Social Media Business Hour | Episode 104 featuring Noah Fleming Nile Nickel & Jordan Salamone
Is Your Company Seeing The Forest For The Trees?
In today’s show, we will have another very impressive guest by the name Noah Fleming.
Who does not like to interview Noah. He is a marketing expert, a thought leader in strategic marketing and customer loyalty. A trusted source for coaching and consulting to thousands of owners and executives and individuals who helped his clients to dramatically and rapidly increase sales, not just sales but maximized their profits and customer value too.
He is also the author of the Amazon #1 bestselling book in Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service – EVERGREEN: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving. He’s an expert blogger for Fast Company Magazine, and a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Section. Noah has been routinely quoted and mentioned in publications like Forbes, The New York Times, Reuters, and more. Also a member of Alan Weiss’s Mentorship Program & Growth Cycle®, two highly respected and world-renowned programs dedicated to the refinement of advanced consulting skills, and one of only 36 people who are globally recognized & accredited by Dr. Weiss as a Master Mentor.
Why do we have hammers, drills and screwdrivers here? Bizarre right? Might be, but not for Noah. His Skype name– guess what? It’s Tool Junky. Aside from being an expert, he is obsessively in love with hammers and drills and screwdrivers. It actually has to do with the band Tool which represents a heavy metal band during his high school days. I’m sure you know exactly who he is talking about. And, he admits that until now he is still junky for the band.
You might know or not know, But, What is an evergreen really? No it is not a Christmas tree. The concept of this very successful book came from an idea whilst he and his wife are walking in Cathedra Grove at Vancouver Islands. They have some of the tallest trees in the world. Some are even 30 feet wide. They’re 150 feet tall and walking through this forest again with his wife on their honey moon, made him think about anything, and this includes business. He finds himself staring at these trees and thinking that these tress can be an amazing metaphor. The Evergreen trees are lush, lively, they’re green, steadfast, and they grow really in any condition. They also last forever in perpetuity and they don’t have cold winters where they’re struggling to put new growth on the trees or all the leaves fall off and then they have to come back. This metaphor is really staring him on the face. And that is where it all started.
This famous book Evergreen is a funny, highly pragmatic and detailed playbook on customer retention, customer experience, and customer strategy. It is more of a mindset book which provides strategic framework in owning a business. The book suggests to readers that most organizations are “addicted to sex” – the thrill of the chase of gaining new customers – as opposed to “looking for love” – finding worthwhile customer relationships that will last for years and years. In addition, many companies fail to analyze the profitability of their existing customers or the potential profitability of different types of new ones. As a result, companies lurch from one customer base to the next—losing some of their most valuable customers, as well as, gaining others many of whom turn out to be duds. Fleming describes this phenomenon in Evergreen to that of how trees lose their leaves each fall.
“It is five times less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to get a new one”. Noah highlighted that this specific advice is always given by most authors and speakers, his difference, he get serious about it. He thought that this is the worst business advice in the world because none of these people ever tell us how to actually do that, how to actually make that customer five times more valuable. And so they would say things like well, provided you provide good customer service they’re going to spread the word of mouth about you, right? But he again highlighted that it is really hard for a business to build marketing budgets around, to create projections around or to try and define some tangible business outcomes like increased profits so aims to understand how do we actually make the existing customer five times, 10 times, 20 times more valuable, more profitable. And that is Evergreen, the first half of the book is really this big sort of strategic framework that I found that I was using and that my own clients were using and that big companies are using and that anybody can really implement in their own company to make some dramatic shifts. And then the second half of the book was really the tactical stuff which I was just talking about in terms of how do you actually bring back a lost customer, how do you actually increase referrals, how do you truly define the value of a customer and know which ones you should fire and those are the things that are covered in the second half of the book.
His bank, a multibillion-dollar Canadian organization, on one issue that he raised with them, they told him that the resolution would take three days to be fixed. However, it ended up taking 30 days with all the hilarious story behind it. When he finally asked the manager, why? Why did it take this long? What could’ve possibly happened in something you told me would take no longer than three days? She flat out said him and told him that they were too busy with our new customers that we just can’t take care of our existing customers. Most businesses right now are too focused on chasing new customers, losing the track of retention. We’re running around jumping from one thing to the next because we think it’s going to be sort of the savior and salvation to a struggling business or to a business that’s not seen the type of growth it wants to have. The problem on this, ending up spending more time, more energy, and more money on probably efforts that could’ve been much far more focused.
Wondering what makes Noah’s business tick? It’s all about the tree C’s.
Character – and character is really my term to talk about positioning which we all know in the marketing world positioning is how the world sees you, how you’re quickly understood and represent.
Community – Community is all about how we engage our customers. We talked about customer engagement but how do we bring them closer together around what it is we’re doing, how do we get them to be interested more in the bigger, broader picture of things.
Content – Content is the term that he use to describe the thing you actually do. So content is your product, your service, the thing you actually give in exchange for money.
When was the last night you’ve had a really good night sleep? This the golden question. Noah also shared about a mattress experience. He has a friend who owns a mattress company in Rhode Islands with each mattress sells averaged of $30,000. You might find it very expensive, but here’s the catch. He is selling the mattresses with that average amount. What’s his secret? Customer Engagement.
His book has a whole chapter talking about the idea of engagement and re-engagement. Reactivating lost customers and reactivating lost clients. An opportunity left behind. Knowing why we’ve lost a customer, sadly, most of us don’t even know when we’ve lost a customer and so the first key is really trying to understand when those changes have happened, being aware that they’ve happened and then learning from them. Once we know the reason behind this and putting solid actions about it, our profits will massively increase with little to no investment.