Talk Triggers

Talk Triggers

The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth

by Daniel Lemin and Jay Baer

“Talk Triggers” was published only a couple of weeks ago on October 2, 2018. The tagline states that “Talk Triggers” is “the definitive, practical guide on how to use bold operational differentiators to create customer conversations.” But creating some kind of difference between your business and your competition is wisdom as old as time. So what makes “Talk Triggers” different?

The difference is in what “Talk Triggers” focuses on. The authors don’t focus on differentiating by price, response time, quality, or any of the talking points common to corporate boardrooms. The authors acknowledge that such things are important, to be sure, but there are many other books written about those topics. The authors decided to look at some very specific differentiators. They call these differentiators “Talk Triggers” (hence the name of the book).

According to the authors, a Talk Trigger is, essentially, something your business does that is so unique and so good that customers almost can’t help but talk about it. The authors use many examples to illustrate what makes a good Talk Trigger. First up is The Cheesecake Factory. What is the Cheesecake Factory known for? Cheesecake? A huge selection of chicken dishes? If you answered either, you would be right, but those aren’t the talk trigger. The real talk trigger is…the gigantic menu. Cheesecake Factory’s menu is roughly 6,000 words long, which is somewhere around ten times the length of this review. The food at the Cheesecake Factory is good and the ambience is good, but what gets people talking is the gigantic menu. And this is just the first example. I should have counted the number of examples the authors gave throughout the book, but I didn’t. Thankfully, Jay Baer, one of the authors, commented on this review that they used 29 examples. He made sure to note that he and Daniel Lemin worked hard to balance the examples between large and small companies, US and international companies, and B2B and B2C companies. And this is all true. The examples vary widely, which contributes to the appeal of this book.

But what exactly is a Talk Trigger? I can’t write a better contrast between unique selling points (USPs) and Talk Triggers than the authors. This is what they have to say: “A USP is a feature, articulated with a bullet point, that is discussed in a conference room. A Talk Trigger is a benefit, articulated with a story, that is discussed at a cocktail party.” It was this point, that a Talk Trigger sparks a story, which stuck with me from my reading. Everyone likes stories. A story coming from a friend has more power than the best marketing campaigns could ever hope to have. It is this power that Talk Triggers, well, trigger.

The book itself is on the longer side, coming in at 272 pages. But I wouldn’t call any of the content fluff by any means. The book appears to be targeting bigger businesses since the authors spend a lot of time talking about how to get various divisions (e.g. marketing, sales, finance, supply) to all talk together. However, the information is just as valuable, or even more so, to small businesses.

The authors didn’t just write the book and stop, either. Instead, they also created a web site where they published forms and worksheets to help business owners come up with their own Talk Triggers. They also created a Facebook group to facilitate discussion about Talk Triggers. What’s more, the authors state that if someone buys their book and doesn’t like it, they will buy them ANY other book of their choosing. The authors didn’t just talk the talk with this book; they walked the walk.

Overall, this is a must-read. I don’t say that very often, preferring instead to simply say that a book deserves a spot on my shelf. However, “Talk Triggers” provides very practical and implementable information. The authors go above and beyond by creating their website and worksheets to help you implement your own Talk Triggers. Go and get this one.

UPDATE: Jay Baer, one of the authors, commented about the number of examples they used and added one more Talk Trigger that I missed. The original review was updated to reflect those as I want to be as accurate as I can be.

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