Joey Coleman is on a mission to help companies keep their customers and employees. As a keynote speaker, workshop leader, and consultant, Joey helps businesses design creative ways to engage their customers and employees – especially in the crucial First 100 Days® of the relationship lifecycle. As a professional speaker who has given thousands of speeches all over the world, Joey also works with a small number of private coaching clients to develop and hone their speaking skills. His eclectic background has led Joey through the legal field, selling custom research to Fortune 500 executives, racing along the Great Wall, juggling in front of the Taj Mahal, emceeing charity auctions, working in the White House, singing a solo at the Kennedy Center, and traveling to 48 countries (and counting).
Joey’s Wall Street Journal best-selling book Never Lose a Customer Again discusses the 8 phases customers have the potential to travel through as part of their customer journey and the 6 tools to create remarkable customer experiences. His specialties include customer and employee retention and experience, keynote speeches, workshop and meeting facilitation, design, marketing, personal branding, speaker training, and hitting high notes as a first tenor.
Bryan Wish: Joey, welcome to the One Away Show.
Joey Coleman: Bryan, thanks so much for the invitation and thanks so much for everybody who’s tuning in and listening today. I’m really looking forward to our conversation.
Bryan Wish: Yes. Well, we got to get Joey out of here on time because he’s got a big speaking event in the state of Florida. So you get some sunshine in the winter, so we’ll do our best to make a good one before you leave, Joey.
Joey Coleman: Sounds good.
Bryan Wish: Good. Well, Joey, thrilled to have you here. What is the one away moment that you want to share with us today?
Joey Coleman: Well, Bryan, it’s interesting. This is a good question, but a challenging question in the sense that if I were to think about all the pivot points or turns or paths that my life has taken, there are thousands, tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of moments that we could talk about. But what comes up for me in this moment is, and knowing who your audience is and hopefully creating some stories that will resonate with them was the decision to do the next thing. What I mean by that is throughout my life, I have had various career professions where I have been doing a job that I really enjoyed was having a great time doing and another opportunity present ended itself. And I decided to go for that one.
Now I’m cheating a little bit on my answer because it’s not the one time I did that. It’s the dozens of times I did that. Throughout my career, I went straight from undergrad to law school. While I was in law school, I had the pleasure of working for the United States Secret Service for the CIA and for the white house office of council to the president. After that I was a criminal defense lawyer. After that I did business consulting for a while. After that, I was back to being a criminal defense lawyer. After that I was teaching at the postgraduate level. After that I ran a division of a promotional products company.
After that I started and founded and ran an ad agency. After that I became a professional speaker and writer. So as you can see, there’s a lot of pivots along the way there. But the thing that is, I like to think pseudo semi unique about my experience is I didn’t leave any of those jobs because I hated them. I think a lot of people leave a job because it’s not working. They don’t like it. They don’t feel they’re getting the attention. They don’t feel like they’re getting the opportunity, the advancement, the salary, whatever it may be. I left all these things because I found something else that I thought I might enjoy doing even more. And as a result that has been a leveling up experience throughout my entire professional career.
Now don’t get me wrong. There have been aspects of every job I’ve had that I haven’t liked. Okay. I don’t think there’s a job on the planet where there aren’t certain aspects of the job that you’re not jazzed about. You’re not excited about, but in some, the majority of the things I was doing in every job was enough to keep me there and keep me excelling and keep me enjoying until something else came along that I thought, I bet I’ll be able to get these things and more, or I bet I’ll be able to apply the things I’ve learned here in a different way, or I’ll be able to build a new skillset or create new experiences. My one away moment has been, I guess, being willing to try the thing that was passing by and go all in for it.
Bryan Wish: I absolutely love the theme and the nature and the consistency behind the growth. And also you’ve given me a world that of questions I can dive into with a lot of thoughts here. The one serious question. Yeah. On a much lighter note is for everything you just said, you would think you’re 60 years old, but you look like you’re like 20, look like you’re 32. So my question, what’s the secret for being youthful, energetically and looking youthful.
Joey Coleman: Well, Bryan, first of all, I’m flattered. Thank you for that. Yeah. I’m a decade and then some older than what you anticipate my age to be. I’m in my late 40s. What’s interesting is I think this desire to continue learning creates youthful energy and maybe a youthful look, I don’t know. I think this willingness to try new things and to live a life of experience. And I also got to give a lot of credit in the last decade to my two sons who are eight and six, who, if you have little ones, anybody who’s listening, you know that, that keeps you young, that keeps you moving. And that has been a glorious gift in my life.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. I’m sure extremely special to be a dad in a new jobs in whole new ways, but jobs you can’t leave. So I want to ask you, before we dive into maybe this trajectory of yours where that has been one for growth and betterment, how are you raised? I mean, tell us about your childhood. Did your parents raise you in a way to always be learning and having an open mind or was it more of a sheltered environment where you had to break outside your own box and see the world out there for yourself? So I’m curious what dictated or what you think might have dictated such an open mind to grow and develop?
Joey Coleman: I think a lot of it definitely came in the house that I grew up in. I was very fortunate to grow up in a house where I was surrounded by books, where I was surrounded by ideas, where I was surrounded by different perspectives and the running joke at our dinner table every night, which is still the running line today is, it doesn’t matter what your opinion is, but you have to have one. You have to have a position and you have to be willing to articulate your position. I mean, I remember early on my dad, I came home from school and I didn’t have any homework and I’m one of seven kids.
So when we would come home from school, my mom at about 4:30, we went to study hall at home from 4:30 to 6:00. And during that time, my mom would be preparing dinner and getting everything ready because there were so many kids was just in many ways, it was a way to get us all out of the kitchen and all out from under her feet and to be doing our schoolwork. Well, we sat down at dinner one night and I had, “Gone to study hall,” but hadn’t had anything to work on, because I didn’t have any schoolwork. And I had said, “Well, I don’t need to go to study hall. I don’t have any schoolwork. I got it all done at school and do to do.”
We sat at the dinner table, my dad said, “I understand that you didn’t have any homework today.” And I said, “No, I got it all done and do to do.” And he said, “Okay, so now you have a new assignment. And that assignment is from me, not from your teacher.” And I was like, oh, wait a second. What’s this? And he said, it was on a Monday. He said, “On Friday, you going to do a presentation for the family at dinner, Palestine versus Israel. Who’s right and why?” Now I was probably in about fifth grade at this time, maybe sixth grade.
First of all, people have been trying to figure out the Palestine versus Israel conversation for decades depending on how you want to really dive into it millennia, but the moral of the story here is I was expected to do research. I was expected to come with an informed opinion. I was expected to argue for a position or a point. And this carried on throughout my life. Now the interesting thing is when you raise kids like that, it creates challenges for the parents. And I know that my siblings and I were challenges for my parents because when they would say, hey, this is how we’re going to do something. There was always that challenge.
Well, there might be a better way to do that, mom and dad. We could try this, we could do this. What about this option? What about this perspective? And I tried to do the same with my boys and in some ways it can be exhausting. But I think that the phrase that my wife and I use regularly is the thing that drives us crazy at six is going to make our son incredibly successful at 36. We just got to get there. So raising these little humans who hopefully are being exposed to different ideas, different perspectives, different stories, different experiences, ideally is on the path to make them the best global citizen version of themself possible. I don’t care what they do, I don’t care where they live.
My goal is are they living their life to the fullest as often as possible? And if they do that, then I feel like I’ll have succeeded.
Bryan Wish: Well, so empowering. Your father at such a young age asked you to give your thoughts on one of the most heated battles and debates globally in this world just wrote was quick note, are you Jewish?
Joey Coleman: No. I’m not. I grew up in an Irish Catholic family, but it was basically, hey, there are things going on in the world. I grew in a small town, a farming community in Northwestern, Iowa. There are literally things going on, on the other side of the world that, have been going on for generations, that you need to be aware of and you need to have an opinion on. And that was that story at that time. Fast forward to high school, there was a program where we could go to the Soviet Union. Then I went to the Soviet Union for three weeks back when it was the Soviet Union, which was insane in communism.
And this is the mid to late ’80s when everything’s about the Cold War. And then it switches to glasnost and Perestroika with Gorbachev coming in and then Yeltsin. And all of this is happening at this time where I’m 14, 15, 16 years, 17 years old going through that maturation and life experience myself in my own biology, if you will. Being compared to like, no, but you got to understand this is happening on a global scale. Change is always happening. All we can control is how we respond to change. We can’t control the change. The change is going to happen, but what we can control is our response to the change.
And are we paying attention? And are we ready? And do we have an opinion and are we willing to articulate and share our opinion? And are we willing to change our opinion?
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Some Adam Grant stuff here, unlearn and relearn and all the things.
Joey Coleman: Exactly. Yeah. I loved Adam’s newest book. It’s great.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. It’s quite good. Joey, so it sounds like your father, the lesson, and I’m sure your mother, it sounds like these lessons, they imparted on you to take a standee or research develop opinion and even parted those same gifts on your own kids-
Joey Coleman: Trying to anyway, Bryan. I’m not sure we’re there yet, but definitely trying. We’re doing our best for sure.
Bryan Wish: They’re young. They’re new entries into this world, but it sounds like they’ll get there as you and your wife are raising them to be. What do you, for yourself, and then let’s just assuming this gift that you’re giving away to your kids that they’ll eventually fully, I’m sure I’m taking them back in their own way. What do you think the byproduct of being able to do this? How has it played out maybe in your life, maybe even going back to the one away moments that you’ve shared, what have been the positives of developing that so early?
Joey Coleman: Only everything that has happened to me that is good. The that’s it. Just everything. At the risk of being flippant with that answer, I mean, the reality is I try to approach life with a thirst. With a thirst, for knowledge, with a thirst, for perspective, with a thirst, for experience. And combining that drive, combining that excitement, combining that curiosity, that interest has created a path for me that thus far has just opened up things that I wouldn’t have even imagined were possible, in terms of the relationships I’ve had. The places I’ve gone. The things I’ve been able to do. The ideas I’ve been able to be exposed to.
The books I’ve been able to read. The artwork I’ve been able to see. The performances I’ve been able to participate in and witness. The beauty, the majesty, the uniqueness that is our life experience. I would pose it is only magnified by my desire to understand it more, to pull on the thread to, why did that happen that way? What about this? What if this would’ve happened? What about this scenario? And all of those perspectives and you’re right, it was both of my parents creating this space where we were able to grow and be nurtured and these ideas were able to be fostered.
And I recognized I was very, very fortunate, very fortunate in the way that I grew up to have this kind of environment that I lived in. And I think that made it easier. And to be candid from a place of privilege to go out into the world and experience these things with a little more open-mindedness or a little more willingness as a result, because the foundation had been established so strongly at a very young age.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Wow. You just have this thirst or quench for life or what’s that? Like that Jo Davie, that expression of just-
Joey Coleman: Yeah. The Jo Davie, but I try. Yeah. I try to. Yeah, absolutely. And I think, let’s be clear. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine. I have my bad days too and I have days where things aren’t working, but I try to… There’s a great tool that I use that was invented by some friends of mine called The Five Minute Journal. And it’s a daily journal that I have kept for about nine years now. And the journal you write in it for about three minutes in the morning, and two minutes at night, give or take five minutes a day, pretty straightforward. And there are a series of questions and prompts that ask you. And one of the first questions that asked you is about things you’re grateful for.
And I actually do this with my wife, keeps the journal as well as do my two boys. They have a kids version and they do that. It’s called The Five Minute Journal. And one of my sons wrote in his Five Minute Journal and I won’t say which one, so I don’t feel like I’m sharing their journal entries publicly on the podcast here. But he said, he wrote that he was grateful for a home. I asked him what that meant. He said, well, “Daddy, some people don’t have a house to live in.” And while he personally has never experienced homelessness, and I hope he doesn’t experience homelessness, the fact that he has the perspective that something he should be thankful for is that it’s cold outside. And he has a roof over his head. And he’s warm.
I hope is laying a foundation for gratitude and being thankful for the gifts and the opportunities and the possibilities that he has had in his life to date. I try to remember that myself. I try to remember and regularly remind myself of the fact that so many of the amazing things that have happened to me in life have been luck, have been blessings, have been good fortune, have come from hard work, have come from a place of privilege and opportunity, all of these things have contributed. Some of them have been earned. Most of them have been honored. Let’s be honest. Most of the things that happened to us in life, it’s the luck of the draw.
Where were you born? When were you born? How were you born? What happened in the first few years of your life? What presented itself to you? And I just do my best to anchor in and appreciate that as much as possible. And then hopefully build on it and share to give others a similar opportunity.
Bryan Wish: Wow. Well, I appreciate you sharing the journal exercises that you have done, but also having your kids do and how some of those living from a place of gratitude that’s given you perspective in your own life, curious for you. And I promise we’ll get back to the one away moment here. The one away moments, but it’s so interesting, you’re said your kids are six-
Joey Coleman: Six and eight, two boys. Yeah. Six and eight.
Bryan Wish: It sounds like you and your wife have raised them pretty intentionally. The fact that they’re journaling themselves. How do you guys go about maybe raising kids who are grounded or intentional or wholehearted from a young age? I mean, I feel like that’s so rare. Maybe I’m in a another world.
Joey Coleman: Well, I think the challenge with kids is, they’re a thousand million challenges with raising kids, but one of the big challenges is that I found in my whopping eight years of experience with one and six years of experience with other. So I know I’ve got folks that are listening to this conversation going, Joey, you don’t know the half of it, wait till they’re 12, 15, 18, 30, et cetera. But one of the challenges is you hope that things you’re doing are working, but the feedback loop often is very long. So the skills and the frameworks and the foundations that you’re trying to give them at a young age, lots of times, we don’t know if this is going to work until a decade from now, two decades from now, three decades from now.
So you’re right. My wife and I definitely, and I’ve got an amazing partner. We try to come to it with as much intentionality as possible. We try to focus on the things that really matter to us. One of our big goals is to raise children who are kind. That’s that the primary goal. I think if you were to ask my wife, if you were to have her on the podcast, not have her listen to this episode and say, what’s your number one goal for your boys? I think she’d say that they’re kind. And that’s one of my top goals too, if not number one. And everything spills out from that. It’s trying to focus more on the things that will serve them long-term in their lives, instead of focusing on the thing that will serve them right now. What I mean by that is how can we instill a sense of gratitude?
How can we instill a sense of appreciation? How can we instill a love of beauty and aesthetics? How can we instill love of the nuance of life. We were talking last night, we were doing some Christmas decorating. And we were talking about, the difference of walking on the streets of New York versus walking in the cornfields in Iowa. And that one isn’t bad. And one isn’t good, they’re just different. And there’s some people that will only have the chance to do one of those. The great majority of the world will never have a chance to do either of those. And my boys have had the chance to do both of those.
And so what’s trying to do is hopefully instill in them the same thing that I try to… Again, I’m trying to continue to instill in myself is that we are only limited by the bounds of our own possibilities and our own willingness to acknowledge the opportunities that the chances that we have and then make the most of those.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Wow. No. It’s living each day with right that present and being able to appreciate those moments and go through the day with joy. And obviously life is painful. It’s inevitable, but teaching some invaluable life lessons here for the listeners, I think no matter how old you are to live out life the way you’re sharing is one from a place of gratitude for sure. So, yeah. Thanks for the intimacy. This has been just really neat to hear how you do things at the home level. So something that came to me and I wasn’t, I don’t know if I was going to get here this quick, but why not?
You have a definitely intentionality to, but more that long-term focus or deliberateness. And I was thinking about your work professionally actually from a retention perspective and long-term relationship perspective. And that takes a lot of cultivation and effort and long-term development. And so my question is it makes sense. I mean, how did you get into what you do? Because I feel like there’s so much connective tissue between what you’re sharing and how you ended up where you are.
Joey Coleman: Yeah. I think the way I, I’ll give you the super-fast answer and then we can dive into the specifics, right?
Bryan Wish: Yeah.
Joey Coleman: The way I got into the work I’m doing around customer and employee experience and customer and employee retention was most recently influenced by the ad agency I was running. So I started and founded my own design agency and ad agency. And our job was to drive traffic and get people to be interested in a product. We designed logos, ad campaigns, websites, print, production, those type of things. And this was all, I would say probably early to mid 2000. So it was a little less about like the internet marketing, although that was certainly a piece of it, but it was more or about the, for lack of a better way of putting it traditional marketing.
And what I realized is that we were really good at driving people to the front door and going in the front door of my client’s businesses, but once my client signed them as customers, they weren’t keeping them. Once they got an employee to accept the job offer, they weren’t keeping the employee long-term. And this lack of retention, this lack of intentionality after somebody had locked in and said, look, I want to be in relationship with you was driving me insane, because I didn’t feel like we were providing value. Now, my clients were coming back and saying, hey, your job was to make the phone ring. You made the phone ring. Your job was to get people to buy our product, buy our service. You did it.
I’m like, great. I appreciate that, but if a year from now, they’re still not a customer or two years from now they’re still not an employee, something is broken. This isn’t working. We can do better. And so it really led me to shift my focus from where I think 90% of business in America is, and globally, it’s a little bit less than this, but it’s still the great majority, which is how do we acquire? How do we fill the funnel? How do we get more? How do we sell? How do we market? As opposed to, how do we take care of the people who’ve already said they want to be in relationship with us?
How do we deliver value long-term? How do we deepen relationships? How do we create more personal and emotional connection with our colleagues, with our customers, with our families? And I just think there’s so much more to mine there and so much more to play with there, and so much more to experiment with there that it’s actually more interesting and more exciting to me. So I shifted, as I mentioned, in all these career transitions, I was running the ad agent. It was going well, things were good, but I looked at it and I said, I bet this will be more fun. And guess what? I was right.
It is more fun. And now I speak on it and now I write on it and now I consult on it and I’m looking at, okay, how can in an increasingly attention deficit, disordered world, that is all about the, what have you done for me today? That is all about where is the next sale coming from? How can I be hopefully some messenger or part of the countervailing force that is saying, what if we thought it’ll little bit longer about this? What if we focused a little more in the depth instead of the breadth of the conversations?
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, it’s deep. And it’s not just about building a superficial touch point or getting a hook and then figuring how to drive the next transaction out of it. It’s so much more and it’s relational. So I’m going to ask this question maybe in a different way than you’ve heard it. And you’ve heard it in this way, great. But let’s say, I’m sure you’ve done a lot of research around your work you well known and what you do around the space. But the way I want to position this is, let’s say your sons were in middle school and you were at the table with them.
And they said, they said, “Dad, it’s been a couple months in school and I just started making a couple really good friends, I think. And I like the people I’m with.” And then they said to you, “Dad, but I don’t know how to build the relationship. I see these people being my people the next couple years.” Through all your research and everything you’ve learned, what would you say to your kids about retaining and building great friendships?
Joey Coleman: I’d say a couple of things. Number one, I think it’s important for everyone to have the permission to recognize that we are going to have a variety of relationships in our life. If you look at the research, Dunbar’s number is 150. What that means is that the research shows that we can maintain real relationships with about 150 people, relationships of any substance or death. Now, if you go on almost anybody who’s listening, social media profiles, they have more than 150, “Friends.” We live in an era where we have gone well beyond Dunbar’s number of 150.
What I think is fascinating is to paraphrase and then, or to take a little aside and I’ll come back and answer your question directly-
Bryan Wish: Yeah, no. It’s great.
Joey Coleman: My wife and I got married 11 years ago. And while the majority of people who we invited to our wedding would still be invited. There are more people that would be invited because we’ve added new relationship during those 11 years. Now, some of the relationships of people who were at our wedding. Who loved dearly at that, we’ve just fallen out of touch with. Were not as close to anymore for various reasons, including geographic moves, job changes, changes in life, changes in position, what people are doing and what’s important to them, et cetera, et cetera. But what I’ve come to realize is I would rather double down on some deeper, more connective relationships than be trying to break Dunbar’s number.
I’m more interested in having a chosen family and an actual family and a chosen network of friends and clients and colleagues that I know have had deeper conversations with. And I know more about than, oh, yes. I just passed 10,000 followers on Twitter. Oh, I’m finally at 50,000 followers, all of that stuff. And if that’s what jazzes you up and you’re listening and you’re all into that, great, more power to you. I’ve just decided it’s not for me. And so I’m not going to pretend that it’s something different. So the answer to your question, what I would say to my boys is I would say, look, here’s the thing you’re going to have a lot of friends throughout your life.
It might be the case that some of these middle school friends are going to be lifelong friends, but it might not be. And that’s okay. What I would encourage you to do right now is to think about what kind of friends do you want to have? What role do you want them to play in your life and what role do you want to play in their lives? So two-way street and use this time period, to experiment with different ways to define that question and to answer that question. It might be okay to have a friend for a season, i.e. I’m on a sports team and we’re going to be good friends for this season. And then we’re probably not ever going to play it again. And won’t see each other very much.
It might be okay to have a friend for an event. I was on the high school speech and debate team. I can think back to a couple of competitors that I would meet and we were friends. I can’t even remember these guys names. I don’t say that to be critical, but it’s like, I can close my eyes and remember this particular school and there were these two guys and I always used to debate against them when we did it for four years where we saw each other three or four times a year. And I have no idea what they’re doing now. And that’s okay. But for that time, they were a catalyst.
Those two guys in particular were a catalyst for me to want to do better so that when I competed against them, we’d win. But now if I were to run into them, it’s like, I just hope they’ve had good lives. It’s like, I don’t need to still be winning, if that makes sense.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Wow. No. Profound. I think it’s valuable life lessons. And there’s a lot of parallels just to say to the business community. And so let’s take that question on across the pond and say, okay, in business, clients will come and go or customers will come and go, but from the things that you have learned and the research that you have done, what are some of the top things to maybe keep them around a bit longer, especially if you really like them, especially if there’s there’s long-term substance in the relationship?
Joey Coleman: Yeah. Couple things on number one, if you really like a client, tell them and tell them in an honest genuine way. Not the way that we normally tell them, which is, “Thank you for your business. We really appreciate it. Would you like to buy this next thing we’re offering?” I’m not saying thanking them for their business is wrong, but let them know, I really like working with you, message them out of sequence. What I mean by that is, I’ve got clients that I’ve done work with in the past that I will send a text to, or an email or I’ll call out of the blue, or I’ll send them a package in the mail just to say, “Hey, guess what? I saw this. And I thought of you, it may have been years since we worked together, but I still think of you.
And I think of you fondly. And I think of this great project we did together.” I was on a conversation just before we started recording with somebody who I helped them come up with the name of their company and their company is getting a lot of press back when I was doing branding. And they were like, oh, my gosh, we still get great compliments on the name. And to be completely candid, Bryan, I don’t want to say I had forgotten that I helped them come up with the name, but it’s not as big of a priority to me anymore. I feel like I delivered the value and I moved on. But when they shared that, I was like, oh, sweet. The value’s still there. The value’s still being provided. How fun is that?
So I would tell people, the cover of my book, which is called, Never Lose a Customer Again, has a balloon floating away, because that’s how most customers leave. Most customers don’t say, “To heck with you, I’m out, you suck.” Slam the door and run away. Most of them just ghost on you. They filter away. They drift away and we don’t even realize they’re not there until they’re gone. My goal is to have people be conscious about whether they’re letting go of the balloon or not. I have no problem album with you letting go of the balloon and letting a customer drift away. Just make sure that you intended to let go of it.
Where I run into pain points with a lot of the folks in the audiences I speak to and the clients I consult with, and the reason my book is called, Never Lose a Customer Again, key operative word that sends being, again, is because so many businesses have scenarios every single day, where they go, “Oh, my gosh, why did they leave us? Why did they go to our competitor? Why aren’t they answering our calls anymore? Why haven’t they purchased anything in such a long time?” If you’re asking those questions, my friends, regrettably, you started asking them a little too late. There were signals before. There were conversations you could have had before.
There were touch points and interactions and things you could have done before that at the very least might not have stopped that, but it would’ve given you insight to the fact that, that was coming. It would’ve given you a perspective on what you might do to stop that from happening. Instead of waking up and being like, oh, my gosh, we just lost our biggest client or, oh, my gosh, I can’t believe they’re not there anymore. I have no problem with people losing customers. I have a problem with people not realizing that they’re losing customers. I have a problem with people losing customers that they don’t want to lose. And I have a problem with people losing customers for failing to deliver what they promised.
See, the reality is we spend so much time courting, dating, trying to convince people be our customer, join our company, sign up for our product, partake of our service, et cetera, et cetera. But it’s like as soon as they actually show up and hand us their hard earned cash, they become a number. We don’t care about them individually anymore. We don’t spend as much time focused on them. We don’t spend as much time caring about them. I just think I would rather have people do more with fewer customers because I think it’ll lead to a deeper experience.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Totally. And I think in this dopamine-driven Western society to everything you just said, we’re so focused on the next thing, opposed to cultivating and caring for what’s right in front of us, or the experience we haven’t had. And you’re right, when the balloon’s away, you might realize the impact of it then, but maybe why didn’t you value it when it was right in front of you? Well, so cool. We’re talking about all this. Have you ever just a random side note question? Have you ever thought to write a book, or do something within the divorce space and call do maybe your next book, never lose your partner again?
Joey Coleman: I have thought about that and I get this question semi-regularly in my audiences. Is one of my rules, Bryan, which is obviously the same rule you and I had that I talked about before we even started recording is any question is fair game. I’ll do my best to answer any question. Now, I know means have the answers per se, but I’m happy to share my perspective on any question. See earlier comment about Palestine versus Israel. What’s your perspective and why is it based on? So this is very comfortable for me. I think as it relates to relationships, these same principles that we apply to keeping a customer can be applied to keeping a spouse or keeping partner or keeping a friend, the exact same tools, the exact same techniques, the exact same functions, 100%. Why? Because they’re humans.
See, everybody wants to say, “But Joey, you don’t understand, my customers, blah, blah, blah. We’re in this industry,” or “Joey, you don’t understand, my employees, blah, blah, blah. We’re in this industry,” or “Joey, you don’t understand my wife, blah, blah, blah,” or “My husband, blah, blah, blah,” or “My kids, blah, blah, blah.” I’m like, are any of them, these people that you’re having challenges with, they’re all people. They’re all human. Great. So we can immediately get down to some very core basic human needs that if you are delivering on these core, basic human needs for the people you interact with, they will want to stay around.
Years ago, I went to an event with Tony Robbins and Tony Robbins talked about this six human needs. He believes there are six. One of the needs, there’s an interesting pairing of two needs. There’s a need for certainty and a need for uncertainty. So his premise is all humans need certainty in their life and they need uncertainty in their life. You get a little too much certainty, it feels boring. You get a little too much uncertainty, it feels unstable and unsafe. So it needs to be a healthy mix of both. So if we extrapolate that personal human need analysis of certainty and uncertainty into the business world, we say, okay, where are we providing our clients with certainty? Where are we providing them with a little bit of surprise and delight or uncertainty.
I don’t want uncertainty in the invoice, I want certainty in the invoice, but you know what? I might be open to some uncertainty is an unexpected video that says, “Hey, I saw this and thought of you,” or a gift that comes in the mail that says, “Hey, I was out shopping and I came across this and man, it just made me smile. And when I smile, I thought, I bet this is something that Bryan would smile about too. So I picked one for you and I sent it to you.” That kind of uncertainty is super cool, but it’s not invoice uncertainty. And so the moral of the story here I think is if we think about what humans actually want and what they need, and we look for ways to deliver that in our business relationships, in our personal relationships, it changes the conversation.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Absolutely love the… My mom always raised me on the quote, the extra miles never crowded, but usually-
Joey Coleman: So true.
Bryan Wish: But usually, it was in the context, whether it was the thoughtful thinking note, the book you send to someone, the article and to everything that you just said, it’s like going the extra mile in a very thoughtful and deliberate, but spontaneous way, that’s not so systematized. You’re going to sit down one day and just do this, but it’s organic. And the clients feel that you care beyond just the service or value you’re providing.
Joey Coleman: Yeah. And I’m a big fan, Bryan of having pieces that are systematized and pieces that are organic, because here’s the thing. If we don’t systematize it, it doesn’t get done. This our business grows, is we more people we don’t get it done. But if it feels like, oh, on day seven, they send the thank you note. This is the thank you note template. That doesn’t work. One of my favorite quotes, if you will about thank you notes came from my mom and she said, “It’s never too late to send a thank you note.” And I was like, wow, that’s really interesting. Especially when we were growing up and she’d be like, okay, your birthday, we need to write thank yous for your birthday. For the gifts you got for your birthday, we got to write, thank you notes.
And they need to get out this week type thing. And it’s like, feels like there’s a deadline here, but the moral of the story being, I’ve written thank you notes for people that did things for me 20 years ago, that I just now am realizing the scope and the magnitude of what they did. I didn’t have the understanding, the perspective, the world view, the maturity, the age, fill in the blank, whatever I was lacking to witness it at the time. But now that I’m recognizing it later, it’s on me. If I’ve recognized it and haven’t told them, that I am guilty of. That does deserve some judgment. Hey, why haven’t you thanked them? Why haven’t you reached out and responded that. But the flip side being when you were mentioning giving gifts or presents, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
It can be, it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Lots of times business owners hear this and they’re like, “Oh, Joey, what do you want my gifting and thank you, note budget to be, or are you kidding me?” I’m like, “No, it’s not about the money you spend. It’s about the thoughtfulness of the communication.” If I were to ask you Bryan, to think about the 10 best gifts you ever received. And I were to ask you to make a list of those gifts. And you were really thoughtful about them and you wrote them all out. And then I was to ask you to associate the street market, fair market value price of those gifts. Not the value that you associate with them, but their actual value in the marketplace. Statistically, those gifts would be less than $50.
In fact, most of them would be less than $20. So it’s not about the money. It’s about the thoughtfulness. It’s about getting something and going, oh, my gosh, that person was listening when I was talking. They know me better than I know myself. They found this thoughtful thing that made me think of them, or they sent me this article that they read, it cost nothing. They read an article. It made them think of me and they sent it over. They read a book, made them think of me, they sent it over. They saw an ad on TV and they film it. Occasionally something I’ll do is I’ll see it… I shifted this with a buddy of mine. There was a scene on TV where they made a joke about credit unions. And he is in the credit union space. And I’m watching a movie with my wife and I said, “Honey, sorry, can we pause and rewind this so I can record it.”
And she knows me well enough now to know exactly what’s happening. We rewind 10 seconds. I filmed the little vignette about the credit union and I texted to him, “Hey, saw this made me laugh, thought of you.” period. End of story. He then what’s the impact on that? My hope is that he goes, gosh, Joey thinks of me, even when we’re not working on a project. Joey thinks of me, even when I’m not in front of him. Joey actually thinks of me as a human, more than a customer. And the reality is that’s true. I don’t do with the contrived. Oh, and now that I sent you this, when I ask him about that next project, it’ll be 4% more likely that we’ll close the deal and I can maybe raise the rate by 7% because of it. No, it’s just, hey, there’s a human out there that I thought of and I want to let them know I thought of them. That’s it?
Bryan Wish: Yeah. I feel like we’re born from a similar feather, or as they said, birds are the same feather. That’s the word quote. But I mean, I just love your passion that you’re exuding about this and creating that human experience. And I mean, another question about your work, I’m sure you’ve read The Five Love Languages.
Joey Coleman: I have. Yeah. By Gary Chapman, amazing book. In fact, my wife and I have retaken the test several times.
Bryan Wish: Oh, that’s incredible.
Joey Coleman: We did it with our whole family. Our kids have all taken it, my nieces and nephews, we tested everybody so that we had everybody’s love languages. And we still refer to it as a family. It’s like, oh, yeah, physical touch. That’s his love language. That’s why he wants to wrestle, or oh, thought words of affirmation. That’s her love language. That’s why we need to make sure we go out of our way to say things. Yeah. Huge fan of that book in Gary’s work.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. It’s done so simply and well. And so I’m curious for your work. For instance, you’re talking about gifts. Well, I love giving thoughtful gifts, but if I receive a nice thoughtful gift, it means something, but it’s like, I would much rather get the word of affirmation no matter how much effort was put into it. And I’m not saying I don’t appreciate it, that doesn’t leave the same impact. So in your work with retention, cultivating relationships, how much do you bring in maybe elements from that work into your work with customers?
Joey Coleman: Well, I certainly try to be cognizant of it. What I will say is I think it’s my personal belief that the real underlying premise of Gary Chapman’s work and the five love languages is not that you are fluent in one language. It’s that you speak all five languages. You hear all five languages. You just over index on speaking one more often than the others and on hearing one more often than the others. And it’s not always the case that the one you speak is the one you hear. It sounds like in your situation, you’re happy to give the gift. You love that, but the receiving them, you feel like, eh, I’d rather receive the words of affirmation. Okay. Great. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you? It means you’re self aware, kudos to you. That’s amazing.
So what I try to do with my clients and what I try to do with the companies that I consult with is to say, all right, how can we infuse different touch points and pay attention to the reactions we get from our customers to see which ones are hitting for them, because if the presence aren’t hitting for them, stop sending as many presents. Invest a little more in the thoughtful note that is full of words of affirmation. If the thoughtful note isn’t really resonating as much as it otherwise could, invest in the quality time and the saying, “Hey, they say, we want to have a 15 minute call.” You say, “Great, no problem. Could we schedule 25? Because I’d love to spend 10 minutes just hearing what’s going on in your life.”
Independent from this conversation. When you say that to a quality time person, they’re like, oh, my God, 25. I’ll give you an hour. I have yet to meet a human being on the planet who is receiving enough appreciation for all they’re doing. I’ve yet to meet a human being on the planet who has said, oh, I’m all good. I don’t need to hear any other nice things about me. I don’t need to any other show of proof that I’m making an impact or contributing to the world or providing value. I think it’s part of the human condition to want that feedback. And ironically enough, the people in many ways who give the most, who provide the most value, get the least amount of appreciation for it.
How many parents bringing it back to parents? How many parents feel unappreciated by their children? And yet they’re probably spending more time caring for them and looking out for them and providing for that child than anyone else on the planet. Certainly in the early years. And I would pause it even in the later years. Why don’t we just say what we’re feeling? Why don’t we just share this stuff a little bit more? We’re so scared. We’re so scared to be in the one who says, oh, this is really what I’m feeling and that vulnerability giving the other person a one up us, or how that will change their opinion of us. When the reality is, I think when we lean into that, it takes relationships to a completely different place.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Chills, I have a mentor and he tells me, he said, you can’t tell people how you feel about them when they’re dead. And it’s a bit hard to hear, but his point is similar to yours. We need to tell people how we feel about them, because we never know when life’s… He said two cancers and him and his wife and survived in both, but again, life kind of throws these cancer moments at you. And you got to tell those people, like you said, tell the people why they matter to you more often than not. And I think as we started out to show, you’re talking about, you’re raising kids with the gratitude and this and that. How do you infuse that into the recipe of being a kind human by telling people what they mean to you?
So I really just appreciate the perspective here. I have one more question for you, and then we’ll tell people where to find you and all the things. As you were talking. I think my just creative and product mind was just spinning in a cool way, as you’re doing research and you’re working with clients, I have to imagine, I don’t want to interpret and be wrong, but if I am it’s okay. I have to imagine you’re getting a lot of data points that are happening and that it can be applied how, beyond maybe writing, how are you using those data points when you work with other customers or to build other products?
Joey Coleman: Yeah. It’s a really fun question. One of the joys of my life is giving speeches and I’m super excited in committed to never giving the same speech twice because I always want it to be new ideas and new examples and new stories. And part of the reason why I love being on podcast is because I get questions that lead to different stories and different variations. It’s why I have my own podcast. It’s always looking for opportunities to take the things I’m learning and turn around and share them back with the world. It hopefully in an effort to have people learn from those and to be able to share them in other ways and all boats rise together.
What I’ll say is I am constantly on the look and on the search and on the hunt for new ideas and new stories and new example, and constantly looking for new ways to share those with people. Now, one of my goals is we record this near the end of 2021. And one of my goals for 2022 is to figure out ways to share those stories and those ideas and those examples faster than books. Books are great. I love books. I love reading books. I love writing books, but the process of writing a book is slow. And the process of publishing a book is even slower than the process of writing the book and getting it out into the world.
So it’s something that, to be candid, I’m trying to get better at, but looking for ways to share more of those because worries become so unbelievable and so impactful. So if I may I’ll share a quick one, because I think it would be relevant to this conversation.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Please do.
Joey Coleman: Okay. I did a presentation for Trek bicycles. If you’re not familiar with Trek bicycles, they are a world-class bicycle company. They actually build themselves as The Bicycle Company. They create incredible, incredible bicycles, their works of art. And I gave a presentation to their people. And during the presentation, I suggested this idea of sending videos and sending communications to past customers. So I went out into the hall after my speech and was walking around and meeting some people. And two guys came up and they said, “Oh, my gosh, we just had the experience we got to share with you, Joey.” I was like, “All right, what happened?”
They said, “You said to create a video. And so what we decided to do, we’ve got this brand new bike that we’re demoing here. That’s a $10,000 bicycle. And it’s demoing here at our annual meeting. We’re seeing it.” And so what I did is I got on the bike and I had my buddy film and we were doing this little ride on the bike. And I was pointing out some of the key features and we sent it to one of our customers. And we just said, when we were on this bike, all we could think about was you. And we wanted I need you to see it before anybody else sees it. I sent the video off. I said, guys, that’s awesome. Love this idea. Perfect example, let me know what happens.
I’d be curious as to what happens. They said, oh, Joey, it already happened. So what do you mean it already happened? They said within three minutes of sending the video, the guy text back and said, “Place my order. When will I have it?” They sold a $10,000 bicycle with a one-and-a-half-minute-long video and a three minute close time on the sale. Now, would that happen with every customer? No. Would that happen with many customers? Yes. If the customer feels like you genuinely are showing them something that is great for them and you’ve built the trust and you’ve built the rapport and you’ve built the personal and emotional connection that they value your perspective and opinion. When that happens, sales becomes order-taking.
It’s not selling anymore. It’s sharing. It’s, hey, you would love this bike. You don’t even have to say, you should get this bike, because they know they should get it. And then you’re there. So what I’ll say is there are a [inaudible 00:52:50] of opportunity to connect with your customers, to connect with your employees, to connect with your friends, your loved ones. Are you using them? Are you sending videos? Are you sending presents? Are you sending emails? Are you sending text messages? Are you picking up the phone and making a call, or are you enjoying the in-person time that you have with someone being present in the moment and recognizing that you are getting this unique experience?
I mean, if there’s anything that the last 18 months of COVID has taught us globally, but particularly here in the United States is that a lot of us, myself included, were taking for granted the in-person interactions we were having.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Totally.
Joey Coleman: I don’t want to do that again.
Bryan Wish: What a hour we’ve had one, the track story is unbelievable and testament to what you shared with them, but testament to what that customer experience as a result of them thinking about them, and way to live out your purpose and what you’re doing today. And seeing the value in real time so quickly. And I bet that felt really good for you as well. So everyone [inaudible 00:54:03] want.
Joey Coleman: It did.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Well, Joey, this has been [inaudible 00:54:07]. Where can people find you reach out to you, buy your stuff, party to speak, what are the places?
Joey Coleman: Yeah, no. I appreciate that, Bryan. I appreciate everybody who is listening in today. Hopefully you enjoyed our conversation as much as I enjoyed chatting with Bryan. I will say the best place to find me is on my website. It’s joeycoleman.com, that’s J-O-E-Y, like a baby kangaroo, or a five year old Joey. Coleman, C-O-L-E-M0-A-N like the camping equipment, but no relation. joeycoleman.com. My podcast is called the Experience This show, it’s all about customer and employee experience. I co-host with my good buddy, Dan Gingiss. You can find that on iTune Spotify everywhere, just type in Experience This show.
And the book is called, Never Lose a Customer Again, and it’s available anywhere you might buy a book. We’ve got the e-book version, the hard cover version, the audiobook version, which by the way, I narrate. So if you’ve enjoyed the listening to my voice during our podcast, you can enjoy listening to me read you the book. And the new book is a work in progress. It will out probably in early 2023. So we’re about a year plus away from it, but it’s coming soon called never lose an employee again. And that’s going to be the next focus and approach since so many of businesses around the world are really struggling with employee retention right now.
Hopefully that’ll be something that is very actionable to them, but the book’s actually been being written for close to a decade now, because the same things you use to keep a customer are the things you use to keep an employee. And I just would love more employer, employee relationships to have that deep, personal and emotional connection that I know customers are seeking with the businesses they work with.
Bryan Wish: Yeah. Wow. So excited for you. And I expect the third book to be, to never lose a partner again.
Joey Coleman: There you go. I’ll keep you posted, Bryan. I’ll keep you posted.
Bryan Wish: Great. I’ll be your prominent promoter.
Joey Coleman: I love it. I appreciate that.
Bryan Wish: Thank you, Joey.
Joey Coleman: Thanks, Bryan.