Dennis YuIt’s 10 o’clock on a Friday night and you are at the bar. George Clooney strolls in and sits down at the bar.  After a long while George retreats, leaving the bar head down and alone.  You look over and see Scarlett Johansson alone despite greeting every man that passes her way.  She leaves the bar looking rejected and pathetic.  And then “the most interesting man in the world’ walks in, takes a seat, orders, and he is unceremoniously delivered a 48 oz can of Bud Light.

Now imagine how you would feel watching that scene.  That is exactly how we felt when our friend Dennis Yu told us he was struggling to convert leads in his new business venture.

Dennis Yu is a social media marketing rock star.  Dennis is a sought after speaker, works with impressive brands, is wicked smart, and is one of the nicest guys we know. Dennis is also a customer data ninja, and is one of the world’s most formidable Facebook marketers.

Dennis offers high end services to his big name clients, but he also co-founded and serves as CMO/CTO for a company called BlitzMetrics making his expertise more affordable and accessible to SMBs.  BlitzMetrics provides a simple solution for smaller scale businesses to manage the complexities of their social media marketing.  In the spirit of full disclosure,we are a BlitzMetrics. client so we have experienced first hand how easy it is to get started. And, of course, we have been thrilled with the results of our campaigns.

BlitzMetrics’s Conversion Challenge

After talking to Dennis we were surprised to learn how many well qualified leads never got started. We knew that the price couldn’t be the issue, their credibility is high and we found the process of onboarding painless and simple. There was absolutely some conversion challenge none of us understood.

We offered to take Dennis and his team through the Buyer Legend process.  Dennis had read our book and was starting to do some preliminary work. Anybody can do this process alone but we wanted to make sure it happened quickly and correctly. When we got Dennis and his team on a conference call and began by polishing up his ad-hoc persona. The persona of a potential client was unlike us, and that’s the point. The persona was the CMO of a click and mortar SMB with less digital experience who pressed for resources and time. That perspective was truly unlike Dennis’ or our own.

We performed a pre-mortem for the Persona, a step many are tempted to skip but is mission critical. In a pre-mortem we list all the things that can go wrong during the customer’s buyers journey.  We think of it as inoculation against Murphy’s law, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” It is essential to figure out what could go wrong. How else can plan for everything to go right?

We followed the pre-mortem with a reverse chronological outline. That is where we detail every step of the Persona’s ideal customer experience by starting at the conversion point and working our way backwards.  Part of the exercise is to both think of the actual action steps the customer must complete as well as outline their thought process as they approach each step. It’s a bit like programming, miss a step and your result will vary.

We then wrote a Buyer Legend together, you’ll be able to read it below. We’ll also point out what innovations and process optimizations came out of it.

Dennis Yu’s A-Ha Moment

It wasn’t that long into our two-hour call Dennis had a powerful a-ha moment.  There was an awkwardly long silence and Dennis blurted out “Oh I see!”

He shared what he saw with us after the call:

“We’ve been so focused on mining data, generating reports galore and micro campaign optimizations, that we’ve lost sight of the fundamentals.

We neglected why people come to us and what the experience looks like wearing their shoes. Our inward myopia created barriers to customers who want to buy from us.”

This simple business process is designed to help the marketer get inside a customer’s head triggered a paradigm shift for one of the smartest marketers we know.  Dennis is a naturally intuitive and empathetic marketer.  He only needed a few simple exercises to realign his conversion efforts.  He began to see the gaps and the roadblocks in his current customer experience to understand how he can patch them up.

Dennis had found his conversion mojo.

How The Process Delivered Insight

To give you a little more insight into the process let us share just a few of the bullets from the pre-mortem.

  • She gets confused and walks away because it is too much of a hassle to figure it out
  • She doesn’t understand exactly what BlitzMetrics does.
  • She is unclear about her package options
  • She has sticker shock

It was during the reverse chronology when Dennis began to reconcile “What could go wrong” with “What is going wrong” that he had his a-ha moment.  The fog cleared, the scales fell away and he was able to see and think through how to prevent these things from occurring.  The final Buyer Legend reflects, in narrative form, exactly how BlitzMetrics is building an optimized customer experience for Diana and other potential customers with similar buying styles.

A BlitzMetrics Buyer Legend

Here is an abridged version of the Buyer Legend that we wrote together. It tells part of the story of the persona named Diana, a 43 year old CMO for a small Gourmet Pie chain. Diana comes from traditional marketing and is trying to get a handle on the digital aspects of her job.

Diana is hoping that when she contacts BlitzMetrics they will be part of her solution, not just another problem. She was impressed with Dennis’ presentation and knows he is really smart guy, but she isn’t sure what BlitzMetrics does. For that matter, she’s not really sure what Facebook marketing is either. It helps that Dennis took her card he told her “we’ll take care of you.” He wouldn’t be the first vendor who disappointed her, but she is hopeful.

BlitzMetrics follows up within 24 hours of Diana meeting Dennis and invites her to find out how they can help her.  They offer either a quick call to answer her questions or to do some due diligence with her so that they can produce a proposal. She doesn’t want a call, she’s too busy, and asks for some more information. She gets it immediately.

She is thrilled to see it contains not just the clearest explanation of what BlitzMetrics does but it includes some thumbnail pictures of what the deliverables look like and a wide range of pricing. The wide range of prices lets her feel at ease that pricing is not being hidden and hopeful that there is Goldilocks service for her situation. At the end of the presentation, it has a prominent call to action that tells her to request a detailed checklist of what needs to be prepared for her to receive a customized proposal from BlitzMetrics.

Diana loves how helpful the checklist is, so she shares it with the team that needs to implement it and requests another call to go through it. BlitzMetrics organizes that and doesn’t assume anybody has seen the original presentation so they go over it briefly. She appreciates how easy BlitzMetrics is making her life and how they’re making her look good.

Once Diana receives the proposal, amazed at how quickly it came and how thoroughly clear it is, she has a final meeting with Steve and Rob, the CFO, to explain that the service costs are fixed but the media costs will be variable. She shows them how BlitzMetrics helps contain costs and can demonstrate accountability. They’re impressed with the professionalism, understand what they are buying and are ready to proceed. Steve sends the contract for legal review but is prepared to proceed.

Did you notice that the idea of sending her information (as opposed to pushing her into a call), detailed checklist, and transparent pricing are a direct result of what we did in the pre-mortem and reverse chronological outline?

What Came First, the Process or the Rock Star?

The Buyer Legends process while simple, is also powerful in it’s ability to force the marketer into the minds and hearts of the customer. It’s only in their minds and hearts that he can resolve their conversion challenges and then communicate what needs to be done to the execution team.

And it doesn’t matter if you are the George Clooney or Scarlett Johansson of marketing the Buyer Legends process can up your game, or get you unstuck.  If you are still looking to become a rock star, try writing your first Buyer Legend and see what it does for you.

Go ahead read the book, or let us know and we will be happy to help you.  

Jeffrey Eisenberg (33 Posts)

Jeffrey Eisenberg, is the CEO of BuyerLegends.com, a company that teaches business people how to create customer-centered, data-driven customer experience design that is supported by narrative.   Together with brother and partner Bryan Eisenberg , co-authored “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?” and "Call To Action" both Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling books. Since 1998 they have trained and advised companies like like HP, Google, GE Healthcare, Overstock, NBC Universal, Orvis and Edmunds to implement accountable digital marketing strategies emphasizing optimization of revenue conversion rates for engagements, leads, subscriptions, and sales.   Jeffrey is also a thought provoking marketing speaker who also speaks Spanish with native fluency.


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