John Jantsch Interview

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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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