The Jody Maberry Show

The Jody Maberry Show explores the nature of business. Jody Maberry is a former Park Ranger who became the happiest podcaster on earth. With a mix of storytelling, lessons, and occasional guests, Jody gives you a look at the work he does with executives as he helps them build their brand.
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Nov 29, 2016

It is possible to get too comfortable in business. I was reminded of that on a recent shopping trip. 

It is the season to shop, and I recently visited three stores that left an impression on me. 

‘First, was the Disney Store. Have you ever been to a Disney store? It is everything you would expect. It is a magical place. Of course, what they sell is outstanding, but it is bigger than that. The displays, the cast members, the layout of the store are all wonderful. Every detail of a Disney store leads to you having a great experience, and hopefully spending money while you are there.  You may not be able to have products that are as magical of what is on the shelf at a Disney store, but you can pay attention to everything else they do. Find the Disney store closest to you and spend some time there. Don’t go there to buy anything, just watch. Watch how people flow through the store. Watch how customers interact with displays, products, and cast members. You can learn a lot spending an hour in a Disney store.

Next stop was the Lego store. This was an impressive experience too. Just like walking into a Disney store, you feel like you walking into a special place. They are doing a lot of things right in the Lego Store, too. You can always find an employee. There are more working than you would expect in a store that size, and they are easily identifiable in their bright yellow aprons. There are built Lego sets to look at, there are loose legos to touch, there are some lego sets exclusive to Lego stores. Plus, there is even an interactive display where you hold a Lego box up towards a screen, and right in front of you, the Lego box is instantly built on the screen. There is one thing that really impressed me at the Lego store, though. That was the shelves. They were never empty. If a customer took a box off the shelf to purchase, an employee immediately went into the back, grabbed a new box of the Lego set and put it on the shelf. I don’t know they reason behind this, but it gave the impression that they had everything you wanted. I ever saw when one Lego set sold out; they did not leave the space empty. An employee immediately rearranged the displays on the shelf, so the spot that was empty a moment ago was now full of lego boxes. Within a couple of minutes, there was no trace of the lego set that sold out. Everything they did in that store gave the sense of an abundance of Legos.

My third experience was even more memorable, not because of the store, which was nice, but because of something an employee said to me.

The third stop was Sierra Trading Post. At Sierra, I tried on a pair of dress boots. Once the boot was tied, I stood up and was immediately poked on the heel by something. I took the boot off and, I know this was not my best idea of the day, I stuck my thumb in the boot to see what poked me. Well, it was a nail sticking up from the sole of the boot, and now not only did I have a puncture in my foot, but I also had one in my thumb as well.

Not wanting this to happen to someone else to that pretty size 11 boot, I told one of the workers. I showed him the boot and then he went on to open every box of those boots and check every single boot to make sure no other pairs had that problem. While he did that, I was still browsing shoes, and we talked for a bit. He told me he had a nail come up through his boot once and poke him in the foot. The difference between his story and mine is he is a Marine. He was on one of those long marches Marines do. In the middle of the march, the nail came up from the sole of his boot to poke his foot. I asked him what he did about it. He said nothing. I am a Marine. Pain is just weakness leaving your body. I lost a lot of weakness that day.

How incredible is that? I am a park ranger, but I would have sat down and tried to fix my boot. But this Marine kept on marching.

I thought about the marine the whole way home.  Especially what he said about pain is weakness leaving your body. I had never thought of it this way. But I can also apply it to business. The pain you feel in business is helping you get rid of weakness. The pain can come from stretching beyond what you are comfortable with. Pain can be doing something you have never done before. Pain can be rejecting “we have always done it that way.” Pain is making mistakes. Pain was apologizing to a customer when you didn’t perform the way you should have.

All of this pain is weakness leaving your business.

If you are not experiencing the pain and instead focusing on your comfort, you are being left behind. If you are comfortable, you are being left behind.

Think of the Marine who I talked to at Sierra Trading Post, when the nail from his boot was poking his foot he felt pain. He could have stopped to fix his boot and felt comfort, but all of the other Marines would have left him behind.

So think about the pain you feel in your business. Is it a sign of growth? Is it an indicator you need to do something different? You should worry if you aren’t feeling pain because you are being left behind.

Nov 22, 2016

You can look great on camera every time. Not long ago, I did not know this. I thought you stood in front of the camera and hoped the photos turned out in the end.

Early in the year, I had a photo shoot. It didn’t turn out real well. I wasn’t comfortable using any of the photos on my website. Yet, I still needed photos, so I scheduled another photo shoot. Luckily, between the first and second shoot I met Val Brown.

Val Brown is an Emmy award winning producer. She has been preparing people to appear on television for more than 30 years. I was fortunate to work with Val before my second photo shoot because she set me up to improve on the first photo shoot, the one where I did not do so good. Now, we are both fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down today with Val Brown. I want to walk through the process Val and I went through to prepare me for the photo shoot. I know you are going to learn plenty from Val, so let’s get to work.

In this episode, Val Brown will walk you through the process we went through to prepare me for a photo shoot. After listening, you will realize you can look great on camera every time. If you want to learn more, don't miss out on more tips from Val. To get Val's guide, How to Prepare for Your Next Photo Shoot, just click HERE

Nov 15, 2016

This week I was given a surprise reminder of someone from my past I am thankful for. Mrs. Warren, Jill Warren, was my high school accounting teaching. She had such a tremendous impact on me.  Before I took one of her accounting classes in high school, I had no idea what to do. And I was a bad student. I didn’t even try.

But Jill Warren changed all of that. After taking the first accounting class with her, I took every class I could that she taught. All business related. A few years ago one of Jill Warren’s daughters contacted me. A milestone birthday was approaching for her mother and the daughters had a wonderful surprise planned. They reached out to former students of Mrs. Warren and asked them to write a letter about her.

I begin to write a letter, but sadly, I never sent it. Sorry Mrs. Warren. 

But this week I found everything I had written to Mrs. Warren in a notebook in my desk drawer.

So now is the time to thank Mrs. Warren and share this with you.

I call it Everything I need to know I learned in high school accounting. These are the 9 biggest lessons I learned from Jill Warren.

  1. There is a reason to celebrate everyone. 
  2. A smile and a handshake can build trust and mutual respect. 
  3. It is tough to be grumpy when someone looks you in the eye, smiles, and shakes your hand. 
  4. Respect can level the playing field.
  5. You can not always trust a smiling face and a generous handshake. 
  6. Timing is precious.
  7. Appearance and perception matters 
  8. Patience.
  9. You can have a big impact by impacting one person. 

So it may be true that everything I needed to know I learned in high school accounting. Thank you, Jill Warren. I am positive I would not be who I am today without you.


Nov 8, 2016

Rachel Ries write songs. She sings songs. And she sells songs. 

Does Rachel create art or content? Rachel joins me on the Jody Maberry Show to discuss that and more. We also talked about writer's block and connecting with your audience. 

Rachel will help you consider a different approach to how you write and the content you create. 

Find more of Rachel at

Nov 2, 2016

Get more information about your customers. 

Oct 25, 2016

People buy truth. That is what Monaica Ledell says. What does she mean?

People are attracted to the real you. Authenticity attracts. When you build you brand around the real you, people will feel it. 

How can you build a brand around authenticity? Is is possible to implement what you learn from other people and still be authentic?

Oct 4, 2016

A couple of years ago, I had the delight of being included in Jeff Goins book, The Art of Work. When Jeff Goins writes about you, people notice. Being in Jeff's book gave me 15 minutes of fame. 

This is exactly the type of break we are all looking for right? For someone like Jeff Goins to notice us, right? It could change everything. 

All we need is a big name to share our blog post, or to be a guest on a popular podcast, or to have Jeff Goins write about us, and then we can get the success we deserve. That is how it works, right?

No. Fifteen minutes of fame is fun. But it changes nothing. You still have to do the work. 

Here is how you handle your 15 minutes in the spotlight;

Enjoy it. Then get back to work. 

Success is found by showing up every day and doing the work. Every day. 

Check out Jeff Goins' book, The Art of Work. Jeff also has a new eBook out about getting started writing called It's Not Too Late. You can get your copy here

Sep 21, 2016

Ray Edwards has had a tremendous impact on my business. He taught me how to write copy and has given advice and counsel that has drastically changed my business. Ray joins the Jody Maberry Show to discuss six ways you can change your business.

For this interview, we pull the content from the second episode of The Jody Maberry Show and Ray walks through it, point by point, to discuss the six ways you can change your business.

Don't miss Ray's Copywriting Summitt. You can sign up here.

Ray's Website -
Ray on Twitter- @RayEdwards
Ray on Facebook - Ray Edwards FB Page

Sep 16, 2016

Mike Kim is a sought-after copywriter, speaker, and marketing consultant. But if he has his way, when you hear the word Pivot you will think of him?

Why does Mike position his branding around the word Pivot when he is known for copywriting?

In this episode of The Jody Maberry Show, Mike Kim explains why we have to narrow down and be known for one thing. When people think of you, one word, one sentence, or one phrase should come to mind. Mike explains the common mistakes people make when trying to market and brand themselves.

Check out Mike's Brand You Podcast.

Sep 6, 2016

Sometimes it takes money to get your message or product out into the world. Crowdfunding through Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become a popular way to raise money from a crowd.

When it comes to launching a Kickstarter campaign, the Field of Dreams principle does not apply. Just because you build it does not mean people will come. When you launch your campaign, people do not just show up and fund it. Just like people don’t show up and listen to your podcast because you recorded it. On this episode of The Jody Maberry Show, I am joined by a Product Launch Expert, a Copy

On this episode of The Jody Maberry Show, I am joined by a Product Launch Expert, a Copywriter, and a Musician teach us how to launch a successful Kickstarter Campaign.

Khierstyn Ross offers her expertise on launching a successful crowdfunding campaign. Khierstyn has helped creators and entrepreneurs raise more than $1 million dollars through crowdfunding. Ray Edwards gives us advice on writing copy for a campaign. Jason Harrod shares what he learned from running a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record a new album.

Here are the five things I learned from these experts about running a successful Kickstarter campaign;

  1. Build your following before you launch a campaign.
  2. If you have to spend too much time explaining your product, you are already in trouble.
  3. Make sure you have a $25 reward level.
  4. Reach out to people in your network so they know about your campaign.
  5. Deliver everything you promise you will deliver.
Aug 16, 2016

If you don't keep telling a story it will die. 

If you want your message to spread, you have to keep talking about it. 

Aug 2, 2016

Chances are, you need to apologize to someone. And if you do apologize, you will get it wrong. Most people don't apologize. And those who do, put forth a good effort but get it all wrong. There is an art to making an apology. It is so simple that most people just can't seem to get it right. 

There is an art to making an apology. It is so simple that most people just can't seem to get it right. 

Chris Brogan discusses the importance of apology in his book The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. Chris outlines the three aspects of a proper apology; acknowledge, apologize, and act. 

Chris Brogan also tells us if we are not apologizing, we are not trying hard enough. Growth and progress will offend someone as you try new things.

Jul 26, 2016

In order to get important work done, you need to understand the difference between action and progress. 

Jul 12, 2016

If you have ever asked for an introduction or been referred by someone, you need to understand what a referral really is.

At the minimum, a referral is saying “I vouch for this guy”, or basically, I endorse this person I am telling you about.

You need to understand the importance of a referral. And you need to understand what you are really asking for when you ask someone for an introduction.

I have two stories about introductions one bad and one wonderful.

I love connecting people when I know they can benefit each other. But I am also deliberate about introducing or referring people. I know everyone I refer is a reflection of me. Call it selfish, but I only want to make introductions where the two parties involved will be glad I made the introduction and welcome the next introduction I might make. I want people to know if I am referring someone, which they have my backing and they will reflect my quality standard. So if you ask me for an introduction to someone, I might not do it. Not if you are not ready for it. And  I might not refer your work to someone else unless it meets a high-quality standard. But it delights me when I connect two people, and it works out for both of them. I win because they won. We all win. What a perfect situation.

In this episode, I highlight two examples of introductions, one with a bad ending and one with a wonderful ending.

In the introduction with the wonderful ending, Bryan Buckley did two things that made a big difference;

  1. He respected the referral. He understood his actions would be a reflection of both of us.
  2. He did his research. Before reaching out to Jeff, he bought his book; he left an Amazon review, he listened to Jeff’s podcast.

It worked out well for Bryan. After exchanging some emails, Bryan had the opportunity to meet Jeff at Podcast Movement in Chicago. They had a great conversation. The home work paid off. Handling an introduction the right way paid off.

So there are two stories about introductions. One handled poorly where no one benefited from the introduction. And one that was handled with excellence where everyone benefited from the introduction.


Jul 5, 2016

Not long ago, someone asked me what I do to get the most out of a conference. That question is again on my mind since I am here at the Podcast Movement conference and I want to share with you the 8 things I do to make sure I get the most out of a conference;

  1. Have a plan before you get there. 
  2. Be willing to abandon the content of the conference to make connections.
  3. Only go to conferences that can help you. 
  4. Dress better than most other people who are there
  5. 5. If you took notes, do something with them.
  6. Send follow up email or physical cards to people.
  7. Take action on at least one thing from the conference.
  8. Try to build a good connection with at least one person you meet at a conference.
Jun 28, 2016

On this episode of The Jody Maberry Show, we examine how you can go the extra inch to recognize solutions to problems your customers are facing. 

Jun 21, 2016

Do you remember the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks? If you saw the movie, you probably remember Wilson, right? Wilson was the volleyball Tom Hanks always talked to. If you haven’t seen the movie, let me catch you up without spoiling anything. Tom Hanks is stranded alone on an island for a long time. If it were not for his volleyball sidekick, Tom Hanks would not have been completely alone. It was a compelling story, even though Tom Hanks was the sole character for most of the movie.

Chances are, you would not be entertained or fulfilled if you were alone on an island. Yet, too often, we put ourselves in Tom Hanks’ position, feverishly rubbing sticks together to start a fire and shouting aloud to no one once we reach our goal.

To avoid being a Castaway, you need to add what Tom Hanks was missing in the movie. You need a cast of characters to build your story. If you want to live your life as a rich, fulfilling story, you need a cast of characters. If you want a thriving workplace where work gets done, and people enjoy being there, you need a cast of characters.

I will tell you now, that I stole this cast of characters idea from Chris Guillebeau. In the back of his book, The Happiness of Pursuit, he lists the cast of characters of the people from the book. When I mentioned that the cast of characters idea could be applied to networking, he recommended I run with it and turn it into a blog post or a book. 

I didn’t turn the idea into a book, but I did turn the idea into a podcast.

To get an idea of what a cast of characters is, I want to tell you two stories.

Lee Cockerell explains, At Disney World, they are putting on a show every day. Each day is a new performance and employees have a deliberate role to play in delivering the best performance possible. This is why Disney employees are called cast members. Disney uses a cast of characters to put on a show for their guests.  And you can’t put on a show without clearly defined roles for the cast of characters in the show.

Now, let’s look at one more story involving a cast of characters. I mentioned New York Times bestselling author Chris Guillebeau and his book The Happiness of Pursuit. In this book, Chris uses case studies of real life quests people have undertaken. Each quest is individual and unique as the person who is doing it. At the same time, each quest is weaved into the greater whole of the story of the book. 

At the end of the book, Guillebeau included a cast of characters appendix. The appendix lists the name of an individual, their quest, as well as the category and status of their quest.

Your career or business life is no different than the story in the book or the show they put on every day at Disney World. You can apply the cast of characters concept to build a better team, build better relationships, and build a better project.

Let’s begin by looking at team building.  

 You can use this concept for team building. Whether you are a supervisor or a front line worker, you can build your team by viewing the in individuals as a cast of characters in the show you are putting on every day at your organization.

How to apply the cast of characters for team building; Keep a list, perhaps a spreadsheet, of all of your team members. Keep track of the one big thing each team member is working on at work. Also, keep track of the one big thing they are working on in their personal life. Make note of important personal information such as birthdays, work anniversary, the name of spouse and kids, hobbies or any other relevant information.

If you work for a small organization, this will build deeper productive relationships with your whole team. If you work for a large organization, building a cast of characters will set you apart, help you stand out, and move you closer to the promotion you have your eye on.  You can also use this approach outside the walls of your office. Build a cast of characters for vendors, suppliers, contractors, or anyone else outside of your organization that plays a role in the work you do.

You can also use the Cast of characters to build relationships.

Networking has been a hot topic for a couple of years now. There are books about networking. There are podcasts about networking. The contemporary view of networking has moved away from handing out business cards and trying to get new business. Modern networking, thankfully, has turned towards adding value, noticing others, building relationships, and connecting with other people.

But what if you viewed networking completely different?

What if you considered you’re a life a story being told in a book or a movie? Wouldn’t you pay more attention to the characters in the story? Wouldn’t you take the time to build depth and meaning for each character?

Just like a good book, when a new character is introduced, you don’t know what role she will pay in your story. Will the person you just met be a hero in your story? Will he introduce you to an idea or person who will change your life? Will he become a friend who brings you joy and comfort? You never know, but by using the cast of characters approach, you can build a network of relationships as you have never known.

How can you apply Cast of Characters to building relationships. Begin by creating a spreadsheet of those closest to you. Add the one big goal or dream you know they are working on. Add other important personal information, such as birthdays and other important dates. Add a section for contact information. When was the last time you were in contact with them?? Did you correspond through email, phone, face to face, or handwritten note? What new information did you gather during the correspondence? With each new conversation or interaction, you can build depth to their profile.

When you meet someone new, add them to your cast of characters spreadsheet. Include how you met them. Don’t leave out new online contacts. You will meet some new people on Twitter or Facebook you will want to include. Perhaps you will want to start a cast of characters list strictly for online contacts.

If you work independent like I do, there is another way to use the cast of characters concept. My work is project based, as I do a series of projects for different people, or different projects for the same people. Either way, it takes a cast of characters to do great project work. You don’t complete projects by yourself. There is a cast of characters who play a part in every project. If you are a freelancer, entrepreneur, coach, or someone else who mostly works by yourself, using the cast of characters concept will help you keep track of progress and who is playing each role in a project. I work out of an office in my garage, but I have a cast of characters who help me get work done.

How to apply; Create a spreadsheet listing everyone who has a role in the project. List their name, role, and include a section for highlights, milestones, and correspondence. This can be critical to help you keep track when you have multiple projects going, which many of us do who work independently.

Jun 14, 2016

Aaron Walker helps men live extraordinary lives. After a successful career, he now focuses on helping others reach new levels in their personal and business lives.

In this episode of the Jody Maberry Show, Aaron shares his personal story and delivers three key points that can help any business or personal brand;

Focus on Significance
Be Clear on Your Message
People Buy Confidence

Aaron is offering three free resources for you, which you can find here

Aaron's website -
Aaron on Twitter - @VFTCoach
Aaron on Facebook - View From the Top

Jun 7, 2016

Recently, my next door neighbor had a new roof installed. During the process, the roofing company (let's call them ABC Roofing) stacked some roofing material on my lawn. They didn't ask if that would be OK. It was on my lawn for only a day. No big deal, but it was a missed opportunity.

Had ABC roofing knocked on my door and explained they were installing a new roof next door and would like to stack some material on my lawn for a day, they would have left a good impression. They would have been first on my mind when I need a new roof, and everyone needs a new roof eventually.

Doing so would have been Collateral Marketing. Collateral Marketing are the small things you do that promote your company and you work you do. Usually, it is not direct marketing, and these opportunities are usually overlooked.

In this episode of the Jody Maberry Show, we will take a look at what Collateral Marketing is and how you can take advantage of it.

Also mentioned in this episode;

Creating Magic podcast with Lee Cockerell
Agents in Action podcast with Todd Smith
Great Escape Radio with Lori Allen
Morgan James Radio with David Hancock
Brand You Podcast with Mike Kim

Jun 1, 2016

If you want to sell more, you need to understand why people don't buy your product. 

People don't buy your product or service, they buy the result or the feeling the product gives them. For example, people don't buy a drill, they buy a hole in the wall. They don't buy a shovel, they buy a hole in the ground. 

When you understand what it is people are actually buying, you can tap into it and sell more.

May 24, 2016

Tommy Spaulding is the NY Times Best Selling author of It's Not Just Who You Know and The Heart Led Leader. On this episode of The Jody Maberry Show, Tommy talks about the important of sending handwritten notes, why Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People does not go far enough, and how opening a restaurant fits his mission.

Tommy's website -
Tommy's books - It's Not Just Who You Know and The Heart Led Leader
Tommy on Twitter - @tommyspaulding

May 17, 2016

On a recent trip to Nashville, I stopped at Dave Ramsey’s headquarters to visit Eric Anthony, the producer of the Entreleadership podcast. I had met Eric at the Podcast Movement conference last year and had worked with him a bit when Lee Cockerell was on the Entreleadership podcast. So I stopped in to say Hello and spent time chatting with Eric and Ken Colemen, who hosts the show. While I was there, Dave Ramsey was recording his radio show, and a couple was waiting in the lobby to do the Debt Free Scream.  Do you know about the debt free scream?

I didn’t want to miss a good debt free scream, so I hung out in the lobby to watch. The couple did a short interview with Dave and finish with the scream to announce their freedom. When they were done, Dave Ramsey came out into the lobby to say hello to them in person. Since I was in the lobby, I had the chance to meet Dave.

This was not the first time I met Dave Ramsey, though.

I have paid attention to Dave Ramsey for years. Even when I did not take his advice, I was paying attention.

Dave Ramsey helped transform my kid’s attitudes and actions towards money through Financial Peace Junior. My wife and I are students of Financial Peace University, I have listened to Dave's radio show, and read a couple of his books.

Although I don’t remember how I heard Dave Ramsey was looking for volunteers for a Seattle event, when I heard he was looking for volunteers to help his team I did not hesitate for a moment.

I have organized many events; concerts, Sea Stories, puppet shows, Hispanic Heritage Celebration, and the Scandinavian Cold and Flu Festival.  Working as a volunteer for Dave’s event would be an opportunity to experience, first hand and behind the scenes, how professionals put on an event.

I submitted a volunteer application and was delighted to be accepted as part of the team.

The evening of the Living a Legacy event, ten volunteers gathered before the event and received instruction from Dave’s team on our assignments for the evening. I was selected  to work  the Back Stage Experience, where I got to meet Dave and his lovely daughter, Rachel Ramsey Cruze.

I learned plenty from hearing Dave talk to the small backstage crowd. Of course, I learned watching Dave on stage. But the biggest lesson I learned was from a member of Dave’s team.

Before the event, before the volunteers had done any work, Pete, one of Dave’s team members, gathered us together to explain how the evening would unfold.

As Pete explained the importance of the volunteers greeting guests as they enter, he said “The first few minutes set the tone. If not, Dave will not be able to connect with the audience”.

Listen to that again. “The first few minutes set the tone. If not, Dave will not be able to connect with the audience.

Imagine if we all viewed customer service that way.

What if we took responsibility to set a tone to ensure anyone in our organization will connect with the customer?

How would you change the way you answer the phone?

How would you act when a customer interrupts when you are busy?

How would you treat the opportunity of being face to face with a customer?

What if your biggest role was to make sure the next person is able to connect with the customer. Let’s take a doctor’s office. The receptionist sets the tone for a nurse to make a connection with the customer. The nurse sets the tone for the doctor. This makes front line the most important part of an organization.

In your case, front line could be the person who answers the phone. The person who greets people at the door, or checks people in as they arrive.

Once we can connect with customers we can build relationships.

Once we build relationships, then we can get work done.

May 10, 2016

Perhaps you have heard me mention that I used to be a park ranger. During my eight years as a Park Ranger, only once did I see an event that shocked everyone who saw it. Children gasped. Parents turned their heads. A baby cried.

You wouldn't believe me if I told you that a Park Ranger caused the commotion.

The shocking event happened at the end of an interpretive hike on a trail in the Little Spokane River Natural Area of Riverside State Park. Twenty kids and their parents joined Park Ranger Joseph Felgenhauer and me for a hike along the meandering river.

Ranger Felgenhauer led the group using words to guide their steps through the forest. He talked about trees. He talked about the river. He discussed the native history of the area. He pointed out signs of wildlife. He encouraged kids to touch leaves, trees, rocks, and bugs.

He explained the value of connecting to the natural world.

At the end of the hike, as we approached the parking area, he pointed out deer droppings to the kids. He explained how to tell what type of animal the scat had come from. Ranger Felgenhauer then reached down, picked up two deer droppings, and popped them in his mouth.

“It tastes nutty” was all Ranger Felgenhauer said about it before leading the group down the short trail to the parking area as he finished his interpretive hike.

No one in attendance heard another word after “nutty”. The crowd was still buzzing with what they had seen as they climbed into mini-vans and SUVs.

Here is what the crowd did not know.

For several weeks, Ranger Felgenhauer and I had it on our calendar to do an interpretive hike with a group of school kids. Left up to me, I would have conducted the hike based on my knowledge and experience in that area of the park.

Ranger Felgenhauer took a different approach. Joseph is a champion interpreter and he would not give an interpretive walk without knowing every turn and curve that his guests would walk. He wanted to see what they would see before they saw it, so he could tell a story about it.

The morning of the scheduled hike, Joseph and I had visited the Natural Are where the hike would be. We walked the trail and Joseph took note of interesting trees, plants, and rocks. He planned what he would say at each viewpoint along the river. He paid special attention to coyote scat alongside the trail, knowing it would present an opportunity for a story.

When the kids arrived we lead them on the predetermined route along the river. Ranger Felgenhauer hit each practiced point right on queue. He stirred enthusiasm in the kids and answered every question.

At the coyote scat, Ranger Felgenhauer had each kid examine it. He explained what you can learn from scat; what the coyote ate and how long ago the animal had been there.

Finally, towards the end of the hike, Ranger Felgenhauer discovered the deer scat under a young Ponderosa Pine tree. The kids leaned in to hear what then Ranger would teach them.

And then Joseph ate deer droppings. It was something that none of the kids, or their parents, will forget.

Joseph Felgenhauer and I worked together only a few months. I left Riverside State Park for another park and soon after Joseph moved on to another career. Even after I left, the way Joseph conducted the interpretive hike stuck with me.

Joseph knew knowledge does not have the same impact as preparation. Preparation was the key to delivering a great experience to families who took time out of their day to go on a walk with us.

Joseph did not just lead a hike and talk about what showed up before us. Each stop was a deliberate effort to educate the kids. Each viewpoint had been pre-selected to offer the best opportunity for a story. Interesting trees and large rocks had been chosen as highlights because they would create the most curiosity from the kids.

And the coyote scat played into the story of the day. It offered an educational stop and made the kids consider what they can learn from scat.

It played right into Joseph’s finale of eating deer dropping.

You see, the finale was deliberate, just like the rest of the hike. Joseph knew by doing something that would WOW the kids they would remember the hike. The precise spot and timing of that event had been planned.

Earlier in the morning, when we had walked the trail, Joseph had sprinkled Raisinets on the ground under the pine tree.

Ranger Joseph Felgenhauer knew how to deliver a memorable customer experience. Jeff Noel talks about going the extra inch beyond what customers expect. For Joseph Felgenhauer, the extra inch was as simple a couple of raisinettes.

Joseph Felgenhauer taught us that preparation is the key to delivering a memorable customer experience to your customers. You can prepare like a park ranger, too. Here are the three steps you can learn from Joseph to deliver some WOW to your customers;

  1. See what your customers will see. How do you do this? Park in the parking lot and walk into your business. What did it look and feel like on the way in, beginning with the walk through the parking lot? Visit your website and look for information people would commonly be looking for, like your contact information, or even what you do. Call your business. Look at the ways customers interact with you and walk through it like Ranger Felgenhauer walked the trail before he had a school group with him. By walking the trail ahead of time, Joseph knew where the landmarks were. He knew when to tell stories. He even knew when to tell kids to watch their step. You have to begin by walking the same path your customers are going to walk. It doesn’t matter if you are a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker.
  1. Know your stuff. I mentioned that ranger Felgenhauer knew that preparation trumps knowledge. True enough, but he also knew what he was talking about. He didn’t talk about oak trees while standing next to a Ponderosa Pine. He didn’t talk about a black bear’s diet when the group was looking at Coyote Scat. First, Joseph walked the trail to know what his customers would experience. Then, since he knew his stuff, he was able to know where stories could be inserted into the hike. He knew this rock outcrop offered a view of an Osprey nest and it would give him an opportunity to talk about how an Osprey turns a fish when it carries it back to the nest. How can you do this? Once you know what your customer will experience, you can make sure the right information is in the right places. Sometimes it could be something as simple as having the hours of operation on your door. It could be having the right words in the mouth of staff that customers will interact with. It could mean having well-writtenwords on your website. It means understanding where to include information to enhance the customer experience.
  1. Add the WOW. Ranger Felgenhauer would not have been able to wow his customers if he had not prepared. He did backstage work so he could delight people when he was onstage. Well, I am not really sure if anyone was delighted when he ate deer poop, but people did say WOW. Because Joseph already knew the trail, he already knew what the group would see, he already knew what stories they would hear, he understand exactly how to deliver WOW. It was timed perfectly so the group was talking about what happened as they walked back to the car, and probably talked about it on the way home too. How can you deliver WOW? You don’t have to eat anything gross. You don’t have to go over the top. Add something a little delightful that other people are not doing. Dan Miller often includes mints in the box when you order books or other items from him. Look at what others are doing and do something different. Or do what they are not doing. Open an hour earlier, close an hour later. Return phone calls. Or answer your phone. Not many people answer their phone anymore. You will likely know what to do to add WOW if you have followed the first two steps. If you have walked the path your customers will walk, you will know when you have the opportunity to go the extra inch to delight and even WOW a customer. All it takes is to go a little further than what people expect.

Jeff Noel introduced me to the idea of going the extra inch, but I am so taken by it I am going to adopt this idea. Isn’t it encouraging to know you don’t have to go an extra mile to delight people? All it takes is an extra inch. And we can all stretch one more inch, right? One inch is all that separates you from the competition. And when you go the extra inch enough times, you are a foot ahead of everyone around you.

Preparation is key to show you have mastered your message.

I know what question you probably want to ask me, so I am going to go ahead and answer it. No, Ranger Felgenhauer did not tell the group that it was raisenettes he ate. Everyone went home thinking he had eaten deer droppings.

May 3, 2016

Recently, I visited the Burke Museum at the University ofWashington. Although the museum is full of fascinating fossils, one important piece that is missing is the Manis Mastodon.  The Manis Mastodon is not at the BurkeMuseum because the University of Washington missed anopportunity with the way they answered the phone. 

You could be missing an opportunity with the voicemail greetingon your phone. The often overlooked voicemail greeting is thesecret to getting more attention. 

In this episode, we examine the elements of a great outgoingmessage and how it gets you more attention. Jeff Noel presents theelements of a proper voicemail greeting. 

Apr 26, 2016

Pricing is more than what a customer pays. Pricing informs a customer what it will be like to do business with you. When it comes to price, you should be delivering so much value your customer should feel they got the better deal. 

Kirk Bowman joins the Jody Maberry Show to discuss the pricing, value and how they connect to marketing your message.

Kirk is known as the Visionary of Value. His podcast, The Art of Value, offers weekly conversations centered around the concept of value pricing.

Kirk's Website -
Kirk on Twitter - @ArtOfValue
Kirk's Podcast - Art of Value

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