42: Never Lose A Customer Again with Joey Coleman

June 27, 2018

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Yigal Adato: 00:04 Hey everyone, my name is Yigal Adato and this is the Pawn Leaders Podcast, a podcast that help you make more money, stress less, and live an epic life all while working at the pawn shop. Hey pawn family, welcome to another great episode of the Pawn Leaders Podcast. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen. And if you haven’t already, go ahead and join the Facebook group, Pawn Leaders podcast community. When we talk about other podcasts, the guests, any questions about the pawn industry and life as well. Super important. Great Group of people in there. With me today, I have somebody who I consider a master at his craft, I’ve seen him in person. Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers. He’s an award winning speaker. He works with organizations around the world ranging from small startups to major brands. His first 100 days methodology fuels the remarkable experiences, his clients deliver and dramatically improve their profits. He’s Wall Street Journal number two bestselling book. Never lose a customer again. Offer strategies and tactics for turning one time purchases into life long customers, which I know we all want. We’re not speaking to audience around the globe. Joey enjoy spending time with his amazing wife and two young sons in the mountains of Colorado, and this year he is the keynote speaker at the Pawn Expo in Vegas. Joey, welcome to the podcast.


Joey Coleman: 01:29 Thank you so much Yigal, it’s a pleasure to be here. It’s a pleasure to get a chance to chat with your fantastic community prior to getting a chance to meet with everyone at the National Expo out in Vegas. So super excited to have the chance to chat with you today.


Yigal Adato: 01:44 Awesome. And before we talk about like where you come from and your history, I saw you speak and it blew me away. You are awesome. You are funny. You’re engaging. It was an hour, I believe that I saw you speak, and just the whole time you had me laughing and enjoying. So, I am so happy that the NPA decided to hire you to speak, and I know that the pawn brokers in the seats will enjoy listening to you.

Joey Coleman: 02:11 Oh, thanks man. I really appreciate that. And coming from someone who’s a fantastic speaker and his own right. I take that as high praise. Thank you very much and Yeah, the speaking is my love. I love being on stage. I love doing my best to entertain an audience, to educate an audience, to captivate an audience and so I’m thrilled that, that was your experience.


Yigal Adato: 02:35 Awesome. So, I will say, if you’re listening to this, whatever time that Joey is going on it, make sure you wake up early that you’re not hung over. Cause I know what happens at the NPA conventions that you didn’t party hard the night before before. You get there on time, you get a seat and you pay attention to this man. So, that’s a warning to the pawnbrokers listening.


Joey Coleman: 02:54 Thanks buddy. I appreciate it. Yeah, and the good news is you’re going to get two bites at the apple at the expo. So, I’m doing a keynote in the morning and then I’m doing a workshop in the afternoon. And just so people know and for contexts, the workshop is going to be very much geared on what I talk about in my book. Never lose the customer again. The keynote is going to be all about the future of customers. So, it’s going to be a little bit more, I’d hate to say trend setting, but more forecasting, like what is happening in our society today that is changing the face of the customer that walks in your door and how do you prepare yourself for that? And then the afternoon workshop will be very tactical. Like, okay, what can you take home and apply in your business.


Yigal Adato: 03:38 Awesome. I’m sad I’m going to missed it. Although I’m going to have a baby, my wife is going to have a baby around that time. But I think that what you’re talking about-


Joey Coleman: 03:47 More important places to be my friend.


Yigal Adato: 03:50 And I know that what you’re talking about is important to the pawn industry because it was so much competition happening through online services, like offer up and just the advent of people not walking into a pawn shop as much anymore. I think that retaining customers and the [Incomprehensible] the customer is super important. So, happy that you’re talking about that. So, let’s get into your history. You or are, I’m not sure, an attorney-


Joey Coleman: 04:16 I’m recovering attorney is how I refer to it. The first step is admitting you have a problem [Incomrpehensible] after that. So yeah, no, I used to be a criminal defense lawyer and so I came up as the son of a criminal defense lawyer. So, the family business was criminal defense law and I did national security law and international law and I worked in the White House and the CIA and the secret service. I did a bunch of stuff in the executive branch. This is not in the current administration. This is years ago. And then I was a criminal defense lawyer for five years. So yeah, my background is in the law.


Yigal Adato: 04:51 So you went from law to customer service, like how did you bridge that gap?


Joey Coleman: 04:56 Yeah, so it’s a little crazy. So, I actually went from law school to Fortune 500 business consulting to criminal defense law, to teaching executive education, to running a division of a promotional products company to running an ad agency for 15 years, to then focusing entirely on customer experience and speaking and writing in that area. So, how does that happen? Right? How does somebody go from keeping people out of jail to helping fortune 500 companies to designing logos and building websites, to speaking about customer experience. And it’s one of those things where hindsight is always 20-20 and what I realized is there’s a common thread that connects all of the jobs and all of the careers I’ve ever had. And that thread is this. In order to succeed in all of those industries, you had to have a very keen and clear understanding of the human condition. Why do people do the things they do and what can do to persuade them to influence them, to convince them to do the things we want them to do. So, when I was a criminal defense lawyer, it was how can I convince this jury to find my guy not guilty? When I was designing logos, it was how can I convince someone who sees this brand identity to want to learn more about the company? When I was doing consulting, it was how can I convince customers and audience members to buy another widget or another item this month. And so in each of these positions, knowing why humans behave the way they do was really the way to get ahead. And so I took the learnings in each of those industries and kind of combine them to create this, for lack of a better way of putting it, ever evolving understanding of the human condition,


Yigal Adato: 06:45 Love it man. When I was in the pawn industry, my father and other people didn’t really talk about their customers in the best light right. It’s hard to retain a customer and so it was my brother and I, it was a lot of work that we put into retaining the client and doing stuff that was out of the box. And so, we’ll jump into some of these things that you talk about and to how to retain their customer. And like the book says, never lose a customer again because there’s no worse feeling for a pawnbroker when a customer walks in, a customer who’s been with you for four or five years opens their purse and takes out the pawn contract of the pawn shop across the street. [Crosstalk]


Joey Coleman: 07:33 Yeah, it’s like cuts to the core. No, I get it. And I, you know, I empathize with folks in the industry. I empathize with your father and the challenges you faced. I mean, let’s be candid. Human beings are messy, they’re complicated people, right? Then this is the joy and the pain of the human condition. And we spend so much time and effort building our businesses and focusing on our businesses that when someone chooses not to do business with us, if feels like a dagger to the heart. I mean, you know, and we know, you know, in our brains that that’s not what’s happening. But in our hearts and in our emotions, that’s what it feels like. And when we lose a customer, when a customer is unhappy with us, when we’re doing our best and it’s still not enough, when our employees aren’t doing their best and are costing us customers, when we’re stressed out between all the things we’re trying to manage to keep business coming in the door while also trying to keep the business that’s already in the door. Yeah. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s, it’s a tough, challenging business. You know, running your own business, running your own shop. I don’t care if you’re in the pawn industry, I don’t care if you’re an auto mechanic. I don’t care if you sell insurance. It’s challenge. And the big challenges you deal with humans, biggest challenge of the whole thing is that every, you want to grow your business or retain your business, you have to deal with another human being. I get it. It’s tough.


Yigal Adato: 09:01 And so in your book you talk about that the future of businesses human to human. A lot of people talk B2B, B2C, you’d say H2H.


Joey Coleman: 09:11 Correct.


Yigal Adato: 09:11 Kind of elaborate on that.


Joey Coleman: 09:14 Yeah. So, I think a lot of businesses and I don’t mean this from a place of judgment, but I see it happening all the time. Businesses get so caught up in whether they’re B2C or B2B or occasionally when I lived in Washington DC you’re B2G business to government. Right? And the problem with all of those monikers is that they refuse to acknowledge that there’s human beings involved on both sides of the table. There’s human beings in your organization and there’s human beings that you’re dealing with. And because you’re dealing with human beings we need to keep that at the forefront of our thought process and our decision making process. Because if we start to think we’re dealing with companies or we’re dealing with, you know, even the word consumer, right? It’s kind of a loaded word, right? We all consume. I mean, this is the nature of energy and the nature of humans on the planet, right? We consume and we create both. Some of us create more than we consume. Some consume more than they create. Again, the joy of the human condition. But when you use these words, you create distance between yourself and the people you’re trying to serve, or the people you’re trying to help or the people you’re trying to convince to give them their hard earned money so that you can keep the lights on and put food on your family’s table and pay your employees. Right? So I believe that even just the subtle shift of thinking human to human can begin the necessary process of instilling in your culture, instilling in your business and ceiling in your own mindset that every day is a gift, every day is an opportunity to serve. And if you come from that place of serving your audience, you know, I refer to them as the audience more often than a customer, right? Because, and maybe that’s easy for me because I’m the speaker and I have a lot of audiences, but also have a background in performance and singing and theater. And if you think about an audience, it calls us to put on a show. It calls us to seek the standing ovation. It calls us to recognize that this person that we’re interacting with, they may be a repeat customer, for lack of a better way of putting it, a season ticket holder who’s going to come back to every show we put on. Or they may be somebody who’s just passing through town and this might be the one and only time they get to see us perform. I want to make sure that everyone on my team and that I myself are performing at the highest levels.


Yigal Adato: 11:35 Plus you’re consistently rehearsing and you’re making sure that everything is on point, that your lines are on point, and that the interaction between you and the other performer is right. You know, I do theater and I used to sing in a band, so I know exactly what you’re speaking about.

Joey Coleman: 11:52 And you’re getting out into the store or into the theater and checking the line of sight and checking to make sure, oh, is the lighting good here? Can I still hear back here? You know, what are all the elements of the environment that contribute to the overall customer experience.


Yigal Adato: 12:09 I love it man. Let’s talk about what it costs to lose a customer. A lot of us in the pawn industry, back in the day was a yellow pages. Now it’s Facebook advertising and television advertising and radio for some people, but there’s a big cost of losing the customer.

Joey Coleman: 12:25 There’s a huge cost of losing the customer. You know, and it’s interesting, this is the thing that spawned me down this path. Not only of doing consulting and writing my book and giving speeches about it, but just being interested in it. And I’ll give you a brief example of the origin of this and then talk about how it applies across all businesses. So, I found myself reading a book about bank marketing or a study about bank marketing. Yeah, that’s how sexy I am. I was reading bank marketing, right? Friday night, everybody else is going out to party. I’m sitting home reading bank marketing, and what I found when I was reading this is that there’s a dirty little secret the banks don’t want you to know, and that secret is this, despite the fact that they spent all this time, money and effort trying to convince you to join their bank, 32% of the new customers who will join a bank, will leave that bank before their one year anniversary. 32% what’s even more staggering than that is half of them will leave in the first hundred days. Now this blew my mind. You spend all this effort.


Yigal Adato: 13:29 Sorry, half of the 32% will leave in the first hundred days?


Joey Coleman: 13:32 Yeah. So, 16% of new bank customers will leave within the first 100 days [Inaudible]. I don’t know if you’ve opened a bank account recently. It’s a pain in the, how shall we say, neck, right? I mean, it’s miserable. You have to fill out signature cards. You have to set up online billing. You have to get a new ATM card. You’d have to get new checks if you’re old school like me and just use checks from time to time. You’ve got to get the money from your old bank account into the new bank account, we have to wait until the last couple of bills get paid and then bring across those last few dollars. It’s not fun. And despite all of this, 32% are leaving. This was staggering to me to learn this. And I thought, you know, if this is happening in the world of banking where my perception is people pay attention to the bottom line. You know, bankers are notorious for tracking how much money they have, how much money they’re losing, et Cetera, and they’re losing a third of their customers. What must it be like in other industries where they don’t pay attention as much? And so it took me on a multi year research journey, looking at studies and research and doing research all around the world and here’s what I’d found. In the cellphone industry, it’s 21%, in the restaurant industry, it hovers between 45 and 75%, the auto mechanic industry, it’s 68%, in the software is a service industry it’s 20%. the numbers were staggering and what I found is across all industries around the world, somewhere between 20 and 70% of your new customers will decide to stop doing business with you before they reached the 100 day anniversary. Now, I don’t know about you. That number was terrifying to me. And what was more terrifying Yigal is that when I talked to business owners, they didn’t know what their percentage was. That was even scarier, right? Because I’m sitting here knowing these numbers are staggering across industries, and I had talked to people and they’re like, oh my God, I don’t even know what my number is. And then they do. They look at their numbers and their data and their [Incomprehensible] and they come back and they’d be like, Joey, I’m at 48%, I’m at 64%, I’m at 32% whatever it may be. And they realize that there’s this gaping wound in their business that is hemorrhaging customers that they’ve never even paid attention to.


Yigal Adato: 15:45 Joey 16 years of owning my stores. I don’t think I could be wrong. I don’t think we ever looked at the number to say, you know, somebody who hasn’t pawn with us for a year or two or three and has never came back after the initial or buying something. We just never, it was just about like, let’s keep going.

Joey Coleman: 16:09 Who’s the one, get the next one in. Could you bring them in the door? I get it. And here’s the thing, and I talk a little bit about this in the book. Marketing is sexy, right? Marketing is the dating of business. It’s holding yourself out to be really awesome and good looking and charming and trying to convince people to come hang out with you. Okay. It’s dating. Retention is the marriage of business, right? It’s after the other person has said, I do, I want to be in relationship with you. And what happens and we see this in our married lives too, and I say unhappily married, but we see this, it’s more challenging to continue to bring the spark. It’s more challenging to not take it for granted when the person’s right there. And it’s more exciting to kind of chase the new shiny, sparkly object. And so as a result, most businesses and most employees spend all their time on acquisition of new customers instead of spending any time, money or effort on retention of existing customers.


Yigal Adato: 17:11 And I’ve heard in the marketing world that the way to make more money in your business is one to get new clients buying your product, right? Or two, to get your current clients to keep buying your product.

Joey Coleman: 17:21 And I’ve heard that too, and in fact what I would say is actually not only should you flip those, but the research shows that getting your existing customers to buy more is exponentially easier. Here’s what I did. I looked at all industries around the world and I said, what is the likelihood of a business selling to a new customer, a cold prospect? And the average was somewhere between five and 20% somewhere between five and 20% of the people would walk in your door, would decide to buy something or pawn something. Okay, great. Then we looked at what is your likelihood of selling something to someone who’s already done business with you? The numbers skyrocketed. 60 to 70% likely, right? So, not only is it easier to do it, but it’s also more profitable because in the typical business, and this will be my last statistic, I don’t want to overwhelm our listeners, which is one stat app or another. It’s so shocking to me. In the typical business, if you can keep just 5% of your customers, 5% of the people who’ve already done business with you, if you can just get them to do business with you again, your profits are going to go up 25 to 100% right? So, the numbers are there, it’s easier to do, it’s more profitable to do, it’s more fun to do. And yet everybody spends their time focused on the marketing instead of on the retaining the existing customers.


Yigal Adato: 18:49 And by the way, I’m not surprised with all these stats if you read the big marketing book on a Friday night. So I mean,


Joey Coleman: 18:55 Fair enough. Well, you know, part of the thing is you can take the boy out of the courtroom, but you can’t take the courtroom out of the boy. You know, when I was a lawyer, your job was to present evidence. So, the first few chapters of the book is me saying, look, here’s all the evidence, here’s all the research. This is what a huge problem this is that no one’s talking about you don’t believe me. Go on Amazon, go on the Amazon and search for marketing books, search for sales books, add all the number of books that come up together and you get 1.3 million books that had been written on marketing and sales. Now, search customer experience, customer service, customer loyalty, keep your customers, customer retention, account management, post sale, customer behavior, all the words and phrases you could come up with to describe what happens after the sale. Take all of those numbers of books, add them up together. 30,000. What that means is for every book on keeping your customer, there have been 43 books on getting a customer. That alone should show us that people aren’t paying attention to this.


Yigal Adato: 19:58 Yeah. And we’re being taught to market more as supposed to retain more.


Joey Coleman: 20:02 Exactly. And I don’t know about you, but most of the folks that I come to know in the pawn industry work regionally, they work in their local community. There comes a point where you’ve sold to everyone you can sell to in your home town and maybe you’re hoping that you’ll get some people within the county or the next town over, but they don’t have a pawn shop. Maybe a little come over two years or maybe you get some people online, but that’s kind of a nightmare. You know, the likelihood of making that happen. So, the reality is you’re going to run out a new customer, what you won’t run out of this existing customers if you pay attention and keep them.


Yigal Adato: 20:39 I love it. So let’s talk about how to do that. And first let’s touch on what is the customer experience. And then we’ll walk into, you know, the eight phases of customer retention that you speak about. So, what is customer experience? You know, I in back in my day, it was the way they walked in the store, how we were dressed, how we spoke to them, the lighting, we would say their name after we got their ID. So we’d say, hi Mr. Coleman. You know, what brings you in today? And that’s cause that’s all that we knew. What is customer experience to you and today?


Joey Coleman: 21:14 Yeah. So to me, customer experience is every single touch point, every single interaction you have with the customer. So, this includes the way you greet them. It includes the way your store is set up, all the things you just described. But it also includes the contract and the agreement. It also includes the invoice. It also includes the message they get when you call your shop after hours. It also includes what it feels like when you drive up to your store. What is the signage, the uniforms, how your employees treat your customers, how your employees treat and talk to each other, right? All of these things. Now here’s the crazy thing for business owners, it’s overwhelming to think that everything counts, but the reality is it does. And so we need to be paying attention to all of these things and recognizing that you can have the cleanest, most well lit, most beautifully displayed store in the world and if your employee is, you know, as the kids say, talk and smack to another employee when I walk in, while suddenly this doesn’t feel comfortable anymore, I don’t feel welcomed. I don’t feel appreciated, you know, and I get a feel for like, oh, what’s going on here? This, this is probably not the kind of place I want to be. Whereas if I walk in and I’m greeted either generally or by name and you know, I’m not harass, you know, we’ve all had the experience of walking into a retail establishment and it’s as if there’s a magnet and eight salespeople claimed you immediately and they’re like, what are you looking for? What can I help you find today? How can I help you? And it’s like I just stepped inside to walk around and look a little bit. And invariably even if we are looking for something, the human condition tells us we’ll lie and we’ll say I’m good, I’m just looking around. Even if you know exactly what you’re there for, most people will say, nah, I’m good. I’m looking around because they’re like, I don’t want to be upsold 17 things between here and the back of the store where I’m finally going to find the thing I want, right? This holds true across all industries. So, Every interaction, all of these things contribute to the customer experience.


Yigal Adato: 23:26 Awesome. So let’s dive into those phases and you know how a pawnshop can take the phases in and create more retention through it. Obviously, I do want to say that this is in your book. Never lose a customer again. So, I highly recommend the book just from the 15 minutes of the conversation. You can buy the book on Amazon, never lose a customer again, or you can go to joeycoleman.com. Is that correct?


Joey Coleman: 23:52 Correct. Yeah. You can find the information [Incomprehensible] best place to buy the book is on Amazon. If you like the sound of my voice, you can even go over to audible and get the audio book. I actually narrate it, but let me give you an overview of what the eight phases are. Okay. And it’s a preview. These are the eight steps of the customer journey that every customer has the potential to go through, but they won’t go through all eight of these unless you’re willing to hold their hand and help them navigate the journey. Okay? So, this is the potential and the possibility. Additionally, each of these phases starts with the letter A. Now, the reason I did that is my goal is, let’s see if we can get you straight A’s from your customers. [Incomprehensible] about all these things. All right, so the first phase is assess. This is when a prospect is considering whether or not they want to do business with you. In common language, we refer to this as marketing and sales, right? They’re kicking the tires. They’re trying to figure out, don’t want to do business with you or the pawn shop across the street, but what the reality is your biggest competitor is them not doing anything.


Yigal Adato: 24:54 Let me say it again. Your biggest competitor is them not doing anything.


Joey Coleman: 24:58 Yes, the biggest competitor is not the next pawn shop. It’s not Facebook marketplace. It’s not offer up. It’s not eBay. It’s them deciding, you know what, I’m going to keep this ring. Never mind or you know the status quo because human beings. This is what we know about the human condition. We don’t like to try and do new things, right? And so when somebody, if someone’s coming into your store and they never dealt with you before, they’re like, hey, I don’t even know how this works. I’m confused. Am I going to be charged fees? Am I going to be charged interest? Do I get my item back there? They’re scored. They’re unsure of what’s going to happen. See, we’ve done this hundreds of times, thousands of times, hundreds of thousands of times. For the new customer. This is their first time. They have no idea what they’re getting into, so the assess phase is they’re trying to figure out what’s going on. Phase two is the admit phase, okay? This is when the first hundred days starts. Day One admit this is when the customer acknowledges that they have a problem or a need and they believe that you can help. They need some cash. They need to figure out how much this item is worth. They need to find a good deal, whatever it may be, they have a need and they believe that your shop is going to be able to help them out. Now, the crazy thing about this is brain science shows. This is when they make this decision, they’re really excited. They’re like, oh, we’re going to get this figured out. I’m going to get some money. I’m going to find a deal. Whatever it may be. They’re feeling excited, but almost as quickly as their brain floods with the dopamine and they feel the joy in the foray and excitement is what’s happening. That dopamine starts to go away and those feelings that are positive are replaced by feelings of fear, doubt and uncertainty. Well, what if I lose my item? What if I don’t get as much money as I thought I was going to get? What am I spent two hours walking around the store and I don’t actually find anything that I feel is a good deal, right? They begin to doubt. In common parlance, we call this buyer’s remorse, right? We’ve all heard the phrase buyer’s remorse, but if I were to ask the listeners, how many of you have a process in your business to address buyer’s remorse? Less than 1% do. Even though we’ve all heard this phrase, we know what it is. That’s what happens in phase three affirm. When they begin to doubt the decision they just made and we have to counter their buyer’s remorse by affirming their decision, by letting them know it was a good choice. We then come to phase four, activate. Now activate is when you energize the relationship as you formally start to work together. So this is, they become a customer. This is the first main interaction. So, this could be telling them how much they’re going to get for their gold ring and filling out the agreement. This could be, they get the item out of the case and they get to hold it and see it and feel it and see if it’s exactly what they want and they say, yeah, I want to buy it. And now they’ve got it, they’re going to get ready to take it home. This is the beginning of the relationship when things really kick off. And in this phase we want to energize it. We want to let them know that doing business with us is going to be the unlike any other business experience they’ve ever had. Then we come to phase five, acclimate. Okay? Acclimate is when we’re holding their hand and showing them the ropes of what it’s like to do business with them. Now, here’s what I imagine happens in many pawn type engagements with customers. Customer. Let’s say I’m a customer. I come in, I say, Hey, I want to pawn this watch. I give you the watch. You tell me it’s worth 100 bucks. Okay, great. We set the terms, we’ve got everything figured out, and I leave. When’s the next time I’m going to hear from you?


Yigal Adato: 28:34 When you were about to lose the item [Crosstalk]


Joey Coleman: 28:37 When about to lose the item, which could be how long?


Yigal Adato: 28:41 In California, it could be six months.


Joey Coleman: 28:43 Every state’s different, right? So, there’s going to be this huge amount of dead space of time. We’re, we’re not in any communication with them whatsoever. Frankly, they may forget that they even have the watch there. I might forget, even though I told you that it was an heirloom and from my father to try to get you to give me more money for it, right? I may forget that the watch is even there and then you’re going to call me the last possible minute. Hey, you’re about to lose it. Hoping to strike fear in my heart that will get me a running back to the store and give you the money or rollover and start paying the interest or figure out another deal or come in and try to swap something else out, pawn something else to get my, you know what I mean? There’s all this dead space acclimating them. We’re not holding their hand and making sure they know we’re in top communication. It’s be simple as saying like, you know, the cool thing is we should be getting their emails. We should be getting their cellphone numbers so that we can communicate and then send them a text and say, hey, by the way, you have a six month agreement with us. We’re at month three. You’re halfway through it. How’s it going? I know when you were in, we talked about the fact that you were thinking you were going to be getting a new job and then when the pay checks started coming in from that you’d be able to come back. We haven’t seen it. We’ve only got three months left. Hope everything’s going okay and then we get a chance to see you soon.


Yigal Adato: 30:07 It came to my mind right now, Joey was just even sending an email that says, hey, by the way, you’re heirloom watch. It’s in great hands.


Joey Coleman: 30:17 Yeah, yeah [Crosstalk] good care of it. Don’t worry about it. We look at it and we think fondly of you. We feel like it’s great. Whatever it may be, right? Whatever fits with the energy and the kind of the spirit of your brand and your business. What are these conversations you’re having? Then we come to phase six. Accomplish. Okay. The accomplish phase is when the customer achieves the goal that they had when they originally decided to do business with you. And here’s the crazy thing in the pawn industry, my gut instinct is and again this is customer by customer, so you’re going to have to check in with them, not with me. My Gut instinct is most of the people that pawn something, yeah, they want the cash right now, but they want to get the item back. Okay?


Yigal Adato: 31:00 That’s our intention.


Joey Coleman: 31:01 That’s our intention now that may not actually work, and we know the way the industry works that it regularly doesn’t work, which is how we have items to sell in our shops and I get that, but their intention is to get it back. You will have happier, long-term customers if you help them accomplish that goal. Now I recognize that that’s in conflict with another part of your business, right? Of having items that you can sell in your shop.


Yigal Adato: 31:27 Yeah. And the goal is sorry to cut you off Joey, obviously those listening, we know that we want to keep the items there as long as possible. We don’t want the person to lose their item because if they lose it, then we can’t do another pawn on the item. So, our goal as pawnbrokers is to say, okay, get your item back or pay the interest so that doesn’t happen.


Joey Coleman: 31:47 So that we keep it going, right? So, what we need to look at is we have a goal we’re trying to accomplish, but at the goal our customer’s trying to accomplish maybe different or it may be more nuanced. We need to know what that goal is and we need to celebrate with them when they actually accomplish the goal. So here’s something I saw at a pawnshop. I had a friend who pawn something and we went in together to pick it up, right? He was going to make the last payment and get it back. And it was as if the pawnbroker was irritated that he had come back. And I’m thinking to myself, but this was the deal. This was the agreement you said, hey, we’ll give you this money, we’ll give you this time. Everybody was on the same page and this person was angry that we were back with the money to pick up the item. Now, what’s fascinating is that friend will never pawn something to that store again, ever, ever, and I’m thinking to myself, if you’ve gotten someone to come in once, you’ve done 95% of the hard work to get them to come in the second time, right? So, we want to make sure that accomplishment is a great experience. Then we go to phase seven. Adopt. Adopt is when the customer takes responsibility for the relationship, they become loyal to you and your brand. The great thing about getting people to the adopt phase, they’re never going on Ebay again. They’re never going on offer up. They’re never going to the shop down the street, right? They’re coming to you. Why? Because they feel like they’re part of the family. They feel like you’ve adopted them and they’ve adopted you. Which brings us to the final phase, phase 8 the goal that everybody’s seeking the advocate phase, right? This is when our customers become our salespeople. Our customers are out singing the praises about what a great business we have about what a delight we are to deal with. The customer is a raving fan that refers their friends and colleagues to us. Now, the cool thing about this phase is in all of my time dealing with businesses all around the world, I’ve yet to meet a business where the owner said to me, yeah, Joey, we’re good on referrals. We don’t need anymore. Right? It never happens, and yet most businesses are missing the huge opportunity to dramatically increase their marketing, to dramatically increase their sales efforts by getting their customers to become their marketers, like getting their customers to become their salespeople. That’s what’s available to you if you’re willing to navigate your customer through these eight phases we discussed.


Yigal Adato: 34:23 And its the best type of marketing, the advocate phase. If your friend comes to you and says, hey man, this is a place to go, you’re going to go.


Joey Coleman: 34:31 Yeah, well, I’m sorry. That’s much more compelling than an ad in the yellow pages. It’s more, more compelling than hearing something during drive time on the radio. It’s more compelling than whatever signs are in the window as I walked by. Yeah. A referral from the friend and again, if you don’t believe that this is true, look at how much of the real estate on an Amazon listing is devoted to the reviews. Okay. If you’re like ads, Joey, I don’t know that that’s really the way humans work. Go on Amazon, go on Ebay, go on any of these sites for five minutes and look at how big the reviews are and how much the review is paying Attention. We will take a review from a stranger we’ve never met and hold that as being more truthful than the marketing message that comes from the business owner. Right? That’s the way humans work.


Yigal Adato: 35:23 Yeah. I mean we have a, I don’t know if you guys have in and out out there in Colorado.


Joey Coleman: 35:27 Yeah. Well, we don’t have it in Colorado, but I’m very familiar with it. You, I don’t think you can be a good American if you don’t, anytime you go west of Las Vegas, find yourself at an in and out.


Yigal Adato: 35:37 They don’t do crazy marketing.


Joey Coleman: 35:38 No.


Yigal Adato: 35:39 It’s all word of mouth. That’s the best hamburger. You go to California. Got to go in and out.


Joey Coleman: 35:44 And I don’t know about you. I’ve never been to an in and out that’s isn’t packed.


Yigal Adato: 35:47 Yeah, I agree.


Joey Coleman: 35:51 All the time, all the time. Right, why? I don’t see in and out ads on TV. I don’t see in and out ads Facebook and in the newspaper, no. They create a quality product at a reasonable price. Their fans love it and if you talked to anybody that’s irregular in and out supporter, they’re rabid. My sisters live in San Diego, right? We have a tradition in our family that anytime the family goes to California to visit the sisters, the rule is we get picked up at the airport and we drive to the in and out that is closest to the airport. It doesn’t matter whether we landed at nine o’clock in the morning or whether we landed at midnight, we are going to in and out. That’s the way it works and you’re spot on it’s because it’s a great experience. Every aspect of it is a great experience


Yigal Adato: 36:33 And they’ve created those raving fans, which is what you know you want to do in your pawnshop. When you create raving fans and you walked him through this, I mean these eight phases are incredible. Seriously.


Joey Coleman: 36:46 Thanks man.


Yigal Adato: 36:46 I think it’s, if you’re thinking about going to the pawn expo, just to see Joey speak, pay the money, get the flies to the hotel, get the day and make it happen because I know the workshop’s going to be even more in depth.


Joey Coleman: 36:59 Oh, yeah. So, basically the workshop’s going to start out with the overview we just gave you, and then we’re going to map out the experience in your personal store. We’re going to have examples from the audience. We’re going to have open Q and A. The whole thing is going to be super interactive because what I want to do is everybody who has made the investment to come to pawn expo and everyone who’s made the decision to come to my workshop instead of go down to the casino or go down to the pool or hang out, which I know what I’m competing against, its been a lot of time in Vegas. No, I’m up against Cirque de Solei for Pete’s sakes. Okay. I know what the stakes are here. I want people to be in that room and I want to be able to have them leave that workshop with a blueprint of what they can put in place when they get back to their business to dramatically changed their profits, to dramatically change the culture of their organization to dramatically change how they feel about being in business. See in my experience, most business owners got into business for the right reason. They wanted to serve people. They wanted to help people that wanted to build something of their own. They wanted to have the control over their own lives and their own schedule and kind of, you know, live that American dream, right, of being a business owner and operator. The reality is the longer we’re in business, the harder it is to stay connected to that dream. We forget what it was like. We start to get annoyed by our employees. We get annoyed by our customers. We get annoyed by, you know, the bank we’re dealing with, the credit card companies, all the vendors, et Cetera, et cetera. And we lose sight of why we got into this business in the first place. One of the most powerful reviews and kind of feedback testimonials I’ve got from the book is the number of readers who have reached out to me and said, Joey, I’m excited about my business again, in a way I haven’t been in years and I don’t take any credit for that. All I’ve done is held up a mirror and said, why did you get into this business in the first place? We got in it to help people to be a part of the community, to serve, to have employees, to put food on your own family’s table, to put food on their table, et cetera. If we can reconnect for that, the experience gets better for everyone.


Yigal Adato: 39:08 And as you say that, I think about the stores that we had and the way that my father ran his stores and it was all about the customer experience. Obviously you take it to a different level, right? That if we would have taken it to that level, we would have probably done better, but it was important to us for the customers to feel good when they walked out. I mean, I remember when we had employees, how about the joke of the day? Because when people walk into a pawnshop and they need $10, they’re not the happiest, they’re not the most, you know, they’re stressed out. They’ve got some anxiety, their depressed, I don’t have 10 bucks to get to work. Make their day right. Or send them an email saying, hey, you know what, we gave your watch some lunch and he’s doing well. Like make them laugh.


Joey Coleman: 39:51 Yeah, exactly. Just have fun with it. I wish more businesses, I think you’re spot on Yigal. I wish more businesses would just have fun. Right? I mean we talked earlier about in and out, you know one of the coolest things about it in and out that the regulars know there’s a secret menu. There’s a secret menu at in and out. Right. It’s not published. You can’t walk into the store and say, show me the secret menu. It’s not on the board at the drive through. Now you can find it online if you search secret menu of in and out. But the way you really know about the secret menu is you have friends who’ve been there that tell you about the secret menu. They tell you about ordering a burger, a protein style or animal style or whatever they you know,


Yigal Adato: 40:36 The four by four


Joey Coleman: 40:37 Four by four. Yeah, exactly. Everybody’s got their special version of the secret menu they use. That’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s probably in violation of most of the, this is how you should have a business plan. This is what you should do to show your customers what your offers are. Right. There’s a whole menu that new customers not even aware of but the veteran customer, the existing customer is going to order from that one. They want to order from this special secret menu. The same should hold true in your pawn business. What is the incentive for somebody to keep coming back that they enjoy walking into your shop, that they enjoy the interactions, that they feel like they’re part of the family, they feel like they’re in on the joke, right?


Yigal Adato: 41:23 Well, you just said and not what you just saw. What you said before about retention is like marriage where they will double-take if they’re going to cheat on you. No, I’m committed to, you know, this pawnshop. I can’t go anywhere else. That’s the [Incomprehensible] you want instilled in them.


Joey Coleman: 41:41 Exactly. You want them to feel like it’s an equal relationship. The best marriages that I know, you know it’s funny, my wife and I talk about this all time. Our favorite couples are the ones where we don’t know who the lucky one is, right? We look at the one person in that relationship where like all they’re the lucky one, actually their partners even more lucky and it goes back and forth and we’re never sure. Same holds true for your business. If somebody looks at you and your relationship with your customer, they shouldn’t be able to decide who the lucky one is, right? That’s how you know you’re getting this stuff done. That’s how you know that you’re creating the kind of remarkable customer experience that’s going to keep your customer coming back for more for years and years to come.


Yigal Adato: 42:23 Man, I’m sure we can keep talking about this for so long. I do want to touch on a couple of things. I want you to talk about something that they can implement today. You know, most of the people listening are driving to work. How can you stop losing customers today? What’s one thing that they can do to start the process?


Joey Coleman: 42:42 Okay, totally. So, here’s one thing we can do now I’m going to tell you before I tell you what the ideas I’m going to tell you, you’re going to hear this idea. You’re going to be like, yeah, I’ve heard of that before. Or you’re going to go I know that would never work in our industry. And let me tell you, this singular idea has been the most effective tool that I’ve ever found for creating a remarkable customer experience right at the beginning of the relationship. And you can use up multiple times throughout the relationship. Here’s what I do. Starting tomorrow. Anybody comes into your shop and then want to pawn something, you’re going to get their license. You’re going to know their mailing address, you’re going to get all their contact information and you’re going to get their item and then they’re going to leave with some money, with their loan. Send them a handwritten thank you note, thank them for their business. Let them know that they’re watched their ring, they’re gun, their Xbox, whatever it is that they’ve pawn is in good hands and you’re going to keep the keeping an eye out for it until for the next 30 days or 60 days or six months or however long the term is. Right. That singular action of a handwritten thanks for your business note, maybe the only non bill piece of mail that they’ve received this year. Yeah. That’s how you start to change the conversation. Right. And the cost to you is going to be less than a dollar. You can get a generic thank you note. That doesn’t have to have your logo on it. You don’t have to get custom ones. Just go to the store and buy thank you note, usually you can get a pocket in for a couple of dollars and the stamp. That’s it. And it will blow their mind. That’s how you start to change the dynamic because stop and think about the people who send you personal mail. Maybe your mom on your birthday you get a card that your dad obligatory signed. I’m not trying to be critical of moms and dads, but that’s often the way it works. Right? Maybe a card from a sibling, right? Maybe. Maybe occasionally a from a family member or friend that’s traveling or something like that. But most of the mail we get is junk mail. It’s ads. It’s from trying to sell me on something. I’ll say one last thing about thank you notes. Yes. The typical person. Think about the last time you received a thank you note they can with about 30 seconds of thought process. They can tell you when they got it and who sent it to them.


Yigal Adato: 44:57 So, the people can’t see this. But I’m going to show you this.


Joey Coleman: 44:59 Oh, you hold up a thank you note right now, I love it. Perfect. Perfect. Right? So here’s the thing. So, Yigal actually has the thank you note. So, that was going to be my followup. He anticipated it. So, not only will they remember, but if you ask them, do you still have it? 80% plus of the people will have the note and then I go in for the the coup de Gras. Right. The final question, when did you receive that thank you note. The typical person has been holding on to that thank you note for more than six months. Why? Because it’s so rare that we get one and we want to remember that feeling we had when we read the unsolicited, unrequired unnecessary note of appreciation from a fellow human being. If they took away one thing from today’s podcast and they did that, I’m telling you in three months it changed your business. If you did that everyday for every new customer for three months, blow their mind.


Yigal Adato: 45:53 And I will say, Joey you mentioned that and at first is a pawnbroker. I was like, I took it like a gasp of air because a lot of the pawnbrokers who are listening are going to think, oh, but this is such a confidential thing to do and do I want to do that? But I think that like if you do it, they’re going to love it, right? They’re going to just enjoy like, wow, like no pawnshops ever done this. And if someone’s going to get mad, they’re going to get pissed whatever it might be, a small percentage.


Joey Coleman: 46:22 Here’s the thing, 5% of your customers, no matter what you do, if you walked across water and handed them their item on the back of a Unicorn with a choir of angels singing, they’re still going to be irritated, right? So, just taking knowledge that you’re not speaking to the 5% you’re speaking to the 95% who are going to love it and be blown away. And here’s the thing, they may not come back. They may not ever pawn anything with you again, but they will remember getting that card and the next time somebody talks about a pawnshop with them are pawning something in there. The likelihood of them saying, you know, I did that once and I actually got a thank you note. And then the next question, that person they’re talking to is going to go, who did that? And now they’re talking about your shop.


Yigal Adato: 47:13 I mean, there’s so many ideas going on in my head and we got to end. We got to end the podcast. Like I said, [Incomrpehensible] I just had an idea pop in my head, which is crazy. But with technology today, you can snap a picture of someone’s TV and say, Hey, I’m here. You know they’re treating me well. And so in the text message,

Joey Coleman: 47:32 Only hysterical, send the message from the item. That would be hysterical, right? I mean, that could become your marketing on your website. It’s the reviews from the items that are in your shop talking about how nice you are, how the lighting is great, how it’s really a curate night, how they love you, blah, blah, blah. There’s a certain group of people that would love that. They would think it’s hysterical. Those are the kinds of stories that the media, the traditional media hears about them. They’re like, we gotta get do a story on this shop. This is special. Now your customer retention efforts become your customer marketing efforts. Right? That’s the secret is when you get to spend less money on marketing and spend that money on retention and your dollars go much further on the retention side.


Yigal Adato: 48:20 Joey, I love you. We got to stop.


Joey Coleman: 48:21 Aw, thanks brother. I appreciate it. It was great getting a chance to chat. Thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m a big fan of you. I’m a big fan of your work. I’m a big fan of what you’re doing in the community. Folks. If you’re just a listener to the show, you know, as Yigal said at the beginning, like join the Facebook group. I checked it out. He’s got a mastermind group as well that he works with. Let me tell you, this is a guy who understands you. He understands your industry. He grew up in your industry, right? He’s not a guy like me who’s kind of learned about it on the side. This is his bread and butter. He understands it. You want to listen to this show and I’ll ask, cause nobody, most owners I know are people that do podcasts. I have my own podcast. I feel uncomfortable asking, do him a favor. Go write the review. Subscribe to the podcast. That’s how people find the show. That’s how they learned about the show. Give back to a guy who’s given you great content. Show after show, after show


Yigal Adato: 49:16 Joey, you rock brother. Go by Joey’s book. Never lose a customer again. Go see Joey at Pawn Expo this year in Vegas. And hopefully for the next week. I’ll have you back on.


Joey Coleman: 49:27 I love it. That sounds great. Thanks so much.

Yigal Adato: 49:29 Take care.



Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers. He’s an award-winning speaker and works with organizations around the world; from small startups to major brands. His wall street journal 2nd best-selling book Never Lose a Customer again offers strategies and tactics for turning 1-time purchases into repeat sales. Joey enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 sons. This year, Joey is the keynote speaker at the Pawn Expo in Vegas, but first, he joins us on the Pawn Leaders podcast to teach us how to retain customers.


[02:59] Joey will be doing a keynote at the Pawn Expo in the morning and a workshop in the



[04:23] Joey used to be a defense lawyer, starting as a son of a criminal defense lawyer to doing national security law, international law and working in the Whitehouse in the CIA


[05:44] “In order to succeed in all of those industries, you had to have a very keen and clear understanding of the human condition”


[07:50] “We spend so much time and effort building our businesses, and focusing on our businesses, that when someone chooses not to do business with us, it feels like a dagger to the heart”


[09:19] Businesses get caught up in B2B or B2C that they forget that there are humans involved in every transaction


[13:11] “32% of the new customers who will join a bank, will leave that bank before their 1 year anniversary…half of them will leave in the first 100 days”


[14:55] “Somewhere between 20-70% of your new customers will decide to stop doing business with you before they reach the 100 days anniversary”


[20:30] You will run out of new customers, but you won’t run out of existing customers if you pay attention 


[21:14] What is a customer experience? “Customer experience is every single touchpoint, every single interaction you have with a customer”


[23:42] Joey’s book Never Lose a Customer Again is highly recommended and you can also visit JoeyColeman.com


[24:05] The 8 phases a customer has the potential to go through:


  1. Assess (Marketing and Sales)
  2. Admit
  3. Affirm

Yigal Adato

Yigal is a 3rd generation pawn broker, and is now a mentor, coach and educator with the pawnbroking industry.

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