What Cookies Can Teach Us about Customer Evangelist

What can a Customer Evangelist do for your business?

I’m standing in front of an audience talking about cookies because . . . who doesn’t want to talk about one of their favorite topics when you have the ear of a 100 people? Besides, I have something up my sleeve.

I make a genuine, curiosity driven request: “Please stand if you like cookies.” Quickly 80 people are out of their seats and on their feet looking around.

Then I request that these 80 individuals stay standing if they can honestly say they love cookies. Thirty or more individuals remain on their feet.

I’m intrigued to learn what specific cookies these folks prefer. I ask, “What’s your favorite kind of cookie?” From this we hear responses like:

Customer Evangelist cookies“My own chocolate chip cookies.” 

“I love Grandma’s sugar cookies.” 

“Of course, Girl Scout cookies are the best!”

“My favorite cookies are Mrs. Fields.” 

Then someone calls out what sounds like music to my ears:

“Oh, the best cookies in Salt Lake City are Ruby Snaps!”

I decide to go with the Ruby Snap option; fully expecting that a Salt Lake City crowd would mention them. Admittedly, I love me some Ruby Snap munching as well.

Alright,” I announce, “let’s go with Ruby Snaps. Please remain standing if Ruby Snap cookies are your favorite cookies.” Everyone sits down except for a baker’s dozen. I look out at the 13 individuals who are still standing and congratulate them for knowing a great local brand when they see one.

Next I ask everyone in that group to stay standing if they have ever told another person about Ruby Snap cookies. Seven people keep their stance and three sit down.

At this stage, things are getting intriguing because we are near the finish line of my visual point. “So, of you seven, who can stay standing because you not only tell other people about these cookies, you have also given Ruby Snaps away as a gift?” Two individuals sit down while five stay upright on their feet.

You five are standing because you not only tell others about Ruby Snaps, you use them as gifts. So, which of you can stay up because you have taken someone to the actual Ruby Snap store for their first cookie?” Three people remain. Three out of the original 100 are the finalists in this demonstration of Customer Evangelism.

I congratulate all three and asked for their birth month and day. From there we determine which person’s birthday falls closest to that of Ruby Snap founder Tami Mowen Steggell. This is our winner and I gladly hand over a Ruby Snap gift certificate as their award.

With this, let me make my point. Well, actually two points:

1 – This has been a simple demonstration of how customer evangelist  (your true believing evangelists) will do powerful marketing for you. To be extremely clear so you don’t miss the point–these evangelists will literally bring you clients, and will do so for free!

2 – You gain big dividends when you STOP throwing marketing dollars out like taffy at a parade. It is imperative that you focus on the 1 to 3 people in a 100 who are your biggest fans. We call them your 1%ers.  Be smart and laser you marketing efforts toward them. It will take some creativity and wisdom to do, but you only need a shoestring budget to woo them and nurture your relationship with your loyalists.

Author’s Notes

The principles I have just shared are proven over and over by the research represented below.

Stand Out by Marcus Buckingham – Buy it here!
Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath – Get on Amazon here!
Download the Be Strong, Be True, Be Focused Workbook eBook set from soulsalt.com
Watch The Truth About You part one and part two

Creating Monster Loyalist is “easy peezy”, and yet, if you want a little jump start to get things going, let me know. We can quickly sniff out your 1%ers and plug into their underutilized power of evangelism. Sometime in the near future you will be shaking your head at these silly old marketing paradigms: expensive glossy ads, billboards, and huge marketing budgets as the only answers to growing a business. Instead, you’ll be the smart cookie; laughing your way to the bank.