Imagine yourself walking into a restaurant at 3:32 p.m. It’s three hours past your regular lunchtime, and you are starving because you were in a hurry and skipped breakfast earlier, as well as your normal lunch. You have a headache from not eating. You are grumpy and all around sick, just from feeling so hungry.
You finally get the attention of the hostess who was busy with table work as the lunch rush has long passed. The hostess walks you to a table where you are immediately greeted by your server.
Your server takes one look at you and says, “You look hungry. I’m here to help you get the food you need, as quickly as possible. These are the three items that come out of the kitchen the fastest this time of day. They are 1. ___ 2. ___ and 3. ____. Would you like one of these three options, or would you like to see the entire menu?
How would you feel about that experience? A lot more confident, right? I know I’d be excited to have a server who recognized what I needed and dedicated herself to getting it to me as quickly as possible.
What if, instead, the server showed up with a tray full of desserts saying, “Darling, we’ve got a bunch of dessert left over from lunch. Here’s some key lime pie, cheesecake, and a bowl of ice cream. Enjoy.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d be frustrated. Dessert may be fine later, but right now, I’m starving. I’d like to eat something before dessert. You’d likely feel the same way. You’d begin to wonder if you were in the right place or if you should find some other restaurant where the people working understand their job is to give real food (rather than desserts) to hungry people.
Too many membership marketers make a similar error with their member welcome sequences. I’ve come across many who welcome their new members with gifts of cookies, coffee cups, and/or T-shirts. This is similar to delivering desserts to a hungry, grumpy, in-a-hurry guest in a restaurant.
Chances are, your member didn’t join because he wanted a coffee cup. So when a coffee cup arrives, he’s thinking, “That’s nice, but this doesn’t solve my problem.” If I joined your program to get a tool or to learn how to relieve some pain in my life, that’s what I’m going to be looking for. And anything I get that’s inconsistent with that solution is going to make me wonder if I can really trust you to deliver the solution you promised.
So think: How can you craft the first thing your customer receives to be your version of the “Here are the three items we have that come out of the kitchen the fastest …” solution to your customer’s greatest hunger? After all, in order to make the sale, you did all you could to point out your customer’s pain points, irritate that pain, and make him so uncomfortable he couldn’t do anything but buy immediately. He’s ready, so why are you making him wait?!?
And it’s not just cookies and T-shirts. I see this all the time with training programs that start with in-depth theory before giving members something practical.
For instance, one marketer was frustrated that few of the customers who purchased his tele-seminar series showed up for his third, fourth, and fifth calls. A sizable percentage showed up for call number one, but fewer than half of those showed up for call number two. One glance at the topics revealed the answer: He started the training with a whole bunch of theory.
Allow me to break this to you — NO ONE wants a USP. Talk about a commodity! People who teach USP have become a commodity. If you want to be unique, save the theory for later, after your customer has gotten some success from your program with the best, most practical, quick wins delivered at the beginning of your program.
There’s a place for dessert at lunch. What if, after you enjoyed a hearty lunch, served promptly, the waitress came by with some free desserts? At that point, dessert would be awesome. Those desserts would have a great impact.
To have a positive impact on retention, you can deliver those bonus “desserts” after you’ve delivered on your core deliverable and have built trust with your new member.
When your customer chooses to join your program, you have a short window of time to solve the problems you promised to solve, or you will quickly lose their trust. This is your opportunity to deliver your very best solutions, quickly and concisely, so you can establish yourself as someone your member can rely on.