are about how this works with other products or services. With the iPhone, because it was so new and so unique, I’m wondering if they had an easier time establishing a high value, which they then reduced – versus some sort of product or service that people are already familiar with, and therefore have an established price-point in mind?

Dan:  Yes, that’s exactly it. You’re right. When you have something to compare it to, you have a very simple standard. Let’s think about something like coffee. If coffee at Starbucks costs $2.20 and somebody else comes out with coffee that costs $2.18 or $2.22, we will compare it relative to Starbucks coffee. There’s no escape from that, because that’s defining the relative comparison. But if there was no Starbucks coffee, all of a sudden, those things would not matter as much.

So, it says two things. One is that when you introduce a new product, you should think about the natural comparisons, but it also says that you can actually have some control over what the comparison is, and controlling that could have a long term impact.

For example, think about something like TiVo. Was TiVo supposed to be framed as an alternative to a VCR, or would it be better if it was framed as a Linux‑based home entertainment system? How would these two examples have affected your willingness to pay for it?

[…read full interview]

Kathleen Gage Interview

January 15, 2013

Kathleen Gage Interview The Street Smarts Marketer & Online Marketing Expert David Pierpoint:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with Kathleen Gage. Kathleen is a best‑selling author, a key note speaker and a recognized Internet marketing expert for speakers, trainers and authors. Kathleen’s street‑smart marketing system is designed to help professionals achieve the […]

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Fred Gleeck Interview

January 14, 2013

Fred Gleeck Interview Expert Info-Product Marketer & Successful Author David Pierpont:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with Fred Gleeck. Fred is an experienced information marketer and popular speaker. He’s written a number of books on sales, marketing, and publishing and he’s a real expert when it comes to helping others to market […]

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Andrea Lee Interview

January 13, 2013

Andrea J Lee Interview CEO of Thought Partners International David Pierpoint:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with Andrea Lee. Andrea is the CEO of Thought Partners International, founder of “The Wealthy Thought Leader”, and author of several books. Andrea is a visionary business and life coach who guides exceptional clients to the […]

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David Fagan Interview

January 12, 2013

David Fagan Interview Author of Guerilla Rainmaking / Former CEO of Guerilla Marketing David Pierpoint:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with David Fagan. David is a recognized marketing expert. He’s the former CEO of Guerrilla Marketing, and he currently owns Cutting Edge Ventures, LLC. David is the author of the Guerrilla Rainmaking […]

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Ray Davis Interview

January 11, 2013

Ray Davis Interview CEO of Umpqua Holdings and author of Leading For Growth David Pierpoint:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with Ray Davis. Ray is the president and CEO of Umpqua Holding Corporation and a true leader of change in the banking industry, revolutionizing how banks look, feel, sound, and operate. He’s […]

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David Pierpoint Interview

January 10, 2013

David Pierpoint Interview CEO of Premera Group LLC / Author of Build A World-Class Practice Alexander Davis:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with David Pierpoint. David is a successful business consultant and information product marketer, and he’s the author of two books, titled “Build A World-Class Practice” and “The Four Keys To […]

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