72. Tiffani Bova: Experience is the Product

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My guest today is Tiffani Bova, speaker, author, thought-leader, and Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. Her book, Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices That Will Make or Break Your Business comes out this week, and after reading an advance copy I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down and go over some of the highlights with her.

Tiffani likes to say that she is a recovering seller, because while she no longer carries a sales quota she still “bleeds sales blood.” Growing up on the islands of Hawaii, Tiffani early on had a mentor who showed her the ropes of business beyond learning about supply chains and P&L. One lesson became deeply embedded in her mind—experience is king.

“I actually believe that experience is now the product, regardless of what companies are selling, and I think that’s being proved to us day to day in our consumer lives.”

Whether it’s people in the rain watching taxis drive by while waiting for an Uber, or conference attendees bypassing free coffee for a cup of $6 Starbucks brew, time and again it has been illustrated that customers value experience over their wallets. If you want to make and retain quality customers you need to understand what they want to experience and then deliver on it.

“[C]ustomers are drastically different than they were just 3 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago…that experience when they decide to give you money is one that they will remember, which goes back to what I said that the experience is the product. They will remember the experience they have with you much longer than they’re going to remember the price.”

I read Tiffani’s book while preparing for my conference with Marshall Goldsmith, and the nuggets I found in here really packed a punch with me. I’ll freely admit that I called my team to reevaluate how certain elements of the conference were developing, all as a consequence of reading Tiffani’s book. If you have a business that you want to grow, I strongly recommend reading Growth IQ (after listening to this podcast, of course).

Click on the player below to listen, or find it on iTunes. If you like what you hear, leave me a comment and I might feature it on a future podcast.

Takeaways from this Episode:

  • Complacency slows growth. Don’t get caught in the idea that “we’re growing, so what’s the problem?” If growth slows, you’re in decline.
  • 85% of executives say that the reasons for not growing have to do with internal factors, not competition or exogenous factors.
  • Experience is now the product. Everything is B2E: Business to Experience
  • Customer base penetration: businesses can get stuck in a “constant hamster wheel” of needing to find new customers, but they need to evaluate the ones they already have in order to find customers that look just like them. Examine (penetrate) your existing customer base, and then devise your strategy based on what they want and need from your company.
  • Acquiring new customers is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
  • There are 10 paths that companies take to grow. To craft a good customer experience, you need to examine the sequence of your growth paths.
  • Customers are drastically different than they were 3, 5, 10, and 15 years ago. They have the ability to find a brand and leave a brand very quickly. Make sure that the experience when they decide to give you money is one that they will remember.
  • “Sales is the last mile. It is the moment of truth.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

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