Ep 058

How to Tell Your Story & Turn Clients into Superfans

With

Brittany Hodak

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Inside This Episode

In this episode, I’m talking with Brittany Hodak about how financial advisors can build a diehard community of superfans using the same system Taylor Swift used to create an army of Swifties.

Brittany came up with her game-changing system, the SUPER Model, while working with globally known brands like Walmart, Disney, Amazon, Katy Perry, the Boston Red Sox, and of course, Taylor Swift.

This proprietary 5-step system which Brittany shared in her 2023 book, Creating Superfans: How to Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates, is a simple playbook to tap into the unmatched power of superfandom, and it works like a charm whether you’re Taylor Swift or a financial advisor.

Today, Brittany breaks down her SUPER Model and shows how you can use it to kill apathy, stand out from a sea of competitors, and most importantly, create your own army of superfans to supercharge your business.

3 of the biggest insights from Brittany Hodak

#1 What makes Taylor Swift one of the greatest marketing geniuses of our time? Since Brittany’s worked with her, she’s going to uncover the formula to her rapid growth and show you how to create a cult-like following of Superfans! 

#2 A financial advisor’s biggest problem isn’t awareness… it’s apathy! Discover Brittany’s 5-Part Framework for turning your business from a commodity to a category of ONE that your clients can’t live without.  

#3 What processes in your business do your clients find annoying and frustrating? Dubbed ‘slow elevators’ by Brittany, learn how to transform these inconveniences into golden opportunities, crafting unforgettable experiences that leave your clients delighted.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • Why Superfans are critical to your business
  • Taylor Swift is a marketing genius
  • How to build a cult-like following!
  • Using story to drive sales
  • Why financial advisors need a “story set list”
  • The 5 steps of the SUPER Model
  • Develop deep connections with clients
  • Idea to make retirement special for clients
  • Avoid the “slow elevators” in your business
  • What “do business, do life” means to Brittany Hodak

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE: 

PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:

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MIC DROP MOMENTS WITH BRITTANY HODAK

  • “One of the great paradoxes about songs is also true of marketing. And that is, the more specific you can make a lyric, the more universal its appeal will be.” – Brittany Hodak

  • A superfan is a customer/stakeholder who is so delighted by their experience with a brand, product or company that they become an enthusiastic advocate.” – Brittany Hodak

  • Plenty of people drive by your building, they’ve seen your name, they see your ads. They’re very aware of the fact that you’re offering financial advisory services 6 minutes from where they live or work. They don’t care. And the reason they don’t care is because you haven’t done a good enough job telling them why they have to.” – Brittany Hodak

  • What is it that you can do to intertwine business and life in a way that’s energy giving instead of energy taking, so that you wake up every Monday morning and think, ‘I’m so glad it’s Monday. I can’t wait to get to work.” – Brittany Hodak

Brad Johnson: Welcome back to another episode of Do Business. Do Life. Excited to have Brittany Hodak here with us today. Welcome to the show, Brittany.

Brittany Hodak: Thanks so much. I’m thrilled to be here with you.

Brad Johnson: Well, I know we’re going to dive into your first book, which I have a copy of right here, Superfans, or Creating Superfans, I should say. And I have to say, not only do you write about it, but you live it. As we were getting to know each other, our mutual friend Joey Coleman introduced us and we hopped on a Zoom. Just wanted to understand, okay, what’s Brittany all about? And somewhere in that conversation, I brought up that my daughter Nellie is a Taylor Swift fan. And you’re like, “I used to work with Taylor back in the day.”

And then the next thing I know, this Taylor Swift bomb shows up at my house with a collectible CD. It’s got a little Lego figurine of you. It’s got your book that’s personalized to me. So, I have to say that you don’t just write about it, you live it. So, let’s talk about just in general, what is a superfan? What have you figured out over the years to not just talk about it, but put it into action?

Brittany Hodak: Well, thank you so much for saying that, Brad. I love Taylor and I love Swifties. I think it’s such a great example of really an entire economy being grown around fandom. So, when I talk about superfans, I’m not usually talking about the pop culture kind, although most of my background is in the entertainment industry. I’m talking about customers who create more customers, which ultimately are the kind of customers that just about everyone is looking for. So, for someone to truly be a superfan in at least my definition, there are three things that have to happen. So, the kind of long definition that I give in my book is a superfan is a customer stakeholder who is so delighted by their experience with a brand, product, or company that they become an enthusiastic advocate. So, those three parts are number one, we’re talking about someone who is actually a customer.

Or if you work in a business where you have lots of people involved, they could be a stakeholder. So, for instance, if you are a loan originator, it could be the borrower and it could also be the real estate agent, but someone who has been through several transactions with you. And the reason that’s important is because we all know we’re more likely to act on a recommendation from someone who has actually been a customer than from somebody who was like, oh yeah, my second cousin goes to church with a guy who does this, or I drive by this place and it looks really cool. So, that’s the first part. They’ve got to be a customer.

The second part, they’re delighted by their experience. So, the overwhelming majority of experiences that all of us have are what I put in the bucket of neutral. They’re like, no, sort of nothing burgers that we experience move along with our lives. Don’t give them a lot of extra thought. Superfans have positive experiences. They are delighted by what it felt like to do business with you, and we can talk about how to put systems and processes in place to make sure that happens.

And then the third part, they become an enthusiastic advocate, which really just means when given the opportunity, they will advocate on your behalf. So, whether it’s online or in-line at a supermarket, if they overhear someone say, “I’m looking for this,” or they know someone who needs this service or product that you provide or sell, they will speak up and say, “You’ve got to call Jill or you’ve got to call Donny.” So, that’s the long definition, but really the short one is these are customers who are helping bring more customers to you. They’re not just coming back, but they’re coming back and telling their friends, they’ve got to check you out as well.

Brad Johnson: Very cool. I think that’s a perfect breakdown at the frontend, so we’ve kind of have the framework. And before we get off the Swiftie side, of which I have an eight-year-old in my house that is one, and I think she’s turning her mom into one too. But what you just laid out, they have to be a customer, they have to be delighted. And after that, they have to be an advocate. I think that kind of explains Swifties, really, when you think about it. And so, I know really, your start was heavy in the entertainment industry, but I’m guessing you’ve borrowed a lot of what you learned from there in order to infuse that into the business world. Like, if we look at Taylor Swift and how she runs her business, because you had a nice little inside view of that, what are some of the things you see her doing well to pull that similar framework off?

Brittany Hodak: So, Taylor is one of the most brilliant marketers of our generation, not just entertainer marketers, but any field, right? Like, there is not a single business on this planet that could not learn from the decisions that Taylor makes. And one of the things that she’s done since the beginning of her career is really call the shots. Her management team works just for her. All of the social people, all of the infrastructure around her, even going back 15, 17 years when she was just getting started, they wanted to have as much of it in-house as possible because the most important thing to her was the fan experience.

And so, my first job was working at a radio station when I was 16 years old. Actually, my very first job was as a radio station mascot. I got to dress up as a giant bumblebee, which was amazing. I actually loved that job. But very soon thereafter, I started writing for the radio station website, and I would go to all of these festivals and concerts. And one of the things that I was just very fascinated in, even as a teenager was why do some bands go viral, like blow up, become huge stars, and others go away? And it’s not always who has the best songs. It’s not always who has the biggest marketing budget. It’s not even always who has the most talent or who’s best on stage.

And so, as a teenager and then through my college years, I was just obsessed with this and trying to collect all of the metrics, look at all the data. How many people came to the show the last time they were in the city? How many people are there now? How much merch are they selling? And this common throughline that I started to see again and again and again was that the bands who grew the most and had the most sustained careers were the ones who had the best relationships with their fans. In other words, they had made it a two-way street. We care about you, we care that you’re here. And then the fans all of a sudden are like, we care about you too. We’re glad that you’re here. So, those bands who were doing the work, taking the time to meet people at the merch booth after the show, hanging out before the show, do the things put in that hard on the ground, like grassroots work, those were the ones who didn’t have to depend on, can we get Max Martin to write us a smash song that we can take to number one on the pop charts? Because they had a true fan base, they had connected their story to the stories of those fans. They had interwoven all of these little parts and pieces of their lives.

And I will never forget the first time I met Taylor. So, I was 22 or 23 at the time. She was 17, and she had just won her first ever televised award. She got the Breakthrough Video of the Year award at the CMT Music Awards, and I was sitting a couple of rows behind her at the show. At this time, I was working for a record label in New York. I went to school, graduated, was working at a label, and saw her at the show, was talking to her and her mom, and then the party after, she was there with an artist who I had interned at his label on college. So, we knew each other and had done a lot of work together. And so, I was talking to them for a while, and the thing that I was so interested in is that Taylor was spending a lot of her time on Myspace, which at the time was the biggest music discovery site on the internet, and she was a high school. I mean, she was a junior in high school, and she was spending so much time reaching out to strangers because they followed an artist who was sort of like her, or commenting on what people were saying about what was happening at their schools that day, even though she didn’t know them and didn’t go to that school.

And I just thought it was like a really brilliant strategy because she was sort of bubbling under at the time. The trades were sort of like, huh, look at this girl. It’s like doing all of this high school internet stuff. But I thought it was really interesting. And I remember asking her if that was something that the label would come up with or a social media company, like where the strategy came from. And it was very evident in the way that she talked about it, that it was something that she had been in the driver’s seat of, as she has for her entire career. But I’ll never forget what she said. So, her debut album, which was called Taylor Swift, she said, “I want this album to sell a million copies. And I know that if a million people are going to spend $9.99 to download my album on iTunes or go buy it at Target or Walmart, I’ve got to make them care about me because they’re not going to care about my music until they care about me. So, I want them to know that I care about them.”

So, she was on this mission as a junior in high school to go make a million people care about her by caring about them first. And she has always had that fan-first mindset, and all of the experiences that she designs, all of the releases that she has, she is so focused on that. Like, are my fans going to love this? And again, brilliant marketer, there is not a business in the world that you can’t put through the filter of, am I making the right decisions for my customers and then expect there to be failure on the back end of that?

Brad Johnson: That is an awesome breakdown. Thank you for sharing that. I think what’s interesting, I was having this conversation with a friend the other day. We talked about the root word of culture. And she’s created quite the culture at her concerts. It’s cult, right? It’s like belonging. And I think there’s always a negative connotation around cult because you think about the ones where people drink the purple Kool-Aid or whatever, right? But a cult is truly like, I belong to this group that has unique characteristics. And what she’s created is all these kind of little Easter eggs, right? Like, the little friendship bracelets that get swapped at her concerts or the light shows that are interactive, where the audience feels like they’re part of the actual performance. Like, if we stay in an entertainment world before we get to business world, what are other bands or experiences where they’ve really developed this cult-like following that might have its own special language or its own special things they do when they get together? What are other examples like that? Because I really believe back to caring about the two-way street, that’s what creates a lot of that connection.

Brittany Hodak: Yeah. Well, so this has been going on probably since the beginning of time, definitely since the beginning of rock and roll acts. And it’s just heightened now because we have the internet. But if you go back decades and you look at Elvis or you look at the Beatles, they had fan clubs that they were running, they had communications that were helping fans across the world communicate with each other because they had this shared interest. You’re right, it is sort of like a cult where we get that word culture from because these people all care about the same thing and they want to connect with others who care.

So, if you look back over pop culture history, where things get really interesting is when first the internet and then second social media come along because that really let fans gather immediately, right? Like, I remember when I was in high school, we had what were called street teams. And if you really loved an artist, you could be on their street team. And that meant exactly what it sounds like. You’re out there on the street, trying to get other people in your city to care about a band. And the label would send you stickers and buttons and fliers and promotional singles and you would do all of these things to try to get people to care about this man that you cared about.

And then once everybody was online, it became that much easier to share first, your enthusiasm, and then the songs, right? You could share the files and say, “Check this out.” And then, of course, with social media, there’s nothing in between. It’s fans directly to each other instantaneously in real time. And what’s interesting is that there was really a split in ideology among record labels and even artists. Social media was catching on. Some of them were very hands off. We are above this. We don’t want to do this. We’ve got to keep this distance between us and the fans, so absolutely, we’re not going to be engaging, but we’re also not going to be encouraging them to engage with each other.

I mean, you can go back, and even look at all the bands that were sending cease and desist orders or filing legal actions, trying to stop artists from selling fan-made T-shirts. Not like I’m going to take your copyright and infringe on it and take your trademarks and steal them and make tens of thousands of dollars, but I’m designing something really cool and selling it to three people or letting somebody commission me to do this. They were sort of tamping down enthusiasm, saying like, this is our IP. Stay in your lane, stay in your place.

And then you had other artists who were so welcoming and so embracing of, I want my community to have a name. Like, you think back Lady Gaga was one of the first who did a really great job of this. She had her little monsters and it was, I loved that you’re all talking about me and I don’t need to control the conversation. I’ll support you, guys. I’ll listen to the conversations, but go do your own thing. So, you saw these micro communities and micro cultures that would grow and grow and grow based on the enthusiasm of this thing that they had in common. So, the artist in this case, or a sports team or a movie, and I think now, 15, 20 years later, as we’ve all seen this play out, not just entertainers, but brands of all kinds have come around to say, not only do we want this to happen, but we’ll do whatever it takes to encourage it. Like, we have to have this discourse, like the worst thing in the world is if nobody is talking about us online, if nobody wants to tell their friends. So, how can we try to control and encourage as much around sparking these conversations and keeping these conversations among our fans going?

So, there are a lot of people who’ve done it really well. There are some people who haven’t done really well, but what I think from a psychographic standpoint is that the most interesting thing is all of these behaviors have been happening forever. They’re just happening out in the open now. Like, now, it’s not people on chat phone lines, like, in the 1970s where you’re picking up the phone and there’s a bunch of people there or subscribing to the same fan ezine or newsletter through the mail. It’s all of these things are just happening now on the internet, where we can all see them and follow along in real time.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, which is a double-edged sword, as you said, because you make the right choice or the wrong choice. And now, it’s really exponentially one way or the other, right? The word that comes up to me, Brittany, is at the core, all humans want to belong to whatever that thing is, whether it’s your family, you want to feel like you belong here, you’re in a safe place. If it’s a fan club, a Swiftie, I want to have a sense of belonging with others that feel the same. So, you kind of broke out some of the early experiences in the entertainment industry. Now, let’s take that and apply it to business. What are some, like if you were going to talk to a financial advisor, which is our audience out there, they’re all small business entrepreneurs all over the country and say, now, here’s some ways I could apply that thinking to create that sense of belonging or community with my clients, so they tell other people about us, so they bring more people in. Obviously, referrals are a beautiful thing in the world of finance. So, what are your thoughts there?

Brittany Hodak: It’s a great question. Thank you for asking. I think, understanding a few of the things that are happening in the world right now and why it makes that being able to create a sense of belonging so critical. So, I like to talk about this idea of going from a commodity provider to a category of one. What I do is just like what a lot of other people do too. I could not ever imagine asking someone else to help me with this thing. And financial advising, like many industries, has become highly commoditized, right? You don’t even need to have a financial advisor in some instances. You can just go park your money in a mutual fund, like it’ll grow, it’ll perform, it’ll do okay.

So, a lot of times, when I work with financial advisors, they’ll say things like just kind of create more awareness. Like, maybe I could just spend more money online, maybe I could sponsor more community events, maybe I could buy more advertising because I know people don’t know who I am because if they did, we’d have triple the number of leads. We’d have so many more people coming in. And when I dig in, almost all of the time, it’s not an awareness problem at all. Plenty of people know, like they drive by your building, they’ve seen your name, they see your ads, they’re very aware of the fact that you’re offering financial advisory services three minutes or six minutes from where they live or work. They don’t care. It’s an apathy problem.

And the reason they don’t care is because you haven’t done a good enough job telling them why they have to. You haven’t connected your story to theirs in a way that’s going to resonate. Maybe that is that you haven’t made them feel like they belong, or maybe it’s that you haven’t shown them why you are uniquely positioned to solve the problems that they have, that you care the most. Yes, there are a lot of things that you could do with your money, but isn’t your money, isn’t your future deserving enough of working with the person who cares the most? Don’t you want someone who’s as invested in your future as you are?

An algorithm doesn’t care about your money. A nameless, faceless app that you’re never going to interact with, they don’t care. You know who cares? I care, and I’m going to walk alongside you on this journey to take things that are complex and complicated and confusing and not just give you great advice, but help make sure that I’ve got you, like I am taking care of you now. I will take care of you in the future. I will take care of your kids or your grandkids, your family, like that is what you’ve got to make people understand because that is how you go from that commodity provider space. Oh, yeah, I’ll help you with your money. I’ll advise you on your finances to, I don’t make any life decisions without calling to talk to Brad. Like, first, I’m going to call my spouse. Next, I’m going to call my financial advisor because that is how much I trust them, that is how much I need them to feel confident and secure about the decisions that I’m making for my future.

Brad Johnson: I love that and couldn’t agree more. Now, every advisor out there is thinking like, okay, great, now how do I do that? So, what are some thoughts around getting rid of the apathy, getting rid of the hey, yeah, financial advisor, but there’s 15 of them in this square radius around my house? What are your thoughts there?

Brittany Hodak: So, one of the things that I always say that I write about extensively in my book is that superfans are created at the intersection of your story and every customer story. Where your story and theirs overlap, that is where apathy dies. And in the book, I talk about this five-part framework that’s called the supermodel. The idea is that if you want to create superfans, you’ve got to be super. So, I break down these sort of five different pillars. But the first one, so SUPER is an acronym. The S in SUPER stands for start with your story. And the reason it start with your story is because that is where you have to start. Why should I care about you? Why do you deserve the privilege of managing my money? Why do you deserve superfans? And it always blows my mind when I talk to people who have been doing what they do for 20, 25, 30 years and they don’t have a great answer to this question. Or they’re like, well, I’ve been doing it for 30 years. I’m like, okay, well, Roger just told me he’s been doing it for 40 years as he’s 25% better at his job than you. Oh, no, of course not. Okay, then why are you leading with that? Why is that the first piece of evidence you’re giving me to hire you?

So, start with your story. What is it that makes this not just a position to you, not just a paycheck, but a purpose? Why are you advising people about their financial lives when you could be doing anything else in the world? Start there. And to take it back to entertainment for a little bit, so I live just outside of Nashville, Tennessee now, and we are known for our country music songwriting, and one of the great paradoxes about songs is also true of marketing. And that is, the more specific you can make a lyric, the more universal its appeal will be. And a lot of times, people come to town, come to Nashville, they want to be songwriters and they write very general songs because they think, like, oh, if I put in too many details, people won’t react to it, they won’t respond, they won’t feel it. When in reality, you don’t enjoy a song less if it’s a love song about a girl and the narrator singer singing about a girl who doesn’t look like your wife, because when you hear him describing the woman he loves, what are you thinking about in your head? The woman you love.

When someone sings about their hometown, you’re thinking about your hometown because our brains are hard wired to react to stories. And when we hear those adjectives, when we hear those details, we start to see pictures in our minds that help that advisor, in this case, go from a commodity provider to that category of one. All of a sudden, you’re not just somebody trying to manage my money, your Gene who had a very similar childhood to me, or Roger who has the craziest story about something that I have ever heard. So, you have to start with your story. Why is what you do relevant to the customers that you want to help? And why should they care?

And when you start there, when you make sure that you don’t come across as just another guy in a striped shirt on a Where’s Waldo puzzle, when somebody goes to your website, goes to your social media, that is what people see, right? They look at your stuff and they’re like, “Oh, goody, another financial advisor.” You have got to stand out because you are losing so many prospects that you never even know existed because they come across you in a Google search online or somebody is like, “Oh, I work with this advisor,” and somebody goes to your pages and is like, “They don’t look that special.” Maybe they’ll pick up their phone and call you. But very likely, if they’re not ready to have a meeting in that moment, they’re going to forget about you. So, how are you using your story, your uniqueness, the fact that you’re the only you on this planet to help you attract more of the right kinds of people?

Brad Johnson: Let’s spend some time on that one. So, there’s this thing that happens in finance, and I’m sure it happens in other industries too, but it’s very prevalent, and it is almost like the suit and tie if you’re a guy or the dress suit if you’re a girl, it’s almost like this suit of armor, more like a shield that kind of protects this persona. And I think what I’ve seen over the years is it’s almost like many in our industry are afraid to just be themselves. And whether it’s the bio on the website that’s like I’ve been doing this for 30 or 40 years, all of the professional. And then at the bottom, it’s like, and I’m married with three kids and we have a dog, and it’s like all the personal stuff is an afterthought.

And I’ve also been fortunate, I’ve sat through a lot of speaker training because many, in finance, that’s how they grow their business is a public seminar, some sort of presentation, one to many, in front of a crowd. And I almost feel like when they’re telling their story, I’ve seen advisors where they just almost paraphrase. It would be like the CliffsNotes version of a real story to where it’s almost like they’re not even being a human. Back to the details in the songs you just talked about, what makes a great song is the little details, right? The smell of the perfume, what the house look like when they walk in the door, and it’s what makes it real versus, oh, this is just some schtick to get me to move my money. And I’ve often found where advisors that have put a lot of thought into it, they almost glaze over their own story and it makes no sense. They don’t do it justice. So, maybe we spend a little bit of time there. Like, what makes a good story? What makes a good song? And it isn’t breezing over the details. Sometimes it’s like diving down into the little things that make it real and the little things that put a scratch on the record that people remember. What are your thoughts around good stories versus bad stories or mediocre stories?

Brittany Hodak: So, when you’re telling your story, you want to include as many details that are relevant to the message as possible. So, if you find yourself about to do a one to many event, the first thing I would ask yourself is what’s the message that I really want these people to take away? What is it that I want them to know? What are the core truths about me that I would want somebody either at the end of this session or 30 days later to say if I were to ask them, like, what did you hear from the stage? What did you get out about it? And then ask yourself if you’re telling stories that are in service to that message. And in those stories that you’re telling, which could be in the book I talk about this idea of a story set list, like when a band goes to play at, like, going back to Taylor Swift, on the Eras Tour, she’s got the set list and most of it is set every night, right? Because there’s dancers and there’s choreography and there’s pyro and lights and all of this stuff happening. Those songs are going to be played in the same order.

If you’re a bar band, it’s more like I’ve got a folder of songs and we all know that the four of us can play these songs and we’re going to kind of wing it, right? We’re going to read the room, we’re going to see what the vibe is, we’re going to be playing different songs at 8:30 than we are at 11:30. If somebody comes up and wants just to give us a $20 tip to play Free Bird, like cool, all of a sudden that’s the next song we play. It’s much more fluid.

Financial advisors should have a story set list too. What are the right stories to tell at the right moment to create the right outcomes? And you’re going to tell different stories in different ways depending on who is in the audience. So, if you went on spring break in college and you get back and everybody’s like, oh, it was Cancun. Probably the stories you’re telling to your parents are different than the stories you’re telling to your roommates, right? You’re talking about the same vacation, but you’re emphasizing different things based on who is in the audience. So, as you tell your own story, ask yourself, what’s most important to come across? What are the things that are most likely to make the people in this audience reach whatever that outcome is that you’re hoping for?

Maybe it’s like straight-up conversion. You want them to sign up to be your client right now. Maybe you want them to come a little bit lower in the funnel to where you’re in a highly looked after spot to where, when they’re ready to get an advisor in two years or three years or five years, they’re still thinking of you. Like, whatever that is, you’ve got to know what’s the next step I want these people to take and what are the stories that are in best service of getting these people to take that next step. And that’s kind of like step number one. It’s like what do I want people to do? Okay, well, what are the things that I need to say? What are the details that I need to share to make it most statistically probable that the people are going to do this thing that I want them to do? And I think a lot of people don’t think about it, like, they don’t think about it in that way. They’re just like, oh, there’s 30 people in the room. I’m going to get up and talk about myself a little bit and like, maybe they’ll like me without thinking through what is the next step and how do I make it not only clear that that’s the next step, that I’m inviting them to take in this journey, but also giving them the evidence, the research, the feeling that you need to take this next step with me.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. To that point, it shouldn’t just be winging it. It should be starting with the end in mind. What is the ideal outcome that I want this story to have? Couldn’t agree more with that. And oftentimes, in the opening story, you can’t just come out and say, “Hey, trust me, I have integrity.” But you can sure tell a story from your life where those characteristics come out in the story, and the same end point is received from the audience. So, I think that’s a beautiful way to communicate whatever you’re trying to communicate. So, let’s kind of continue down this supermodel, kind of step by step. So, step two is now, you share your story. Now, understand your customer story. How does that now translate to the audience? Let’s just stick with a dinner seminar. You have an opening and now, you’re trying to understand your customer story. How does that plan?

Brittany Hodak: So, it’s knowing what it is that your customers want and not just like who’s in the audience, but knowing that you are best positioned to serve an audience who needs X. And so, there could be people that are a great fit for you, that’s fine. But the people who are likely to need you, what is it that they need? And the really cool thing about– so when I talk about the supermodel, they’re like nesting dolls. Everyone sort of builds on the one before, and that’s why you have to start with your story. Then you’ve got to get to understand your customer story, and then you keep going. But the really cool thing about understanding your customer story is once you understand it, you can still tell stories in service of helping them and showing that you understand them, but based on the stories that you’re telling.

So, I was at an event on Monday of this week in Nashville. I was speaking at an event for insurance professionals, and there was a gentleman named Mike who was talking about his story and the origin of how he got into advising people about the insurance needs that they had. And he told a story about his grandma, who was his hero. And she was the best woman that he ever knew. And when he was 11 years old, his grandfather died unexpectedly. And all of a sudden, his grandma, who had nothing, had to go on. And so, she started making these sandwiches, and she would sell them for $5 each. And her husband had been a lineman. So, every day, she would go and sell sandwiches to the people that had worked with her husband.

And she didn’t trust banks, so she would put all the money in Folgers coffee cans in the cabinet in the kitchen of the trailer that she lived in. And it got to a point where there wasn’t room for any more coffee cans. And she had a third-grade education, so she couldn’t count the money. And so, she would ask her grandson because at now 12 years old, he is more educated than his grandmother. And he finally said, “We’ve got to go put this money in a bank.” If somebody breaks into this trailer, you’re going to lose everything.

And so, as a 12-year-old, he went with his grandma to the bank so he could help read the contracts and help explain things and met a banker who opened a checking account for his grandma. And he said that banker became his hero because he was wearing a suit and tie. He had never seen anyone in a suit and tie before, and he was talking about what he was going to do to help make sure that his grandma and then Mike as the beneficiary, were taken care of. And that’s when Mike decided, he didn’t know what his job was going to be when he got older, but he wanted to do something where he could wear a suit and tie and where he could take care of people, like his grandmother.

And so, in telling that story, not only is he sharing an amazing origin, but he’s showing that he understands because there’s not a single person that he’s going to tell that story to who doesn’t relate and say, my grandparents were my heroes too, or I hope my grandchildren look at me and talk about me the way Mike talks about his grandmother, right? So, in understanding your customer story, there’s a couple layers to it. When you’re talking one on one, it’s all about the empathy that precedes the authority, showing that you’re putting in the work and listening to earn the right to make the suggestions that you’re making. And in my book, there’s several chapters about what that means, how you do it, what the active listening part is. But in a stage scenario, like the one you ask about, it’s how are you demonstrating to your potential customers that you don’t just understand them, you are the same as them. You’ve been where they are. You know what they need and you want to help them on this journey.

Brad Johnson: I love that. I mean, in Mike’s story, you also hit another thing. It’s your client’s journey or your client’s story, a piece of that, but it’s also, you can trust me. I have high integrity. Look at me as a 12-year-old helping my grandma count out the money in her coffee cans. So, that’s really cool. Thanks for sharing that. Now, I need to make…

Brittany Hodak: And so, that’s an example of that story. So, everyone has a story like that, right? You may not think you do, but you absolutely do, which is why we go back to the S and they start with your story and build out the story set list of all of these things. But there are 30 different ways Mike could tell that story, 30 different things that he could emphasize to talk about, depending on what he wants his audience members to feel, and again, what that next step is that he’s inviting them to take. Like, how are we emphasizing and de-emphasizing certain parts of, because that story unfolded over a period of eight years, right? He continued to help his grandma until he graduated from high school, and his grandma had sold enough sandwiches and earned enough interest, or she didn’t have to sell sandwiches anymore. So, thinking about the way that you use your stories to show your customers that you understand them.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Well, let’s go to personalize. Well, and I know we don’t have unlimited time here. So, I’ll just kind of lay them out, personalize, then exceed expectations and repeat. So, that’s the end of super and supermodel. So, start your story, understand your customer story, personalize, exceed expectations, and repeat. So, do we want to go through each of them step by step? Or do we want to just kind of pick and choose? Completely up to you, Brittany.

Brittany Hodak: We can talk a little bit about each. So, I’ve said a couple of times already that superfans are created at the intersection of your story and every customer story, and it is so important for every advisor listening to hear that, to hear that if you don’t connect your story to your customers, what are they going to do when somebody else comes along? They’re going to leave, right? If they believe either that someone else cares more or in the absence of someone caring more, they believe they can save more money or save more time, they’re going to convert or revert back to that commodity decision because there’s an absence of purpose, a value of connection, of belonging, like you talked about. So, you’ve gotta, gotta, gotta nail your story and understanding them.

P, personalize is where both of these worlds come together. How can you show every customer that you care about them as an individual? When I talk about personalization, I talk about things that are what I define as high tech and things that I define as high touch. And when you bring the two together, you create high impact. So, what are the things that you can automate to make your customer’s experience with you better, to free up more of your time to personalize the things that can’t yet be automated? So that when you have the opportunity to wow someone because you paid attention to a little detail or you heard something that they said that was important to them, you’re acting on that. You’re reminding them, I listen, I care, and look at this cool thing that I’m doing that shows you that I care about you. Like, I might have 4,000 other customers. None of them are ever going to get exactly from me what you just got for me, because this is about you as the customer. That’s what personalization is really about.

Brad Johnson: Which, by the way, you do a great job of that. Personally, you do in your business. This is a good example. I’m going to hold up those watching on video. So, not as like maybe a week after our first conversation, said, “Hey, let me send you a copy of my book, so Creating Superfans.” On the inside, really cool, by the way, I’m going to hold this up so you can see it. Says autographed copy, first edition, “Brad, I’m looking forward to our podcast combo. Thanks for being super, Brittany.” That didn’t take you too long. I’m guessing just a minute probably. But it hit differently. And I’ve been fortunate, I’ve had a lot of authors on the show. Nobody’s done that before. And so, that was that personalization that was also going into your next step, which is exceeding expectations. And let’s talk about that for a second. What are some ways that financial advisors, there’s a lot of financial advisors that have written books, so if you have anything specific, I know you had a book launch not too long ago, but what are some ways financial advisors could incorporate just a little touch like that that shows up different into their business?

Brittany Hodak: I love this question, and it’s hard to choose a favorite. I mean, this is my model, right? Like, supermodel is mine, so I love all of them. But if I had to choose a favorite, I think my favorite is E, exceed expectations, because this is where I talk about a couple of really important things. One of them is service recovery. Like, what happens when things go sideways? Like, you’ve not met someone’s expectations and now you have to recover and hopefully, make them even in a better place than they were before the mistake occurred.

But also, and what the main, like meat of E is about, is something that I call intentional experience design, bringing intentionality to every moment of your customer’s journeys, because there are a bunch of touchpoints that people have, and oftentimes, they extend way beyond the ones that you’re thinking about. So, as an advisor, are you thinking about how your customer feels after they have that annual review call with you, when they have a milestone birthday moment, and think about how far off they are from retirement? When a child is born, when there’s a job change that happens, like these moments are happening, but they may not be on your radar because they may not be reaching out to you.

So, one of the best exercises that anyone can do is to map out all of the moments. So, people call this customer journey mapping, which is fine. Like, I don’t care what you call it, I just care that you do it. Think about what are all of the things that you know are happening both in a customer’s journey with you. So, like, all right, they’re going to reach out on my website. What’s the message back that they’re getting? They’re going to call in to my office. What’s the voicemail that they’re hearing if somebody doesn’t pick up? Like, what’s the signature in my email? What are the things that are above all the disclosures and the paperwork that they’re getting in the mail? Like, whatever it is, there are dozens and potentially hundreds of these moments that are happening, like all of these micro moments on the journey.

And the overwhelming majority of them are what I call neutrals. I believe that there’s only three ways that any customer will ever feel after an interaction. They’re going to feel better, worse, or the same. I call them net negative, net neutral, and net positive. And most, by far most, are neutral, there’s like nothing exciting about them. What does this change for two reasons? Number one, you had an opportunity in that moment to make your customer’s life better and you didn’t. You didn’t change it materially at all, right? It’s just like another task to do. That’s the first bummer.

The second bummer is that you had an opportunity to earn some referrals, to earn some word-of-mouth marketing, to be so good in that moment that your customer could not wait to tell someone about it, whether it was like posting online, saying something to a friend, to a spouse, to a colleague, and they’re not going to do it now because you blew that opportunity. You squandered that touchpoint. So, I don’t care if it’s a book launch or the first time you get on the phone with somebody. I want you to bring intentionality to the way that you think about how you find and how you leave your prospects and your customers in every one of those interactions. And it doesn’t have to be crazy. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

I took my dog to a vet ophthalmologist office a few months ago. Did not even know that was the thing, but my dog has an eye thing going on and we had to go to this vet ophthalmologist, like way nicer than any of my human doctor’s offices, by the way. I was like, “Oh, my gosh, this place is like going into a palace.” And next to the receptionist desk, there was like a giant gumball machine, but it was filled with tennis balls and they were all blue, which was the color of the place. And at the end of the appointment, the receptionist, after she’s taken my credit card, after we’ve scheduled the next appointment, says, “Bear was such a good boy. Bear needs a new tennis ball. Come here, Bear. Come here, Bear.” And like, turns the thing so that the tennis ball comes out, gives it to my dog.

And so, the whole way home, am I thinking about the fact that I just spent $400 for this appointment? Am I thinking about the fact that I’ve got to put eyedrops in my dog’s eyes, or that I’ve got to come back and do this all again in six weeks? No, I’m thinking about how much fun my dog is having, like wagging his tail, playing with this tennis ball in the back of my SUV because they were intentional about what is the last experience a customer is going to have. How are we going to leave them? So, I would encourage everybody to bring that level of intentionality and detail to trying to design the outcome of how your customers will feel at all of the milestone moments that happen along their journey with you.

Brad Johnson: So, in human psychology, there’s the primacy, the first thing you experience, and recency, the last thing. Would you put more weight in first and last versus middle? Or how would you kind of weight them? Because there’s, as you said, an endless amount of options out there.

Brittany Hodak: Yeah. So, there’s a lot of research that shows that last and then greatest deviant are the things that people remember most, and then first. First is important because if the first isn’t great, you don’t earn the second. In every interaction, you’re earning the right to keep that customer. People remember the greatest standard deviant, so either like the best thing that happened or the worst thing that happened, because all of the rest, again, sort of like blurs together. So, you absolutely want the last to be great, but what that means is the last part of every one of those interactions. Not like when my client dies, we’re going to do something. You know what I mean? Not like the last touchpoint that you have with us.

Brad Johnson: The last thing leaving the office, just like the tennis ball.

Brittany Hodak: Exactly, yeah. At the end of the call, at the end of email, but you also want to give them something that feels very different. So, it could be something when they get there, think about like DoubleTree hotel, everybody loves to get your chocolate chip cookie, right? Like, you check in, you get your warm cookie, whatever. It could be something as simple as that. It could be something as simple at the end. But the thing that they are also very likely to remember is the best or worst moment. And you, of course, want to shoot for the best. What is something that you can do to show them that you care? And it can be a simple thing.

I heard or actually, I saw on LinkedIn a few weeks ago, somebody was talking about in their practice, the last thing their receptionist does every night before she leaves is look at the calendar for the next day of who’s going to come in, and she puts out magazines and books relevant to those customers and stocks the fridge with what she knows they like, because she has in their file, like, he loves Dr Pepper, she loves sparkling water, whatever. So, when somebody arrives the next day, she can say, “Oh, hello, Mr. Jones, it’s great to see you. Do you still take your coffee black with two sugars?” Or “Oh, I’ve laid out the most recent issue of Architectural Digest for you. Let me know if there’s something else I can get you to look at while you wait.” So, showing them that you’ve done just a little bit of work based on paying attention to do something that is low cost or maybe even no cost, but says, going back to what you mentioned before, “You belong here. I value you. I’m so glad you’re here, and I’m going to show you through my acts of servitude dedication that I want you to be here forever.”

Brad Johnson: Yeah. And the more you talk about this, Brittany, the more I see personalize and exceed expectation. They’re like sisters or brothers to each other because yeah, personalized, Dr Pepper, sparkling water, the magazine that they would be interested in, and exceed expectations, those two kind of go hand in hand is what I’m really hearing here.

Brittany Hodak: Yeah, they absolutely do. And people feel it, right? Like, I didn’t have an Apple Watch for the longest time. I was like, whatever, I’ve got my Fitbit, I’m fine. And then Apple introduced a Snoopy watch face to Apple Watch, and a couple people had mentioned it to me. And then finally, somebody was like, “You love Snoopy. How do you not have this?” And so, I bought an Apple Watch a week ago because I thought it was just like Snoopy and Woodstock. And I was like, “That sounds cute.” And I’ll hold it up. I don’t know if they can kind of see it for anybody watching. I thought it was like one Snoopy and Woodstock animation. It’s 148 different Snoopy animations as part of this watch face that are contextual, tell what you’re doing.

So, when I exercise, I see Snoopy and Woodstock exercising. When I’m getting ready for bed, Snoopy is snoring on top of his doghouse. And of course, I went down the total deep dive of this. Oh, I was in San Diego yesterday for an event and it was raining. Snoopy was holding up an umbrella for Woodstock. Another time, it was raining like sideways, and Snoopy looked it up his ear to keep Woodstock dry. I saw online that you get special ones on your birthday. There’s special ones for special holidays. It is so cool. Did Peanuts and Apple have to take it that far? No. I would have been thrilled if there were like– I mean, I didn’t even know it was animated. I thought it was like a static Snoopy and Woodstock. And I was like, “All right, I’ll pay $300,” fine, whatever. It’ll be cute. I’ll look at my wrist.

But now, it’s like I’m watching a TV show every time I lift my wrist. And because there’s 148, about 120 of those are the ones that they’ll serve you over the course of a regular day. And then the rest are the ones that are not just situationally appropriate, but like holiday appropriate. So, there’s Easter and Halloween and Christmas and your birthday and all of these fun things. So, yes, personalization and exceed expectations are sisters, just like S and U, R. And the really cool thing about it is that when you do this, you’re not just creating a better outcome for your customer, you’re creating better outcomes for yourself and for your team because that energy is contagious and it feels really great to make people feel good. It feels really great when somebody says to you, “Oh my gosh, this thing that you did was so cool or so special.”

And as customers, when a company goes the extra mile does more than they had to, we feel it. Just like I look at this watch and I know that the team behind it loves Peanuts, loves Snoopy, because that’s not an act of kind of care, like there is no apathy. This is how do we create the most amazing thing that people will love and tell their friends about it? And because of that, I will be talking about this watch to anyone who listen. All of my friends are probably like “Brittany, shut up. Stop talking about your watch. We get it.” It’s going to be the newsletter that I send out next week to the tens of thousands of people who get my newsletters twice a month because it’s worth talking about. So, when you can exceed your expectations, the expectations of your customers, particularly in a way that feels very personalized, whether it’s high tech or high touch, they will tell their friends.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, the exceed expectations is the key on that one with the virality of sharing it, right? Because that’s exactly what they did. It’s like not just one. It’s like, wow, these things keep coming, right? So, I want to go back to the personalization and exceed expectations because you hit one other thing right there, which is situational based on, hey, this holiday, we’ve got a Triad member that any time one of their clients retires, like comes in, and this is the official day, like, “Hey, calling it quits, I’m retiring,” they will go and they will grab a bottle of champagne. They will pop it right there in the conference room and they will pour it. And maybe that’s $25, $50 bottle of champagne. It’s not expensive, but they just took the height of some of the work they do to get people to retirement and through retirement. And now, they created this experience around it in that very special moment.

So, you mentioned, there’s certain times where you want it, like if it was a bell curve, this is the pop on the bell curve, right? This is the height. What are some some examples you’ve seen where advisors might be thinking about, “Wait, I could do something special to mark this moment for my clients”?

Brittany Hodak: Yeah. So, just yesterday as I was flying back from San Diego, I was seated next to two off-duty pilots, an American, and I made a joke because we were in the exit row, and I was like, “You guys got this, right?” Like, “I’ll do anything.” And so, the guy started talking about how he was close to retirement and the gentleman who was across the aisle overheard and said, “Oh, do you have this app yet?” And he has an app on his phone called Retirement, that was like an hourglass with the sand was the thing. And he opened it and he showed me, and the two pilot sitting next to me, he’s like, “Look, I am two years, eight months, four days, and six hours away from retirement. And this is my favorite app that I look at every single morning. I wake up, it tells me how many days. It’s got a picture of a palm tree. There’s always a quote from somebody.” And I was like, “Oh, my God, what’s the quote?” Like, “Don’t kill yourself only two years ago.” Like, he was just talking about how he could not wait to stop doing his job to retire.

And then the other two guys were like, “Oh, yeah, we can’t wait,” blah, blah, blah, which (a) like made me sad that these people were literally counting down the hours until they didn’t have to do their job anymore, but (b) it made me think about all of the things leading up to retirement that are opportunities. So, if you’re a financial advisor and you’re going to pop that champagne, that’s amazing. But if you know that date, like if you’re a client, whether it’s their 65th birthday or it’s the end of the year after they turn 65, or it’s when they get their 30-year service, like whatever it is, there’s a good chance you know what that is, especially as they get older because that’s one of the questions that you ask, right? It’s like, what’s your ideal retirement date?

What if you send them a card when they’re 500 days away? On a random day, they’re not expecting to get it because that’s, I don’t know, whatever in math, that’s a year and a half before the thing. What about when they’re a thousand days out? What about when they’re 100 days out? There are so many things that if you take and say, “All right, we know that when they retire, we’re going to pop a bottle of champagne.” And that’s amazing. Like, that’s going to be a great moment. They’re going to share it on social media or tell their friends or whatever. They’re going to invite their kids. What else? What are you doing before that? 100 days? 30 days? What are you doing after that? Are you checking in with them to see how retirement’s going? Or are you sending them a pack of wish-you-were-here postcards that they can send to their family members from wherever they go on vacation next? Like, how are you elongating the moment?

This is another really great thing in the entertainment world. If you go to a concert or a music festival or any sporting event, like it doesn’t matter, whatever it is, the easiest thing to nail is the moment, right? You’ve got the environment, you’ve got the energy, you’ve got the people, you’ve got whatever the thing is. But do you know what statistically people enjoy most when it comes to events, the milestones to vacations? It’s the lead-up. It’s the anticipation. From a psychological standpoint, oftentimes, they are happiest right before it happens because they’ve been anticipating it. They’ve been enjoying it. They’re in the moment. They’re enjoying the moment. It’s great. And then, they look back on it. How are you elongating that experience? How are you thinking about not just the during but the before and the after? So, whatever you’re during is, ask yourself, what are two things that I can do before and two things or three things that I can do after to stretch that magic beyond just that main moment?

Brad Johnson: So good. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve never thought about it that way where the retirement countdown because I mean, great financial advisors, that’s exactly what they do. They’re building a financial plan where it’s like, “Hey, at this moment, the math is going to work, so we’re good.” But what’s happening 100 days, 200 days, 500 days before and actually, making that moment by building it up to be bigger than just that champagne in the office that one day. So, you mentioned the entertainment industry. What are some good examples of how you’ve seen businesses or entertainers stretch the moment, just like for throwing ideas out there?

Brittany Hodak: So, let’s talk about an amusement park. At an amusement park, what are you trying to sell? You’re trying to sell an annual pass, like so many other places. Like, I don’t just want your money one day, I want your money a bunch of days. So, I know in that one day, I’ve got to do everything I can to try to convince you to take this money that you have spent for one day and parlay it into an annual pass. So, I’m going to have signage up in the park saying, “Take the money that you spent today and apply it.” I’m going to be communicating about all of the things that you get if you’re an annual pass member.

If you’re an annual pass member, maybe I’m going to give you your photos for free. You’re going to get a photo pass so that you not just are going to have these moments at home to remind you how much fun you had, but to remind you to come back. You’re going to share these pictures on social media. I’m going to try to remove a little bit of the friction, whether that means giving you a dedicated line for your entrance, whether that means giving you a certain number of fast passes to jump the line. I’m certainly going to now try to turn you into an advocate by giving you guest passes to bring your friends, either for free or for discounted.

So, if that first moment is like you bought a one-day pass, then it’s instantly countdown, how do we turn this one-day pass into an annual pass, right? What are the communications that are happening before you get to the park, while you’re in the park, and maybe immediately after you leave to the park? But the reality is that that conversion doesn’t happen while they’re in the park, they’re probably not going to buy an annual pass. That was like somebody who came one time, and maybe will come back a year from now or maybe will go to a different park a year from now. So, you’ve got to try to convert them while they’re in the park.

And for a financial advisor, if you’re doing a lot of community events, for you, that in the park might be at that event, like there is a precipitous downfall of like, if someone doesn’t convert at that event or in that very first phone call that you have after the event, you’re probably not going to hear from them again. So, what are the things that you’re doing in that moment to make someone feel like, this is awesome. I want to be here all the time. I want to come back as much as I can? And you’re telling me that there’s a way that I can do that, that’s simple and affordable and will work in my life. Take my money.

Brad Johnson: Love it. Love it. Well, I’m counting down the minutes here. And unfortunately, we’re very close to the end. Do we want to hit anything on the R, which is repeat? Is it that easy, just repeat?

Brittany Hodak: I was going to say the good thing then, I always tell my joke. I’m always like, “Yeah, all those things we talk about doing, just keep doing them forever.” And it sort of it’s not that simple. So, in the book, I talk about the systems and processes. Basically, the idea of repeat is all of the things leading up to that we’ve talked about. You have to make it as simple for you and your team to do those things as it was to do other things, like all of the bad habits that you’ve created. Because none of this is groundbreaking, right? Probably none of this is stuff you haven’t heard before, tried before, thought about before, but perhaps, you haven’t built great systems around the repetition that it takes to make this not the exception, but the rule, the thing that happens every time that someone owns, someone is in charge of.

I love this quote from Elizabeth Arden, it’s in the book, “Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.” So, that’s the R. The R is having the discipline to build the systems, to teach the lessons, to automate in some instances and assign in other instances. How do we make this wow the rule, not the exception?

Brad Johnson: Awesome. Okay, I have to hit this one before we finish. Because when you sent out your, I don’t know what you call that, we’ll just call it the superfan bomb that you sent my house, you had a little Lego character that was you, which number one is awesome. I don’t know how you did that. But I have a 12-year-old that is a huge Lego kid. And we’ve been to Legoland out in California a number of times. And you use this example in the book, which is the slow elevator. So, for those that– you tell the stories. I’ve experienced it. I rode that elevator up. But you share the story, and then I want to apply that to financial services because there’s such a lesson there.

Brittany Hodak: So, the elevator that you, Brad, are talking about, that I talk about in my book is at the Legoland Resort in Florida. And the minute you walk into that elevator, it is a party. There’s a disco ball. There are lights flashing. There’s floor to ceiling decals of life-sized Lego minifigures. And as soon as the doors close, music starts to play. It’s like ABBA and the Bee Gees. My kids loved that elevator. They wanted to spend, like the whole time we were…

Brad Johnson: I just ride it, elevator up and down basically.

Brittany Hodak: Up and down. That’s all they wanted to do. It wasn’t until the third day that we were at the resort that I realized that was the slowest elevator I have ever been on in my life. And maybe you remember too, like, you can back me up, like, this is a slow elevator, and it’s small. Like, maybe you can cram two families in there, but it’s really meant for one. So, you have to wait a long time to get on this elevator. But it took three days before I even noticed. And once I noticed, I didn’t even care.

Usually, if an elevator is small and slow, you’re going to have a little bit of bad attitude about it, right? But I didn’t because they had transformed it into an experience. It was no longer about the fact that the whole song Dancing Queen could play between the lobby and the fifth floor. It was about how fun it was. And the reason that I bring that up in the book is because I promise, every advisor listening right now has some slow elevators that they or their customers are feeling. And instead of just throwing your hands up in the air, being like, well, that’s the market, I can’t do anything. That’s the economy. It’s beyond my control. The best advisors find ways to reframe the experience of the elevator, even if they can’t make the elevator go faster.

Brad Johnson: The slow elevator to me, they turn something that is an annoyance into an experience, right? And I’ve seen Domino’s does this really well. If you order on their app, they have the Domino’s Pizza tracker. Most of the time, it sucks. It’s like, “Oh, pizza is not going to be here until 30 minutes or 45,” but you kind of are following the journey. Hey, your order’s in. Pizza’s in the oven. Delivery guys picked it up. It’s on its way. And they’ve kind of just like when you’re downloading a file, there’s a progress bar. And psychological studies show if you just show progress along the way, people will wait longer.

So, in finance, oftentimes, that’s the paperwork side. Hey, committed. And now, it’s got a process. Money has to transfer. And by the way, that’s a really important time because unfortunately, of the Bernie Madoff’s of their world of like is my money safe? That’s really important. So, it’s a high trust time, but also an elongated time. Do you have any ideas off the top of your head of like, how you could make that experience more of a slow elevator experience where it’s actually not a painful process?

Brittany Hodak: Absolutely. I mean, you certainly could go as far as the Domino’s pizza tracker was showing the progress, but something that I think we forget sometimes as professionals is that even no update is an update. So, if you know it’s been a while to reach out to a customer and say, hey, just wanted to let you know, we’re still in that 30-day period. You may be reminding me that remember me telling you about, wanted to let you know everything is going great. Don’t take the fact that you’re not hearing from us. I mean, things aren’t happening. We are absolutely on top of this. Hope you have a great time at Kevin’s tee-ball game tonight. Talk to you soon. No update can be an update. Letting people know that they don’t need to worry about it, they don’t need to take up that psychological bandwidth because you’ve got it covered. So, don’t ever be afraid to communicate the fact that no news is good news to let people know that they can count on you.

Brad Johnson: Love it.

Brittany Hodak: I have a really great example. I know we’ve got to wrap. But we had this crazy ice storm in Nashville six weeks ago, and we didn’t get mail for nine days at my house because it was just too icy at the entry to the neighborhood to have a mail tax come in and we didn’t get FedEx for a week. I had ordered some makeup from a brand that my sister-in-law told me about and honestly, forgot about it. It was one of those things, she was like, “You’ve got to try this.” And I was like, “Okay.” And I ordered it. And then we just didn’t get packages for a while.

I got an email about probably like five or six days after they shipped my order, saying, “Hey, we see that this hasn’t been delivered yet. While delivery is out of our control, we know you’ve got places to be and people to meet. Here’s a $15 e-gift card to spend while you wait on the makeup. Again, shipping is out of our control, but we’re so sorry.” And then they signed it, stay beautiful. And I was like, what a great way to show your customers (a) that you’re paying attention, (b) that even though it is not your fault that FedEx can’t get to my house, you are giving me something to make up for what could be perceived as this inconvenience. So, even if there’s something out of your control, if you can make your customer feel better about the impact that that thing is having on their life, do it.

Brad Johnson: Love that example. Yeah, it’s how can you– I’ve found in business over 20-plus years of working with financial advisors all over the country, where you have the biggest opportunity oftentimes is in those unexpected events. It’s like the sucky times are when you can actually, when you turn them into smiles, that’s where you get lifelong customers, from my experience at least. I don’t know if you feel differently.

Brittany Hodak: I 100% agree.

Brad Johnson: Okay, last question, Brittany. This has been awesome. Loved every minute. So, thank you so much for hopping on here and sharing your wisdom. This is the Do Business. Do Life podcast. And as you said a little earlier, you had mentioned when you were hearing the story of the person on the plane that was counting down the days till retirement, that kind of sucks. Like, in life, life’s too short to work in a job you suck. That’s my opinion. And I feel like you’re probably pretty close to that as well. And so, really, the mission of this podcast is, at Triad, we want to do business with people we want to do life with, but we also want to teach our members how to create a business that blesses their life, that doesn’t become their life. And so, I’m curious to hear your definition, Brittany, of what does Do Business. Do Life mean to you?

Brittany Hodak: Do business, do life means the two are intrinsically linked. And the closer that you can get to a point to where like, where doing business feels like I couldn’t imagine doing life without this, you know that you’ve succeeded. So, what is it that you can do to intertwine business and life in a way that’s energy giving instead of energy taking, so that you wake up every Monday morning and think, I’m so glad it’s Monday, I can’t wait to get to work?

Brad Johnson: What a great way to end the episode. I love that definition. Well, Brittany, thank you so much for hopping on here. Can’t wait to get this out to the world. And when I’m down in Franklin, which I do make it down that way, hope we get to connect in person.

Brittany Hodak: I am looking forward to it. I can’t wait to see you then. Thanks so much for having me and thank you for listening.

Brad Johnson: See you, Brittany.

Brittany Hodak: Bye-bye.

Disclosure

These conversations are intended to provide financial advisors with ideas, strategies, concepts and tools that could be incorporated into the advisory practice, advisors are responsible for ensuring implementation of anything discussed is in accordance with any and all regulatory and compliance responsibilities and obligations.

Copyright ©️ 2024 Triad Partners. All rights reserved. TP04243458876

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