It Can Be Tough To Read Your Customers Mind
Hey everyone, welcome back. Welcome to Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today. The word today is a key part of that title, because growing business today is definitely not the same as 5 years ago, 10 years ago, even 15 years ago. Although the principles and some of the fundamental modalities are the same, it is definitely not possible to say growing a business today is the same as 20 years ago.
As a matter of fact, about 18 months ago I was honored by the interim CEO of Guerrilla Marketing by being asked if I would write the next Guerrilla Marketing book in that series. Matter of fact, it’s the first ever book not co-authored in any way by Jay Conrad Levinson. My book, Guerrilla Marketing Today, hopefully hits Barnes& Noble and all books stores March or April. It’s a Morgan James book, and I’m kind of excited about that. Wrapped that book up about a month ago, so we’re going to edit it and get it fine tuned and in the right size and shape to be acceptable by all book stores. Pretty excited about that.
The Perpetual Pursuit of Your Next Product
Last episode, we talked about digging for gold and [s-curves 00:01:37]. I could picture a lot of people listening to that episode when I was talking about, “You need to be in the perpetual pursuit of what product you’re going to come out with next.” What industry you’re going to go into next. I was trying to get people to think a little bit like Jack Welch from GE. When he took over for GE, they had 2 revenue streams doing a market cap around 2-4 billion. He left them with 14 revenue streams with a market cap of 40 billion in about a decade to a decade and a half.
Trying to get a little mind shift with everybody listening here to think about that. I could just picture when I was doing that episode, I could picture saying, “I have no idea what product I should come out with next. I have no idea what other industry my talent or skill set would work well with.” I was trying to come up with, “What should I cover in this podcast?” I think I’m going to title this podcast, or the underlying theme of this podcast is reading your customer’s minds.
How cool would it be… Would it be incredible if you actually had a crystal ball and you could read the minds of your clients and your customers? How cool would it be if you knew exactly what your customers wanted from you next? Would that not be awesome? The reality is, you do have that crystal ball. There is mechanism tools out there that can help you predict what your clients want from you.
I’ve actually taught this principle a number of times. I’m going to use the same example I have used… Matter of fact I used this exact same example in October in Dubai. I was asked to come out and present out to the EO and the alternative investment division of the government of Dubai. In my talk out there, which you guys can actually find that video on IncomeStore.com in it’s entirety under press or media.
What I taught, one of the principles I taught, is for all the business owners in the room. Some of them flew in from South Africa, from Saudi Arabia. There was a guy there on the board of Subway. I taught the principle about how do you discern or qualify exactly what product your company should come out with next? There is a tool called the Google Ad Words Keyword Planner. I’m going to repeat that. It’s a free tool from Google called The Google Ad Words Keyword Planner, that helps you literally read your clients’ minds.
What Is Your Business? What Is Your Business Challenge?
I’ll explain how this works by a story that happened about a year ago. I was in a master mind group with a group of I think 18-20 people. We were in Carlsbad, California. We were sitting in a circle late at night. I remember talking to these folks, and we got to a guy named Tim. I said, “Tim, what’s shaking? What industry are you in and what’s your current business challenge?” He says, “I am in bike parts manufacturing. As a matter of fact, my company’s going to be portrayed on the show How It’s Made this summer.” He was all excited about it. I said, “Oh that’s awesome. Congratulations. What is your current business challenge?”
He said, “That is simple. For 6 months we’ve had board meeting after board meeting after board meeting, and we cannot figure out what we should manufacture or sell next. What should we add to our website, out catalogs? We are stumped.” I said, “Really, well let me have a crack at this. What is your current number 1 selling product?” He said, “Bike helmets.” I said, “Can you give me a minute?”
I lifted up my laptop and I went to the Google Ad Words Keyword Planner, which is saved and bookmarked on my website. I typed in bike helmets. It takes about 15 seconds to run. Google printed out for me, or created a PDF for me, of how many people… I want to say it was, I can’t remember, something like 18,000 or 28,000 people the month prior typed bike helmets into the Google search bar.
I said, “Did you know that 30,000 people in the US are searching for bike helmets every month. He said, “No. That’s great information.” I said, “More importantly, wouldn’t it be cool to know, since Google has the ability to track via what is called an IP address of the person that typed in bike helmets. Since they’re able to count via the IP addresses of how many people separately typed in bike helmets, wouldn’t it be cool to know what else the people that typed bike helmets into Google also typed in?”
His eyes grew as wide as humanly possible. He said, “That would be phenomenal.” I turned my computer around and I said, “Take a look at this.” He leaned in, and if I’m not mistaken, he said something like, “I think I’m going to need a garbage can.” I said, “Why?” He goes, “I think I might throw up.” I’m like, “Oh what’s going on?” He goes, “Look at number 2.” I said, “Yeah.” He goes, “It says bike pumps.” I said, “Yeah. That means that Google Ad Words Keywords Planner is set to relevance. The most relevant searches to the people searching for bike helmets is bike pumps. Meaning the most important thing to someone searching for bike helmets is also bike pumps. It’s not spare tires. It’s not wrist bands. It’s bike pumps.”
He goes, “The reason I’m sick to my stomach is because for over 5 years we’ve had a sales rep come into our company and try to sell us a bike pump wholesale for under $3.00, that we can retain on our website for $19.00. For 5 years we’ve told him our company doesn’t sell bike pumps.” Guess what Tim sells today? Bike pumps. The bottom line is, this tool was able to help Tim read his customer’s mind. His customers have already proven they want bike helmets. That’s his number 1 seller. Now Tim has a tool where he can literally read his customers’ minds.
Matter of fact, I think if I remember, he grabbed my computer so he could scan down the list to see what else those people were looking. We went around the circle and I said, “What do you do next? What do you do next?” We put everybody’s number 1 selling product, or number 1 service offering like mortgages or insurance or financial advice, into this tool. It showed us, ready for this, the 799 other things that the same people are exactly looking for.
Let’s take this a step further. Let’s say that you just came out with a best-selling book. New York Times number 1 best-selling book. You titled it Cupcake Recipes. The reason you titled it Cupcake Recipes is your family told you for 20 years that you should write a book on cupcake recipes because you have the best cupcake recipes in the world. So what did you do? You listened. You wrote a book. You found a publisher. Sure enough, number 1 New York Times best-seller. You’ve got your 20 best cupcake recipes in this best-selling book.
You didn’t even think it would sell. It’s a best-seller. A few months go by. You’re excited. You’ve been in a couple magazines, couple newspapers. You’ve been interviewed on the radio. Now you’ve got that suffocating feeling of having a following. You now have an audience. Your audience is your clients. Your clients want something else from you. This doesn’t just go for authors with best-selling books. This goes for every single business owner.
Once you have a group of clients, guess what? You have a group of people that trusted you with their money. It’s so much more important to someone to give their money to someone they’ve already trusted, than to try something and someone new. I spent a year in 2014 doing talks called Trust Trumps Everything. That’s a different podcast altogether. The point of this podcast episode is how do we read our client’s mind?
Your Loyal Customers What More From You
Number 1, understand. Your customers and your clients, they want more from you. If you have 1 product line, they want 2. If you have 3, they want 4. What we’re going to do is, let’s pretend everybody listening to this podcast just wrote the best-selling book called Cupcake Recipes. That was the title. 6 months went by. You have this suffocating feeling. Now you know you have to write another book on recipes. If it was me, if this was my wife, my grandma, my daughter, even my son, that had a best-selling book on cupcake recipes, what I would do, I would open up the Google Ad Words Keywords Planner and I would type the phrase cupcake recipes and hit run.
I would wait 15 seconds, then I would download the PDF which would have 799 other results. Because I’ve actually done this live in front of groups of people, I know that the second most relevant searched phrase under cupcake recipes is gourmet cupcake recipes. Now watch this magic move. The next one below gourmet cupcake recipes is vanilla cupcake recipes. Right below that is cinnamon cupcake recipes, depending on actually what part of the country you live in. It’s a little bit different.
Here’s the key. Here’s what I know. If Cupcake Recipes was my number 1 best-selling book, my next book is going to be titled Gourmet Cupcake Recipes. Why? Because that’s what Google has just proved to me, is what the world wants from me. Gourmet cupcake recipes. Guess what is going to be the title of chapter 1? Something to do with vanilla cupcake recipes. Even if I had written on that in my first book, it doesn’t matter.
In order of relevance of what the world really wants from me, is a gourmet cupcake recipe book with vanilla cupcake recipes as one of the first or second chapters. Then cinnamon cupcake recipes, etc. What you want to do, is you want to plug into the Google Ad Words Keyword Planner, either your top selling product. Or, let’s say you don’t have a product and you want to start a brand new company. Or, you have an idea for a product and you are about to dump $50,000-$500,00 into this product line or this company, and you don’t even have proof anybody’s going to buy it. Or, would mildly be interested in it. All you have is your gut or your guesstimate.
What we’ve counseled people to do since 1992 as growth consultants, is to basically test everything. You poll the audience in today’s world, you can fight entropy, which we talked about on a prior podcast. Which means everything man-made or God-made is to go from order to disorder. You can fight entropy in 30 seconds by using the Google Ad Words Keyword Planner. Meaning you can tell right now if the product you’re about to launch, or the industry you’re about to go into, or the company you’re about to start, even has a fighting chance by plugging in the 2 or 3 phrases that you think people would Google search to find this product to potentially buy it.
Let me make one up on the fly. I’m looking at curtains right now in the office. Let’s say we wanted to go into curtain manufacturing, but we have this idea that we want to come out with curtains that completely block out the sun. Not for hotel use, but for personal bedrooms. We come out with, let’s say, steel-lined vertical and horizontal blinds that completely block out the sun. I’m going to go to the Google Ad Words Keywords tool and put in phrases like black-out blinds for home use. Black-out blinds for bedrooms. Curtains that block out the sun in a bedroom. These are called long-tailed key phrases, that I can plug into Google and see where it sends me.
Or, I can plug them into the Google Ad Words Keyword planner. Some of these phrases might not even make any sense. But, the Google Ad Words Keywords Planner, if you put more that 1 in, especially 3 or more, it will be able to discern exactly the type of phrases you’re putting in. It will be able to track back if there’s at least 3 of them, the actual IP address of people that have typed those exact phrases into Google, and what else they’ve typed in.
Now here’s the magic. When you type things in like black-out blinds for personal use. Or, blinds that hold back the sun for a bedroom. If you put in 3 of those, Google’s actually going to be able to tell what you’re talking about and thinking about because there are other people in the 345 million people in the United States that have probably typed that crazy phrase into Google. It will show you what else they typed in, and it… Watch this. They might have also typed things like keep out the sun, or no sun in my bedroom, or eliminate sun in the morning, or… I don’t know. I’m making this stuff up.
The point is, you might see these other phrases that come back to you, and I think you’re going to find they’re going to speak to you in exactly the same way that bike pumps spoke to the gentleman named Tim. Why he so aggressively wanted to look down the list of other bike parts that people were looking for. I’m hoping this makes a little bit of sense. I’m going to do a little bit of review. The little bit of review goes like this.
On a previous podcast, I talked about how if people were professional gold miners, and I mean they had a big company. Say 50 gold miners. They had tons of pieces of equipment. They were in multiple different states. The odds of a successful gold mining operation, moving 100% of its people and 100% of its equipment to work on 1 location and give it everything they got, and dig that vein of gold until it’s completely gone. The odds of a successful gold mining company doing that is close to 0. Every successful gold mining operation has been taught by the generation before that you always keep 10-20% of your assets, meaning your people and your equipment, in other unexplored areas digging test holes looking for tomorrow’s gold, because today’s gold has a limited shelf life. Meaning if you find a vein of gold, eventually that vein runs out.
It’s my job as the guide to deliver certain guide maps to the listeners of Today’s Growth’s podcast, and provide the guide maps that clearly show certain modalities and principles of growing a business that can yield long-term results. One of the guide maps that we have delivered since 1992 as a growth consulting company, is the guide map that talks about not putting 100% of your assets into 1 product like. Or, quite frankly, even into 1 industry. You want to diversify as fast and as strongly as you can, without diluting the core energy of your company.
Do What Others Are Unwilling To Do From 5-9
If you’re a 1-person household and you have 1 9-to-5 job, as Oprah Winfrey clearly said 10-20 years ago, “Hey. You make a living from 9-to-5, but you make a life and build a dream from 5-to-9.” You do what people are unwilling to do in the evening hours. That’s what makes people ultimately successful. In business, when we’re talking about digging for gold, we don’t want to just randomly dig a test hole in 1 state. No gold there. Let’s go from Tennessee to Arkansas, randomly stick a test… A lot of people who start a business, a lot of people who come out with a new product, they just randomly with absolutely no evidence, launch a product line because their gut says people will buy it.
I’m here to tell you, we have over 600 revenue generating websites. I am not even at 45 years old, I am no longer allowed in our office. I’m not allowed to work on any single website. It’s for the reason that I’m 45 years old. I have 2 decades of business experience, and that is clouding my judgement of what’s possible and what products might go and what new revenue streams might work on a website. Our staff today is almost all of them are under 30. They don’t have the experience I have. Sometimes I look at things and I immediately write them off. Or, I immediately say, “Yep. That’s a home run.”
Here’s the reality. I have no right to say if a product is going to be a home run. Nor do I have the right to write off a product quickly. I learned through doing internal testing with my team. Our team of youngsters took 5 websites. I personally took 5 websites. We grew them. They smoked me. The reason is, they uses empirical data to grow their websites through testing. I was using my gut assumption. I’m here to tell you. I’m here to basically filet myself open and bare my soul. As a business owner of 23 years, sometimes our biggest problem is us.
We think, “Yep. This is absolutely what the next product line should be. This is absolutely the next industry we should go.” Why? How do we know? “Well I just know. It feels right.” I’m here to tell you, please do not use feeling, thought, energy… Quite frankly, and I’m a prayer. I’m in complete belief of prayer, but I don’t even think prayer should be the sole decision maker. I think you pray like it’s up to him, but you work like it’s up to you. I think it might be our responsibility to use the tools available and fight entropy in a nanosecond, with a tool called the Google Ad Words Keyword Planner.
Put in your ideas into this tool, and see what the actual evidence shows. If you go into a new idea, a new product, and the Google Ad Words Keyword Planner comes back with a few hundred search results that only say 80,000 people are looking for. I’m here to tell you that product’s probably not going to go anywhere. The average industries we search out in the Google Ad Words Keyword Planner, come back between a half million and 8 million searches cumulative through the 799 results that Google kicks us back with the results of its Google Ad Words Keyword Planner Pdf report.
I am Ken Courtwright signing off on this podcast. I hope everybody plays it, rewinds it, understands it. It is my hope and desire, through this little podcast, that you use empirical data to pick your next product, your next industry. With that data, I think you can get excited. You can clearly see what the world is looking for and what they’re not. Ken Courtwright, signing off. Take care.