Create Unique VIP Experiences that will Blow Your Clients’ Minds and Make You More Money
Note: transcription provided by Otter.AI, which is a technology company that develops speech-to text transcription and translation applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Today, we have a special guest, Tammy Fink, and she is the author of WOW!Factor: Mind-Blowing Client Experiences Can Be Your Biggest Competitive Advantage. She's also a speaker. And she specializes in branding and client experience, particularly the business to business side, and she's a consultant. So today, we're going to talk all about branding, client experience, and marketing. And we'll go from there. So Tammy, welcome.
Tammy Fink: Thank you so much. I am so excited to be here. And I love talking about this, we could talk about it all day long.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: I know, we were talking backstage and when you have a passion for something, you can talk about it all day long. And you know you found your tribe when you talk to people, and you can just engage in these three hour conversations that go on forever. So tell us a little bit about your background, and we'll go into the meat of the interview.
Tammy Fink: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. So, I have been doing marketing and design and events for over 30 years. I worked my way up in corporate America, I was like I was a corporate designer. And in 2004, I say I went over the wall, and started my own business. But I never really dreamed of starting my own company, I dreamed of quitting my day job, which is not the same thing at all. But my husband had relocated us and I had convinced the company that I was working for at that time as a corporate designer to sell me my equipment, my computer. I bought a huge Hewlett Packard printer that I never really needed, but you don't know what you're going to need when you go on these kinds of adventures.
And I started working from home, they kept me on for a year. And while I was still getting a check, week to week for working with them, I was also building my own client base. So I went national, went international. Decided to come back from international, worked my way through as to what I needed to know, as I built the business. It's kind of like building the parachute on the way down, you just figure it out. I worked a lot, doing a lot of branding and marketing. For clients, I was picking up a lot of clients online, I was getting a lot of referrals in that business. And I worked my way through, not only just the branding and specializing in that, but then I came to discover a few things later on that pivoted me to where I am now. So that's kind of a little bit of my background.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that's a wonderful journey. And so we'll talk about what he said about branding and client experiences. So what are some client experiences that go into it that will blow clients minds?
Tammy Fink: Well, this is a little bit more of the backstory. So while I was developing and working with clients, I got to work with a lot of cool brands. I worked with Hershey's, Cinnabon. I worked with a reality TV program called Wicked Tuna, where we worked on some packaging and different things for them to go into Costco. And so I did all of this really cool branding. And really that sounds way cooler than it is. It basically means that I worked a lot with their attorneys. But I started noticing that while we were designing these amazing brands, what was happening was a lot of entrepreneurs were not connecting with their clients. And that can mean everything from the very beginning of branding, and we can have that conversation about what it takes to do design and a good brand. But then later on, it was like I had these brick and mortar clients that didn't understand the online space, right? And so in that online space, they had no idea how you made money doing Facebook like that, that people didn't understand. In fact, I say that I'm pretty sure my mom still thinks that I play Candy Crush for a living. She knows I do something online, but she really doesn't know what it is.
And the other side of that is you have people now entering into their own businesses that have never been on the brick and mortar side. So they've never had a nine to five, they've always worked for themselves. And so what has happened with that, is that all of a sudden, there was this marketing disconnect. And we were worried about the numbers in the online space, but they weren’t understanding that they could build these connections with their clients in the real world. I mean, it's something as simple as sending out a postcard to your clients, like they hadn't gone through a corporation, they didn't know that they didn't understand that part of the marketing thing. Everything they were doing was buying Facebook ads, and just going through the numbers. So fast forward to, during the pandemic, I ended up writing three books. And because we had all the time in the world, right?
So the first book that I started was the last book I finished writing. And that was The WOW!Factor. And what that was, it wasn't going to be like 50 shades of Pink, or anything else. But this was the book that I wanted my clients to have read. And understand that by building client relationships, right, you can actually stand apart from everyone else in your market with how you do business, more so than even what it is you offer. So when we look at building connections, we're looking for those pieces that will inspire, motivate and celebrate your clients. We’re focusing on higher client retention, and more referrals on the back end. And so we started developing these connection points. And I started with my wow factor. How do you build that wow factor in your business where you're actually connecting with your clients on such a level that they know, like, and trust you and want to refer to you? Does that make sense, Christopher?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. Yeah. And I'm sure you wrote the book, WOW!Factor: Mind-Blowing Client Experiences Can Be Your Biggest Competitive Advantage. And I'm sure you talk about how you use experience to gauge with your clients. And so talk a little bit about the book and some of the principles.
Tammy Fink: Oh, absolutely. So as we're looking through these connection points, right, what we're looking for is what I call my m&ms. And those are things that are meaningful and memorable. So you always measure everything that you do isn't meaningful and isn't memorable. Let me give you a good example. I five years ago, I attended an event, a workshop in Austin, Texas, one of the guest speakers. Her name is Heather Gray, and she's a mindset coach. And she spoke about staying in your own lane. Before she delivered her talk. When they came out, we brought these big boxes, opened up the boxes at each of the tables. And inside the boxes, were pre packaged Hot Wheels, cars, okay? Now, it wasn't expensive, it didn't have her brand on it, it didn't have her name on it or anything, but they were these Hot Wheels cars.
And so everybody, we got to pick through the boxes and find our Hot Wheels cars, something that we liked. I got a van that had a lot of graphics on it . It was cool. That little van has sat on my desk for five years. Okay, I talk about it all the time. And here's the thing, I remember where I was, who was speaking, and her topic was stay in your own lane. And I remember that because she attached meaning to this connection point, not unlike when you go on vacation and you buy a souvenir. You're attaching something to what it is that you offer and how you offer it. It may be a welcome box when you get a new client in, maybe you send them a welcome box. And we offer different kinds of welcome boxes and stuff that we put together for clients. But it could be a surprise and delight box, which just has something fun, and, just super exciting.
Or it could be a success box that maybe has a planner in it that you've designed with your materials, your training, whatever that is that you offer. A checklist, maybe for a doctor, it might be, dietary needs or, or prescriptions or whatever it is that you want to be able to do with your clients so that you have higher accountability with your clients, right. And the brilliant part of this is that all of a sudden, now they are if you have a program or you have a membership or you have something, they have a higher accountability, right? And because they have something physical that you've thought enough to give them, right, that you've put into the mail, that has something to do with your program. Now they're able to follow along with it better than just another program that they've bought into that they're never going to take or they're never going to finish. Right. So you're holding them at a higher accountability, but they're actually finishing your course, which if they have that success, then they're telling other people about it, right?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. It sounds like a lot of marketing, marketing branding is all knowing your client, knowing your customer, knowing their avatar, knowing their exact plain pain and pleasure points. And then go about it like delivering an experience that speaks to those. So someone's interested in marketing or the client experience, and they're going to think about their clients. So what are some of the biggest problems people have connecting to their audience, memberships, the clients, attendees, and so forth?
Tammy Fink: Well, one of the things that I see a lot is people who are starting off in business, and they think this is something I will do later, right? Like, I don't have very many clients. So, maybe I've got under 25 clients or under 25 members, when I get bigger, I'll do something. And so a lot of them, they wait in that space where they're just not doing anything, they're not building those connections. Well, one of the things that we noticed is that there are things that you can do if you only have 25 clients or customers, that you can't do if you're Coca Cola, right? There's things that you can do with those few customers. You can remember their birthdays, and you can make lists of their birthdays and the names of their pets and their kids and whoever it is that they're interacting with. What can you do that's going to make something that either motivates and inspires or celebrates your client utilizing that client connection and building that relationship? Right? So when you're looking for those things, what it does is it allows you to to interact with them in a way that is super impactful. Right?
And so it's something that they see themselves in, let me give you an example. So I had a client who served mompreneurs, right, moms who work from home, that was her service. So she said, Now Tammy, I'm sending out stuff to my clients, but they're not reacting the way that you talk about. They're not sharing things online and social media, they're not talking about it with each other. They're they're just not doing that. And I said, Well, what are you sending them? And she said, Well, I'm sending them a sticker with my logo on it for their laptop and a handwritten note. And I said, Okay, both of those are fine. I mean, you're acknowledging, right? And that's a good thing. But I said, What if you sent to those moms, a single chocolate chip cookie, with a note that said, this is the cookie, you don't have to share with anyone? Right? Because we know the thing about moms, is moms put themselves last. So if you're working with moms, put them first, what matters to them, right? It's not something that you're encouraging them to do something that's just a part of your program, but you're actually looking for making more moments that matter. Right? Because then they see they feel seen and heard. So it's more than a demographic, it's more than just your customer avatar, right? Who are these people at the core? And how can you connect with them in a way back, to the m&ms, that's meaningful and memorable?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. What do you mean when you say measure client first connections with m&ms? Go into that and describe that?
Tammy Fink: Absolutely. So just like when you're traveling, when you look for something that connects when I told the story about the speaker, right, who talked about staying in her own lane, she had to come up with something that she could attach to that, right. So it was meaningful, because it was a car, it fit into that talk. So that's a starting point. One of the things that I do when I've been brought in to deliver a talk at a retreat or a corporate event coming in, and we're talking about the client experience. I hear clients all the time, say, everything's been done. I've talked to insurance agents, they all sell the same thing, right? They say everything's been done, we can't possibly come up with anything that's going to wow our clients. So I attached my talk on creating the unique customer experience, a Rubik's Cube, right. We're like in the 80s. We have these Rubik's cubes.
And the reason that I do that to make it meaningful and memorable, right, is because there's only one solution to the Rubik's Cube. But every time you mix up a Rubik's Cube, every time you turn that, there are 43 quintillion different possible ways that you can screw up a Rubik's cube, that you can mix it up, right. So if I hand you a Rubik's Cube and you take a couple of turns statistically speaking, right? There's a chance that no one has ever mixed up the Rubik's cube the exact way you did in that moment in the entire history of the world. There's no way because of the statistics involved with it, you can't, it would take you hundreds of years to mix up every possible combination.
So this is something that's meaningful and memorable, right, it sticks in your head. So the things that you're looking for are things that matter to your clients, right? So we can reverse engineer. So if you have a program, that at the end result of the program, they achieved something, right, they become something, they change something to something different, then you can look at that result and work your way backwards. In the WOW!Factor book, I talk about Russell Brunson, who owns the company ClickFunnels, right. I talked about his T-shirts. And I actually got to talk to Russell about six or eight weeks ago. I was speaking at a symposium, and he was delivering the keynote. And so afterwards, I got to talk to him for a few minutes. And I said to him, did you understand at the time, how important and how impactful your T shirts were going to be to your clients?
Let me explain a little bit. Russell's T-shirts in his program, there is a milestone that you achieve within the program that allows you to get a free funnel hacker teacher, right. So the t-shirt has a little bitty logo, his business logo, the click funnels. But on the front of the t-shirt, it says funnel hacker. The brilliance of that is for those of you just to kind of tear that apart a little bit in the mind blowing part. That person wearing that T-shirt self identifies with the label on the shirt, right? They are funnel hackers because they've achieved that. Now what that does in the marketing thing, and where people say, hey, Tammy, I don't get that, it's just a t- shirt. It is. But what he's attached to the meaning of that T-shirt, I can't even go on eBay. And I told Russell, this, I can't even go on eBay and buy a used one. Because the people who have that T-shirt have now self identified it to the point that it is a coveted item within his program. So people are trying to get to that level. It's gamified, right. But it's fun. And they wear the t-shirt now so they can recognize each other. So when he has an event and you have the final hacker t-shirt, we all know that you've achieved a certain level in that business. And you've self identified with it. Right? So now that's a shirt, you're not going to wear just to go paint the house, right? This is the shirt that you wear to have this level of achievement within the business. So when we're looking for these things to connect, it's not just swag, it's not just stuff that's nice to have. These are ways that you are self identifying that is your program. This is the result that you're delivering. And your client wants those results. Right. Does that kind of twist things up a little bit?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. It's kind of what they call counterintuitive. It's like the most obvious thing, but no one would actually like to think about that. Right?
Tammy Fink: They don't plan it or put it into their business. So one of the things that I say when you're talking about some mistakes, and I don't know that it's a complete mistake, because I think that there's there's reasons to have it. But when people start thinking about their swag, right, because people want their swag, they want stuff with their logo on it. At some point, like I said, you can go down to the local thrift store or go to a garage sale, and you're gonna see a lot of T-shirts with people's logos on them that nobody wants. So it's those kinds of things. It's like, how do you make that shift? Right?
If it's not Coca Cola, if it's not something that's this global brand, then you're better off relating to your clients, you're better off making that experience something that's custom to them. Because like I said, I talked to insurance agents and I and I teach and train on this. It is how you do business more so than what it is you sell. So even if you sell the exact same thing. We have a lot of real estate agents. I'm talking to you live from Branson, Missouri. And we have one of the things that we have in Branson, we have condos, right. We have condos, they sell timeshares, all the stuff.
So with real estate how are you going to stand out in that market? Well, I know one. I know one real estate agent here who specializes in doing these timeshares, right? And that whole idea in timeshares is that you want to be able to pass it off to your kids, right? You want to be able to turn that around and so it's this vacation spot for everybody. One of the things that she offers is a really neat book, right? That has all of these bucket list things that you want to achieve, and it's things that go on to your families, right. When you're talking about the families, and you're getting the families all involved in vacations that you want to take, moments that you want to spend with your family, all of these things. So now she yes, she sold, she’s sold real estate, right? She's done. But because she's building these relationships with them and their kids and activities. Now the kids know who they are, right now the kids know who she is. So if they want to sell the timeshare or they want to continue on doing something with that real estate agent, she's built that relationship, because she's looked at what matters to them.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Okay. Got it. Yeah, that's interesting. And the other thing that you mentioned during your interview was the concept of Rubik's cube. And I really like when individuals use analogies or concepts to talk about these things. So what does Rubik's Cube have to do with creating a unique client experience?
Tammy Fink: For me, it is in delivering that idea, right, that you can do something completely different than everyone else does. You can do something like a real estate agent, right? Like, not everybody is doing business the way that she's doing it. For me the Rubik's Cube, I take the Rubik's cube, and I talk about the Rubik's Cube. But here's what: I leave a Rubik's Cube behind. And not a little one, I leave a full size Rubik's Cube behind when I go to a retreat, or I teach and train on this, right? Because then it attaches to the meaning of the Rubik's Cube, my analogy with something that was fun, something that may sit on somebody's desk. They may play with it, or think, oh my gosh, they relate to this because they had this as a kid, right? Because that's kind of like the demographic of who I'm working with. Right? Is that the same age bracket?
So I've taken that Rubik's Cube and brought up memories, happy memories for them, confusing, trying to figure out which we're all in that space in the entrepreneurial world, right? We're all in that. How do you figure out, you don't know what you don't know? And the Rubik's Cube in that lesson, we're learning that we can achieve whatever it is we set our mind to, we can create something that is unique, even if we're selling the exact same product as everyone else in our industry. So now, the wow factor, the extra piece, is the way you do business, right? It's the way that you offer something.
So when you have a program, there's about 14, or 15, just right off the top of your head of different times that you can connect with your client through their lifetime as being your client, right. And as you're working through it, it's not only in the client experience, but now that you've delivered this, wow, oh, my gosh, you have to know Tammy you have to meet her, you have to see the Rubik's Cube, you have to hear the cookie story. Whatever those connections are that people are telling other people about, well, now, when I want a referral, and I can get a referral, right, I'm getting referrals from people because they know, like, and trust me, because I've built that relationship with them. So now I'm doubling my business, right?
Even in the pieces that you're offering, you can offer a VIP program based on what it is that you're delivering. So maybe you do have a welcome box, right? And in your VIP program, they get this amazing welcome box. And it can be anything; it can be valued at several hundred dollars, depending on how you're doing it. And we have a whole program on creating your own welcome box. What kind of things do you want to put in it? What are the things that you want to make a difference in your clients' lives? When you're putting these things together, again, we're reverse engineering it, from where they finished in your program. How are they going to tell other people about it? And how do you build those testimonials and referrals on the back side so that you're getting warm leads all the time?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Fascinating? You certainly do know a lot about the client experience and what makes people tick. How many connection points do people need to have with their clients? And give examples of these connections.
Tammy Fink: Oh, absolutely. So the cool thing with what we do is we build based on your program, right? So we're not telling you to go create another program, right? We're not telling you to do something that's way outside the norm. We are looking at the connection points that automatically happen in your business, no matter what it is that you sell, right? You're going to have three, three main connection points that everybody has, and that is the beginning of your program, or the beginning of the client experience, right? You're going to have a middle point, and you're going to have an endpoint. Right?
So what are you doing in those spaces that will either motivate, inspire or celebrate your client? Are you letting them know, you're halfway through, you're almost there. Are you that cheerleader in that space? And that could be anything from, you could send them a card or a book or something that encourages them to keep going on. There's things that you could do in touch points physically. It could be as simple as a video that you record on your phone, just to let them know that you, as the owner, as the main person in the business, are thinking of them.
If you have salespeople, let your salespeople know that they're thinking of their sales clients. When you close at the end, are you giving them an opportunity to say wonderful things about you? Are you building in testimonials at the end of it, so that you can say what you thought that the program was going to be like before you started, and what did you receive on the backside of that? Are you building those testimonials?
Quick story. I was flown to Salt Lake City to deliver this talk to a small mastermind there. When I flew in, I flew in at night, I'd never been to Salt Lake City. But I can see the lights all over the horizon and all of that. I got into the Uber. And he loaded my luggage and everything. And as we were talking the first few minutes, I told him that I had never been there. And, I didn't get to see it because I came in at night. And he started going through and telling you like, do you see that Bank of lights over there? That's the tabernacle. Do you see this? This is where the salt mines are. And so we did this play by play, working with what we had. And it was delightful. It was one of the best experiences I had ever had. At the end of that. I said to him, thank you very much. He's getting the luggage. And I said, what can I do for you? This was such a great ride, what can I do for you?
And you can tell he had never been asked that. You can just tell the look on his face. Like he had no idea. I basically gave him a blank check. You know what I mean? Like if you would have wanted to do a selfie with me, or I would have, we could have done anything. But he didn't have a prepared answer because nobody had ever asked him that question. So I tell my clients to have a prepared answer. How can people serve you? What can they do when you say what can I do for you, Christopher? How can I help you? Be prepared with an answer. Know what it is that you need in a testimonial to get you to your next client, know what you need. In a referral, who are the clients you're looking for? If you have those answers, when somebody gives you that opportunity, then you can point that out and you can have something prepared, right?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, exactly. This has been a really fascinating discussion. I know that a lot of people are interested in your material, finding out more about you, contacting you and even working with you. So how can they do that?
Tammy Fink: Absolutely. So you can always connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, it’s @wowtammy. Or you can go to my website WowTammy.com. And you can connect with me there. And I'm in the clubhouse these days, on Instagram these days. So like I said, anytime that you want to reach out and stuff, I'm happy to do that. I'm sure you'll provide some links for them.
But, I'm super excited about helping people to create these meaningful and memorable moments within their client journey. Because it matters, right? It's something that you can do that really makes a difference in your clients’ lives and it's something they're going to remember forever.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that's so awesome. Well, Tammy, thanks so much for coming on to this show. And for all the listeners out there all the resources and links will be included in the show notes including Tammy’s book, so be sure to check that out. And so it's been a great conversation and we look forward to hearing about your success and having you as a guest on the future episodes.
Tammy Fink: Thank you so much for having me, Christopher. It was a lot of fun.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at Chris@drchrisloomdphd.com. I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!
Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.