Transcript: This is David Brower with Your 20 Minute Podcast. Our special guest, from Queensland, Australia, today is Ross Keating, the client orchardist.
David Brower: Hey, Ross. Welcome. Nice to have you here.
Ross Keating: Hello, David. Thank you very much for having me on the show. I’m excited to be here.
David Brower: There’s a lot of things for us to talk about. The first question that people are going to want to know is, what is a client orchardist?
Ross Keating: It’s like an orchardist in the trees, growing fruit. I see that you’ve got databases of prospects, customers and contacts. They are what you can harvest and farm and grow, like fruit trees.
Ross Keating: You want to keep your business for a number of years. They are in your business, available to you, for quite a number of years. You want to treat them like trees. Pick up the low hanging fruit. Then you’ve got to get the ladders to get to the higher fruit. So you have to be a bit more expertise. Overall, you want to do it.
Ross Keating: It’s a lot cheaper to grow existing trees and harvest from existing trees than it is to go and get a whole new tree.
David Brower: Boy, isn’t that the truth? I think that’s one of the first things … I used to train sales people in the radio industry for a long time. There were two main things that we always talked about. One is, it’s unbelievably easier to keep a good client than it is to go out and find a good client, you know?
Ross Keating: It so is. I think a lot of businesses are struggling, particularly where they do have a bricks and mortar location, as opposed to being in business to business, that rely … A lot of them rely … The bigger they are, rely on people coming in to the store.
Ross Keating: They still really don’t want to know about me as an individual or you as an individual. They take your loyalty card, but they just send you messages. “Hey, we’ve got discounts this year, or this week.”
Ross Keating: Tend to work with business, up to around about 150 to 100 people. A lot of them are the smaller size, 10 to 50. They’re doing more themselves, but they know they want some assistance. They have the mechanisms to be able to put in place … There is, I would say, established businesses wanting to achieve their revenue targets and increase profits.
David Brower: Are they … As I read through your bio and stuff, which is beyond impressive, it appears to me that one of your major focuses is about customer relationships and CRMs, but I also saw a 90 second video that you have, all about love. I thought that was fascinating.
Ross Keating: Yeah, that was really fun putting together. As you know, videos get more engagement on your website. People should do that. I was having those done. The producer of that video … We were doing it in a day, it was a group of us. He made it a bit more fun.
Ross Keating: The whole idea is to show customers the love and get them closer to you to understand them. That was the concept of going behind that.
Ross Keating: It’s got a good response from that, because people have engaged with it.
David Brower: I bet. I bet so. It was so well done. You were so comfortable in sharing the message. That allowed it to come through. It was very authentic. 40 seconds in, you’re going, “All right. I’m hooked. I’m watching the whole video,” because it felt so good.
Ross Keating: It was. The whole thing about it, this is about Customer Relationship Management and customer experience. You show them the love. 67% of people … A study back by the American Quality Society … They did a study. 67% of people leave the business because of perceived indifference.
Ross Keating: They don’t know whether you love them or not. They want … You know, “Tell me you like me or tell me you don’t, but tell me something.” They walk out the door. Remember, nine out of 10 people walk out that door and they don’t tell you. The 10th person who does, that’s one of your most loyal customers.
David Brower: Absolutely. Right. Those other nine, that are walking out, that are feeling indifferent or not loved or whatever, they’re going to share that experience with other people and they’re probably going to consider going to your competitor as well, right?
Ross Keating: They are. They’re five to six times harder … I saw some stats the other day. They’re five to six times harder to get back as a customer once they leave you. They’re not upset with you, you just haven’t shown the love that you appreciate in your service, or their [inaudible 00:05:00] and their dollars.
David Brower: What are some of the things that you teach your clients about-
Ross Keating: It’s getting to know them. It’s not a rush. You’re there in business for maybe another 10 to 15 years. Your customers might be with you over a period of time or they might be only with you for 18 months to a year. Some people, it’s a one time only purchase.
Ross Keating: In most cases, they’re going to come back. It’s getting to know them. Take the time to get to know them. It really is the old adage of … When we were young and mom and dad used to know the butcher and the baker, that made a real difference.
Ross Keating: From that perspective, this is what you’ve got to do. Get their permission to know them, as well. You get to know them, then you’re saying, “Do you mind if I take your email address? Do you mind if I send you the odd e-newsletter?”
Ross Keating: Get to understand them and listen to signals. I don’t know whether you’ve done renovations on a house at some stage. My wife and I had a house. The [inaudible 00:06:10] for them, they’d say, “Oh, in a couple of years, we’re going to put a big deck on the back here, overlooking it. We’d like to do some changes to the house.”
Ross Keating: Not one of those trainees contacted us. They came back … Not one of them contacted me in 18 months and said, “Hey, you were talking about putting your deck on.” We spent $52,000 putting that deck on and making changes to the house within three years.
David Brower: I had the same experience, really. I hadn’t thought about it for a while. We had a pretty good hail storm here a year ago, so there was a lot of roof damage around. Some of these guys were walking around and pitching their wares. “Hey, let me give you a free estimate. Let me check out your roof.”
David Brower: Most of them didn’t feel genuine to me. This one guy came up. Very professional, very nice. Packet of information on his company with references. I said, “You know what? I’m thinking we’re probably going to replace this roof.”
David Brower: Okay. It’s a year later. I still haven’t heard from him.
Ross Keating: Oh, no. There’s a lost … I don’t know what quote he gave you, but even if it was say $1200, that’s $1200 he’s got to find from somewhere else. You said, “Come and see me.”
David Brower: Yeah.
Ross Keating: We’ve got to listen to the signals and this is where we can use technology to help us. If we’re going around … You can have maybe 120 to 200 relationships that you can manage on an effective basis without too much technology to do it. Once you get over that, you want to remember that, “Hey, I’ve got to contact David Brower in 9 months to talk about his roof.” You want to have that so it pops up.
Ross Keating: That’s where technology like Customer Relationship Management systems … I use Nimble CRM. There’s Salesforce, Zoho. There’s over 300 CRMs on the market.
Ross Keating: You can use … Any one of those will all have the basic features you need. You can then get smarter with marketing automation and things. The basics is keep some information and keep in contact. Mortgage brokers, finance brokers, tend to be people who don’t do that.
Ross Keating: One of the companies I did some work with one time a while ago, because they were larger and they were starting out into the Customer Relationship Management and getting to know them, is a finance company. They gave me 40,000 customers and asked me to put a spreadsheet in place, because those customers had not heard from a representative of that company between two and five years, at least.
David Brower: Oh my goodness.
Ross Keating: They had to send one communication … These people stayed because they had long term policies, but they never got anything. What we did is, we sent them out the communication that had to go out every year. We put a direct mail piece in, saying, “We appreciate your businesses, but wouldn’t you like to know a bit more about these products. We haven’t talked to you for a while.”
Ross Keating: We had more than a 10% response rate and the sales rates were really fantastic. We estimated that the annual premium income driven from that actual campaign, cost us $800 for one bit of paper, generated about a million dollars in annual income.
David Brower: Oh my gosh.
Ross Keating: Not once. That was going to come in for the rest of the life of the different policies they took out.
David Brower: Sure.
Ross Keating: It’s there.
Ross Keating: I had another client where we were putting out a newsletter, a new update out to the database. He said, “It’s costing us $120 to send it out.” That money was spent on the graphic design and putting stuff together and making a nice layout.
Ross Keating: I said, “Yeah.”
Ross Keating: He said, “It’s not working.”
Ross Keating: I said, “Well, have you had any inquiries?”
Ross Keating: He said, “Yeah, I had quite a few inquiries.”
Ross Keating: I said, “Have you given quotes?”
Ross Keating: He said, “Yeah.”
Ross Keating: I said, “How many quotes did you give for the last newsletter?” Just one newsletter this is.
Ross Keating: He said, “I sent out three quotes and they totaled just over $60,000.”
Ross Keating: I said, “Right. It’s not working. Just tell me how many of those sold.” None of them sold, but I know that two of them will buy their product within the next two months, and they did. The other one, he has already sent the order in, but we just haven’t completed the invoice, but he sent the order in.
Ross Keating: He was going to, but he saw the newsletter and it reminded him to get the quote in. I said, “$120 and $60,000 in equipment that you are 90% certain that you’re going to get in? It’s not working?”
Ross Keating: He said, “Maybe it is working.”
Ross Keating: Again, they’re showing the love. The newsletters don’t have to be product orientated. They were more about tips and traps and also hey, the special of the month or the week or whatever. The focus was …
Ross Keating: Marketing people will tell you, anything that goes out, it’s like an 80/20 rule, even 90/10 rule. Make it 80% about them, 10% about you and 10% about your products.
David Brower: Absolutely right. The 80/20 rule has survived generation, after generation, after generation, hasn’t it?
Ross Keating: It has. It’s not rocket science.
David Brower: It’s fascinating.
Ross Keating: I say to people, “It’s not rocket science. If I can do it, anybody can do it.” It’s just going out there. People have talked about it for decades. It goes back to W. Edwards Deming. He was talking about customer relationship back in way back.
Ross Keating: Then you came through with people like John Ferrara, Dr. Martha Rogers and Don Peppers, in the 90’s, talking about … We’ve got all the experts today with social selling.
David Brower: With social media and the technology of CRMs, you’ve got opportunities there. Back in the day, it was all about word of mouth. Now, you’ve got the opportunity to do word of mouth on steroids. There’s so many opportunities to touch people, in meaningful ways, without being obnoxious.
Ross Keating: You’re right. Part of it is the listening thing, and the watching and interacting, and getting to know your people. When people buy from you and I, they will have researched you online. Also, they’re taking other people’s comments in, but also how you present yourself, and how you talk about things, and how you’re interacting with other people, and the expertise that you have in your particular area.
Ross Keating: You can get to know them a little bit and over time. One of my clients, I’ve been working with them for over 10 years now. Gary Rodgers from Spitwater, high pressure cleaners down here in Queensland. I’ve got to know him really well as a friend.
Ross Keating: I know he likes cars. He has a production model of one of the V8 cars that are raced down here in Australia. He goes out on the tracks every week. I make comments on his Facebook page. There’s a touch.
Ross Keating: People talk about, keep in touch. Liking a photograph of somebody on there … I do it genuinely, because I actually … Gary and I get on really well together. That’s an indication that I like that.
Ross Keating: If one of your clients, maybe, you saw them away on a holiday, skiing up in Utah, the mountain, for example. You might put a comment there. That’s keeping in touch.
Ross Keating: You don’t have to be cheesy. You’ve got to do with genuineness, authentic … I say the customer relationship is building authentic, trusted relationships with people so they want to do business with you.
David Brower: At the end of the day, it really is about integrity, authenticity and having those, I think touch is the right word, having those touches be real genuine and considerate and not in people’s face.
Ross Keating: You look at it over time. People buy from you today. How long before they buy from you again? When’s likely they’re going to buy from you again?
Ross Keating: My wife doesn’t go and buy clothes today, tomorrow or next week. She might buy some now and then, two or three months later, as the seasons change, she’s looking to buy and update a few things in the wardrobe. You want to take that into account.
Ross Keating: How often does somebody get their roof on their house repaired? Possibly 10, 15 years is a good time to do it. They’re not going to do that, but that roofer might have come to you and found out you have some investment properties. Why wouldn’t he keep in contact and say, “Do you have any investment properties that you want the roof repaired or the gutters replaced?”
David Brower: You bet.
Ross Keating: It’s keeping in contact. Also, remember, when people have contacted you in complex retail or business to consumer products and services and business to business, somewhere between 57% and 70% of the way through their decision making process, when they contact you. They’ve researched you, your company, your products, compared this online and they’re narrowing it down.
Ross Keating: Social media and the tools give you the chance to get your information out in so many different places. If you take the main five for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube, that five, then you’ve got all … Instagram’s really taking off now. Then there’s Snapchat.
Ross Keating: You’ve got to be out there, so people are seeing you out there. It’s like the old story. We used to sit there waiting for a telephone to ring. Well, we never told anybody that the telephone was there, we had a telephone number. You have to go out and tell people you’ve got a telephone guide.
David Brower: I know, right?
Ross Keating: That’s a free e-guide. If they want an easy way to do is, send me a message by Facebook or LinkedIn. It’s just a 27 page, giving them an idea how to make relationships. I’m quite happy to have a … You and I, we’re talking on the phone. We can do Zoom and Google Hangouts. Contact.
Ross Keating: I’m quite happy to have an initial chat with anybody online to do that. Again, the easiest way is to find me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Send me a message and I’m quite happy to give a 30 minute discussion with people, free of charge, no obligation, to help them with any questions they have or challenges or opportunities they want to quickly discuss.
Ross Keating: We can see whether I can help them in any way.
David Brower: Go to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and look for Ross Keating. K E A T I N G. He’s got that e-book that’s available for you. 27 pages. He can make you aware of that.
David Brower: For a 30 minute free consultation, I don’t care how big your business or how small your business is, if you’re curious or feel like you’re under delivering the love to your customer base, Ross is going to be the guy to reach out to.
Ross Keating: David, the thing is I’ve always taken an attitude that if I’m not the right guy, I’ll direct you to somebody who can assist you better than I can. It’s not about me. It’s about the people. It’s about you. How can I help you get what you want? How can I put you in touch with people that want to have David Brower as their voiceover artist?
Ross Keating: If I’m not the right person, I’ll point you in the right … I’ve made a habit of doing that for the last five years or so. Just about every client that walked in, I’ve introduced one or two other specialists who can do it quicker, better and faster. It’s better for all of us.
David Brower: Absolutely right. It’s Ross Keating. K E A T I N G. The client orchardist. Look for him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
David Brower: Be sure to follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/your20minutepodcast.