I just finished reading Talk Triggers by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin. The book offers a complete guide to creating customers through word of mouth. It exceeds my expectations.

Jay and Daniel provide what they call the 4,5 and 6 systems.

They talk about the 4 requirements for a talk trigger which gets your customers to spread the word for you. Then they identify 5 types of talk triggers that you may be able to use for your marketing outreach and they end the book with 6 steps that you can take to implement a complete word-of-mouth strategy. A solid framework for a book!

According to Jay and Daniel, repeatable, differentiated and relevant word-of-mouth is not a gimmick, but a business decision. Jay and Daniel used the DoubleTree Hotel as an example. Presenting guests with chocolate chip cookies when they check in at DoubleTree hotels is unique and repeatable customer experience and relevant to their brand. The simple and delicious chocolate chip cookies give their guests an opportunity to talk about the treats and their initial impressions. A chocolate chip cookie which is reasonable, repeatable, relevant and remarkable is a trigger to get their guests to share on social media. Furthermore, it’s a business decision.

Talk triggers can also be implemented by small businesses. Lockbusters, a locksmith in New York City, offers a fair and fixed price and sticks to it. Whey they fix your lock, they will also oil ALL the other locks, not just the lock they fixed, for free. In addition, they’ll perform a complimentary security audit. Who doesn’t appreciate a free service like that? Again, this is repeatable, reasonable, relevant and differentiated enough to entice their customers to talk about Lockbusters online and offline.

Jay and Daniel share many such examples in their book.

Apply their framework real-time

Whenever I read a business book, I always think how I can apply some of the authors’ ideas to what I do. When I was reading these examples, I was thinking about what strategies I can implement as repeatable, reasonable, unique enough to my brand and relevant to my customers. I came up with one idea that ties to my book (Effective Sales Enablement) launch: If you read my book and can’t find anything useful, no problem, schedule a call with me. I want to hear your challenges and come up with a solution or even a template for you. Seriously, if you are a marketing manager or salesperson that read my book, but you can’t find anything useful, just reach out. I want to help. This offer certainly meets at least 3 of the Talk Triggers requirements: relevant, repeatable, and reasonable. I don’t know if it’s remarkable, but it’s certainly unique enough to complement the topic of my book and align with my brand persona.

Their book also inspired me to share their case studies

Yes, I shared their case studies with my teams and we dug deep into our understanding of our customers and our digital customer journeys to see what we can improve and how we can generate talk triggers. One idea I’d like to implement comes from Penn & Teller. In 2014 Penn & Teller became the longest-running headlining act to play in the same Las Vegas Casino. Penn & Teller, two magicians, always wait in the foyer and are ready to greet the audience after their shows. They shake hands, take selfies, and answer questions until the last audience member leaves. They do that every show, no exceptions. I think that’s amazing.

Their meet-and-greet gives me an idea about how I can do differently for my own speaking sessions at conferences. I can meet and greet some attendees, introduce myself and ask them their expectations before the session starts. Again, it certainly meets the 3 talk trigger criteria: repeatable, reasonable, and relevant. I don’t know if it’s remarkable, but it’s certainly unique relative to other speakers. I don’t think when Penn and Teller started, they were thinking about Talking Triggers. They do it simply to show that they very much appreciate that the audience shows up to see them. It’s about showing how much they appreciate their audiences. I don’t know if my act will generate much talk triggers, but it’s about showing how much I appreciate that they come to my sessions.

This is the reason for reading books — learning and trying new ideas!

My team came up with several other ideas that we want to implement in 2019. We will see how it goes. Most importantly, these ideas engender how we can better help or serve our customers with a twist of fun and creativity. If they also generate word-of-mouth, great. If not, that’s OK, too. Jay and Daniel made it very clear that not every idea you try will work, but it’s important to make an intentional effort to plan and try.

Several memorable quotes that I want to share with you from the book:

  • “Talk triggers aren’t gimmicks; they are business choices.”
  • “Experiencing your business firsthand, just as a customer would, can help you identify potential talk triggers.”
  • “Same is lame.”

The book is structured in a logical flow and packed with solid case studies and research data. Check out the book on Amazon.

One more note: Jay and Daniel talk the talk and walk the walk. When they sent their book out to industry influencers and peers, they add a little, stuffed alpaca, a tin can of Hilton Double Tree Cookies, and an Uberflip headband. A big package!

Well-done, Jay and Daniel.  #TalkTriggers

Talk Trigger Gift Jay Baer Daniel Lemin

Many people took videos and photos of unboxing the package they receive from Jay and Daniel. They created a talk trigger and generated millions of free impressions to help them build buzz for the books.


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