S2E4 The Iconic Business Edition with Scott McKain

S2E4 The Iconic Business Edition with Scott McKain

James chats with Scott McKain, a globally recognized authority on how organizations and professionals create distinction to attract and retain customers — and stand out in a hyper-competitive marketplace.


Scott’s recent book, ICONIC: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain, and Regain the Ultimate Level of Distinction,” was recently named on Forbes.com as a TOP TEN BEST BUSINESS BOOK for 2018. The first edition of his book, “Create Distinction: What to Do When ‘Great’ Isn’t Good Enough to Grow Your Business” was named by thirty major newspapers (such as the Miami Herald) as one of the “ten best business books of the year.”


Scott’s expertise has been quoted multiple times in USA Today, the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, and International Herald-Tribune. His commentaries were syndicated on a weekly basis for over a decade to eighty television stations in the U.S., Canada, and Australia – and he’s appeared multiple times as a guest on FOX News Network. Arnold Schwarzenegger booked him for a presentation at the White House with the President in the audience.


With a client list that represents the world’s most distinctive companies – like Apple, SAP, Merrill Lynch, BMW, Cisco, CDW, Fidelity, John Deere and literally hundreds more – Scott McKain was honored with induction along with Zig Ziglar, Seth Godin, Dale Carnegie and just twenty more in the “Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame.”


They discuss talking to yourself at the White House, plumbers butt cracks, scaling businesses, walking in your customers shoes, customer breaking point, and getting great clarity on what you are, and what you are not.


Contact Scott:


Web: www.scottmckain.com
Twitter (@scottmckain): twitter.com/scottmckain
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/scottmckain
Facebook: facebook.com/iconicbusinessbook

FREE offering for listeners: Join Scott’s DISTINCTION NATION at distinctionnation.com for FREE and receive:
“Ultimate Customer Experience” ebook
“Creating Personal Distinction” 14-day audio series with workbook
And, additional resources on creating distinction

Click for the full transcript

James Nathan  0:54  Hello and welcome to the Only One Business Show with me your host, James Nathan and I have got a really exciting guest for you today. This gentleman is a globally recognized authority on how organizations and professionals create distinction to attract and retain customers and stand out in a hyper competitive marketplace. His recent book ‘Iconic – how organizations and leaders attain, sustain and regain the ultimate levels of distinction’ was recently named on forbes.com as a top 10 business book of the year for 2018. The first edition of his book ‘Create Distinction – what to do and great isn’t good enough to grow your business’ was named by 30 major newspapers as one of the top 10 business books of the year. His expertise has been quoted multiple times in USA Today, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune. His commentaries was syndicated on a weekly basis for over a decade, to 80 TV stations in the US, Canada and Australia. And he’s appeared multiple times as a guest on Fox News Network. Arnold Schwarzenegger, I booked him for a presentation at the White House with none other than the President of the United States in the audience. Wow.


His client list represents some of the world’s most distinctive companies like Apple, SAP, Merrill Lynch, BMW, Cisco, CDW, fidelity, john deere, the list literally goes on and on for hundreds more. And he was honored recently, with induction alongside Zig Ziegler, Seth Gordon and Dale Carnegie, and just 20 other people into the Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame. I’m really excited and truly delighted to welcome to the show, Scott McCain. Scott, how are you?


Scott McKain  2:40  James, man after that introduction, I’m great. I gotta make sure to to play that for my wife.


James Nathan  2:47  You know what I’ve said that a few times to people with Scott, you know, you have a chat with the video, you read the introduction, and you sit back and you think well, I’m pretty aren’t I. Arnold Schwarzenegger booked you for the White House. Tell me about that. How did that come that?


Scott McKain  3:00  You know, it’s it’s a funny story. I was giving a speech. I was living in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the in the States at the time, and it was giving a speech and I walk out on stage. And I didn’t know he’s going to be in the audience. And I looked down and there he is. It was a physical fitness and health group that he had been a part of before he became famous. And so it’s one of the few places he could go where they didn’t treat him like a movie star, right? Because they known him forever. And he continued to be involved in the organization. And he was that time that Chairman of the President’s Council of fitness and sports in the United States, right, right. So it comes up after the speech. He said the guy I really liked that. We’re going to work together someday. And I just, you know, I laughed to myself, what a gracious thing to say what a nice man, but there’s no way it’s ever going to happen. And the phone rings my office and he and it’s his office calling and wanting to connect the two of us so that he can ask if I would speak at and be the master ceremonies of this program on the White House lawn for the President’s Council on Fitness and Sports. James The really funny part about it was one of my best pals was a radio personality in Atlanta, Georgia. Who does impressions, including Arnold. So naturally, I assumed it was him, not Arnold. And so, you know, he asked if I did and I said, hey, yeah, yeah, great up. So casual. Yeah. Yeah. That date’s open and here’s my fee. And he said, Well, you know, this is what the President This is a charity. I thought you, you know, you would do this gratis, you know, that you would you would do for this complimentary basis. And thinking, I’m talking to my friend, I told him what part of my anatomy he could kiss. You know, did you do your last movie for nothing?


Well, there’s this silence. And then he started laughing. He said, You know what, you’re exactly right. Everyone else is donating their time. But this isn’t what they do for living. This is what you do for a living Yes, will sign the contract. And he said, by the way, if you get a chance to tell and it was the name of the of the person that ran the meeting in Indianapolis, tell them Hello for me. So all of a sudden, I realized my friend has no idea who that person was. It’s really bizarre. Yeah. And I was just, I would never have done that. You know, I just, so I hang up the phone and I’m so shocked was Oh, fast forward. Now I get to the event. Right. And the woman, Annie, who ran Arnold’s office for many, many, many years, meets me and the first thing I did was to profusely apologize. I hope he wasn’t offended. I would never I you know, unexplained the story. She broke up. She laughed. And then she got very serious. And she said, Whatever you do, you can never tell him that story. Like, why? She said he’s told everybody he knows did you do your last movie for nothing. Because nobody stands up to him. Right? They know who stands up to Arnold Schwarzenneger. He said he loves it that you stood up to him. And he’s told everybody that story. So to this day, I don’t think Arnold knows that part of the story. The other funny thing is, I was at a hotel where I was giving a speech in Los Angeles, and my wife and I are waiting on my, you know, the vallet to bring our car around, and big limo pulls up and Arnold gets out. And she’s elbowing me because she doesn’t know but we weren’t married at that time. And so she’s always wondered, is that story true or not? And he takes a couple steps past us and then stops and pivots. It says, Hey, what are you doing here? By the way, I’m getting paid to be here, are you? He could not have been nicer and I’m sorry to go on so long about the story. It was absolutely a mountaintop experience. And it really led to so many other great things in the speaking business.


I was hoping like a terminator 18, I could say I’ll be back too


James Nathan  6:54  Well, you know, as a kid of the 70s Scott, you know, he’s one of my absolute you know, favourite a film star idols. So, you know, you said you need to be paid if he just done the Terminator voice or may not have done it. That would have been enough payment for me.


I did you meet the president when he was in the audience?


Scott McKain  7:19  Oh, that’s another funny story. So I got a buddy that worked at the White House at the time. And I said, I’m really terrified of the surroundings. You know, I know what I’m going to say. And I know that but to speak in the White House,  I said, Is there any way that I could like the day before, you know, walk through this and just kind of get a practice where nobody’s around? And I just, he said, Yeah, he said, I can fix that. So I get to the White House. Well, it’s on the lawn of the White House. And this guy had so much juice, he was one of the people that walk in the Oval Office. And so he arranged it and he said, you’re going to go out there. He said, nobody’s going to be around you, you know, just walk up. And so I walk up the steps. I stand on the platform, the lectern is already there. And I kind of go through, I thought in my head what I was going to say, I thought, well, I’ll try it again. I walked back down, walk back up. I thought I was doing it in my head. Evidently, I was not because as I’m going through my head, eyes half closed. What I’m going to say I hear from beside me, “Scott, what are you doing?” and there stands, Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Bush.


James Nathan  8:29  Oh, my goodness, okay.


Scott McKain  8:30  They were in the Oval Office talking about what was going to happen the next day. And the President looks out the window and says, Who is that out there by himself talking to himself?That’s my Speaker for tomorrow.


So he came out. And I had the you know, the first time you meet the President of the United States, you don’t want it to be because you’re talking to yourself by yourself on the White House Lawn. But when I explained that my friend Fred McLeod got me there, the president laughed and Arnold laughter we just had a great time. And you know, the funny thing about it was my embarrassment, even made for a better day the next day, because after everything was over, and I thanked the President for the privilege of, you know, being there. He said, You know, I think I need to start talking to myself before my speeches.


James Nathan  9:25  Unfortunately, I think in the years gone since then, some of them do talk themselves at bit too much. I’m not going to get political on here at all. I’ve just finished Iconic, I loved the book. You know, I’m a voracious reader of business books. And it’s, it’s one of my recent favourites. What’s the difference, though, between a distinctive business and an iconic business? How would you say it, how would you describe that?


Scott McKain  9:58  Great question. I appreciate you asking that. Because I’ve really given that a lot of thought. It’s okay to be distinctive, you don’t have to be iconic. But distinctive means that you are noted as being remarkable, that you stand out in your specific field. So if you know it might mean there are a lot of plumbers in London. But when people think about a plumber, you’re the one they think about, you are distinctive because of of what you do. Yeah, my old hometown of Indianapolis, I’ve been part of the reason I use plumbers as the example. In my old hometown of Indianapolis, there is a plumber that has, you know, several plumbers working for him. And the sign on the side of their trucks say will show up on time, we won’t stink and you won’t see our butt crack. Everybody jokes about it, you know, and laughs about it.


But you think what do you want from a plumber, you want them show up when they say they’re going to show up, you don’t want to, you know, smell like they’ve been working all day. And for God’s sakes, you don’t want to, you don’t want to see that cleavage, when they you know, get under the sink. They had these special shirts with longer tails. And everybody talks about them. And they are distinctive in our community. And so that’s what distinction means. Iconic is when you get to the point that you’ve transcended your industry. So in other words, when we think about…. and it doesn’t have to be a global business. So using Indianapolis again, you read about the steakhouse, St. Elmos there, it’s not that every other restaurant wants to be St Elmos, every business in Indianapolis wants to have the type of employee engagement and loyalty that they have, that wants to have a type of customer retention that they have. So they become iconic, because they are a model of what businesses want to do, not just in their own industry, they’ve transcended their field to be universally respected. And that’s a higher level of performance. That’s a higher level of distinction. And it’s even more difficult to reach.


James Nathan  11:56  Absolutely. And I get how you know, small businesses, corner shops, you know your local deli, the guy who makes amazing bread, the little pizza joint, whatever they might be, it’s easy for them to become very special, to have that close attachment to their client base. But when businesses get bigger, that’s when it gets tricky, doesn’t it?


Scott McKain  12:16  Yeah, it really does. You’re exactly right. But yet, what we have to do is to find a way to retain that, I think you’ve really nailed one of the most difficult challenges, I think James for business, is that as we grow, how do we retain that very aspect that made us special and enabled us to grow the first place, right? If we, if we get two locations, and they’re not succeeding? We’re not going to get to 8. But But once we get to eight or 10 or 500 locations, how do we retain that very essence that made us unique and made us distinctive at the beginning. And I think that’s one of the hardest things to do in business. But I really think it begins with clarity, that the values of what we do, you know, who we are, and what we’re all about, when those are transmitted throughout the organization. And those remain constant, even though the size of the organization changes. I think that’s the first step. That’s the essence of what we have to achieve.


James Nathan  13:16  And so few businesses do that well. A lot of business owners… I’ve been talking about this on this podcast show a bit recently, where you go into a business, and they’ve got their values on a wall. And everyone pays lip service to them, because they’re not truly the values, they’re just a load of words, I thought might be a good idea. How do you get to the real values?


Scott McKain  13:34  You know, a friend of mine, Robbie Richmond tells a great story and all credit to him for the story. But Robbie worked at Zappos. And one of the things, one of the values of Zappos is total transparency. And Robbie tells the story from the stage that he wanted to help people at Zappos. So he had a meeting of AA, alcoholic anonymous, that he held his Zappos. And they called him in the office and they said, this is worthwhile, but it’s against our values. Because once it becomes a secret meeting, or an anonymous meeting, it is against the values of our company. Even to the point, if you don’t appreciate those values, you may need to work someplace else. And he said, that was the day that I fell in love with Zappos, when it became clear that they would terminate a new star higher, employee at a really, really high level in the company, they would, they would fire me because I wasn’t adhering to their values. And he said, they talked about it, and they found a way to work it out. But he said, That’s what I said. That’s when values have meaning. And and I really learned a lot from that story from Robbie’s story, because it’s to your point, which is dead on James, they put them on the wall, but they don’t hope people accountable for transgressions. And there’s a line I use that you read in Iconic, what you tolerate is what you’ve really endorsed. So if I will tolerate someone getting by with not adhering to those values on the wall, then I pretty much endorse that you don’t have to follow it. And very few leaders are willing to draw the line in the sand and say, at this point, we don’t care who you are in the company, you’re not going to cross it. Yet folks, like you and me deal all the time with companies that want to know, oh, what should I do, this person is a great performer, but yet they alienate some of their team. And they’re not willing to stand up for the values that they proclaim.


James Nathan  15:39  My background is, as I’m sure you know, is a lot of time in recruitment. And, I talk about values a lot, very much in terms of hiring against core values. So understanding what the business really is, what the lifes-blood of that business is and what you truly believe. And then hiring people with complimentary core value so that they sit in line with the business. And I think that’s a very, very difficult thing to do is that poses a really great example. Did it change for Zappos after the Amazon purchase?


Scott McKain  16:10  That’s one of the things I’ve always wondered. And I live in Las Vegas now. So I live not far from the headquarters. And I haven’t noticed…. I had I noticed a change? Yes. Is it as significant as I thought it might be? No. I think, you know, at the end of the day zap….. I’m sorry, at the end of the day, Amazon could have gone out and started selling shoes and competed with Zappos. What they bought was the culture. It was easier to acquire it than to create it or recreate it. But you know, James, you brought up something that I’m fascinated by as well. And that is hiring, you know, with those values, at some point to it helps you become self selecting doesn’t it? I mean, I think that’s what one of the things that a lot of business leaders overlook, is that if we’re so clear about our values, people that aren’t willing to adhere to those don’t apply to work with us anyway. I mean, if I want massages during my coffee break, Amazon is not the place I need to be working. Right. I’ve kind of self selected myself towards Google. If I want to bust it and really make you know, an impact on retail, then Amazon’s a wonderful place for me to work. I think that when our values are clear, it gets to the point to that it helps us self select, which enhances the value of our team.


James Nathan  17:41  And then the customers that come to the business are people who identify with that style of business and the whole thing becomes self perpetuating. And it’s great to talk about Zappos and Amazon and you know, Nordstrom and Ritz Carlton, all these wonderful businesses who have this really great service ethic. But what about other businesses? Who do you see? Who are the real shining stars of service these days? That aren’t the big, you know, the big cliche businesses?


Scott McKain  18:10  Yeah, and that’s such an important question, James, because I think that we’ve we have overused those examples, to the point that it gives people a convenient excuse. You know, I’ll will will never be Apple, we’ll never be, Zappos will never be, you know, insert cliche here you know kind of thing. And that’s why in the book, I try to use examples like the multi millionaire chimney sweep in Nashville, Tennessee, that built a business on the same kind of thing, showing up on time doing the job, and in changing the thinking of what his business was all about. He stopped selling we’ll sweep your chimney and started selling home safety. And, that type of thinking, I believe, is a unique part of what it’s going to take to make a difference in the marketplace. Because when you’re selling fire safety, or just home safety to begin with, all of a sudden it opened up other avenues. You know, while our chimney sweep is in the house, you mentioned that you have a young child, do you mind if we do a free inspection to make certain the homeless childproof?  And it leads to so many other things.


James Nathan  19:23  You know, when you mentioned that, I look at that, and I think so talk about the benefit of the benefit. And you know, the only reason you would want your chimney swept is so it doesn’t catch fire. There’s no other reason why a chimney needs sweeping apart from the fact that you don’t want the building to burn down. So you know, in essence, that’s really the reason we hire him. And he’s telling you, it’s great.


Scott McKain  19:46  Yeah, but so many, particularly in smaller businesses focus on the function, not the result. And that’s where I see so many small business owners missing the mark and midsize businesses as well. Recently, I spoke for a group of owners of auto body shops, car repair shops, and I, you know, just having fun with the crowd, I said, raise your hand if you got into this business, because all you want to do is talk to people and serve customers. Nobody raised their hand, right? How many you got in this business because you want to work on cars, everybody raised their head, right? But I said, here’s the here’s the missing element. The fact is all of you who do good work, I’m sure some do better than others. But if you weren’t doing good work, you wouldn’t be in business anymore. I mean, the marketplace is too demanding. But it’s how you deal with those customers. And it’s how you create these experiences. And it’s how you set yourself apart from your competition through that. That’s what’s going to eliminate the challenge that you’re constantly facing the pressure that you constantly facing. And it was, it’s really hard to get that across because particularly in small and midsize business, the reason people got in that business is because they love that they love sweeping chimneys, right? They love working on cars, they love that. And they’re ill equipped and ill trained to deal with the challenges that we face with customers.


James Nathan  21:07  Running a business is a totally different thing to do in a job. You know, I know you work with professionals, I work with a lot of law firms and accounting firms. And, you know, you don’t become a lawyer or an accountant because you really want to grow a business. At essence, you do it because you really want to do the doing. Just like your guy bashing panels of a car. Running a business is a whole different thing. Looking after people is a totally different thing. But the guys who are good at it they are great aren’t they.


Scott McKain  21:34  Oh, yeah, yeah, they get that. And you know, it’s you make such a great point. But I was speaking to a group of surgeons, I was the first non surgeon to ever keynote this meeting. And one of the things that one of the surgeon said to me was this, he said, I graduated from college graduate, graduated from medical school, did my internship, my residency, started my practice and realized I had never ever taken a single course on bedside manner, the patient experience. And he said, Now I’m expected to grow my practice, without knowledge of what grows my practice. Because everybody that graduated and did all the work I did, you know, everybody can, you know, that this was cosmetic surgeons, you know, everybody can do a nose job, everybody can do a breast implant. But it’s how we create our business and how we become good business people. And so I’m telling my story, and the CEO of the company I was speaking to came up and he said, You know, it struck me when you were telling that story. I got my MBA without taking a course on the customer experience. And isn’t that amazing? So in small business, we have all these folks that gravitated there because the product, in bigger business, we have certified a generation of leaders based on the balance sheet, and the p&l statement and EBITDA and all of these accounting measures and not on the internet tangibles that get customers to repeat their business and refer your business. And I think that’s part of why many businesses just don’t get why they’re not as successful as they should be.


James Nathan  23:11  Has that changed though Scott, I mean, because obviously the world is smaller, becoming a global businesses easier, you know, access to funding is different nowadays, but has that it really in essence changed?


Scott McKain  23:26  I think we’re right in the midst of that. And I think, you know, I know a lot of people knock it, but I think it’s part of the change that millennials in the marketplace are helping to drive that it’s got to be about more than just can you ring every cent out of a customer that you possibly can. I did a blog post this weekend on an article in the Wall Street Journal that talked about businesses that evaluated customer break point. And what that was, is how long can we string them along before they leave us and do business elsewhere? I find that reprehensible, you know, but but I had that happen with a cable TV company, right? It wasn’t until I complained and they sent technicians to the house. And I said well, cancel my account. What if we, and they offered me a better offer, which obviously could have done at the beginning as a way of saying thank you for putting up with all these problems. But the better offer just reinforced. They were not the kind of company I want to do business with.


James Nathan  24:29  And you’re just a commodity aren’t you, you’re just you just another number to them. You know, we’ll get another one.


They think they will. But yet the road is littered with you name it. I mean, we can all name a number of businesses that failed simply because they took customers for granted to the point that customers said, you know, there’s too many options out there in the marketplace now. See that’s what it overlooks? Right? I mean, they have the financials on what customer break point is, but but what they what they don’t have is a long term view. And that’s part of what we got to get away from is the short term thinking, because the long term view is they’re doomed. I mean, it’s why, you know, look at cable companies, and all of us now, you know, subscribing to over the top networks and, and cutting the cord. Well, it just gets me when retail groups say, well, it’s the Amazon effect. If it wasn’t for Amazon, we’d be in business. Seriously? No, that’s a convenient excuse. If you’re if you’re experienced that you’re providing customers isn’t better than what Amazon is delivering. You don’t deserve their business.


A friend of mine runs a clothing store. And we have a lot of conversations around this. And Amazon has not killed the high street, the high street killed the high street. You know, the strip malls disappear because they don’t look after people enough. And they don’t care enough. And I’m you know….. Amazon is not that cheap. You know, people think oh, it’s cheap. It’s Amazon, is it hell, it’s not. But it’s convenient. And it’s and seamless. And convenience and ease of use of things that we, you know, we were drawn to we absolutely love and our competition is a click away. Everyone’s competition is a click away. And that’s a lot closer than it used to be and millennials….. I don’t like the term millennial…. It worries me now because Millennials are about to turn 40. Right. So anyone born after 1980s and millennial, so you know, they don’t seem so young. But you know, there is an expectation that things will be done right the first time. And if it’s not done right the first time, it’ll be made right the first time. And that’s part of what helps businesses stand out, isn’t it? But what does it take? What does it really take to get a business to stand out in the market that is so quick?


Scott McKain  26:48  Well, I think there was one of the points that I made in the book, about go negative. And that was one of the really shocking things to me about the research was that iconic organizations actively seek out the negative. There was a study at Texas A&M University here in the States that was really fascinating. And it was on how ineffective SWOT analysis is, the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats in many organizations, because many leaders don’t want to hear about weaknesses. And so the specific example in the study was the company that had bad brand image, and they’ve identified that they had a bad image of their brand in the marketplace. And they put that under opportunities. If you if your image isn’t good in the marketplace, that is a weakness. I mean, if we’re not willing to identify what’s wrong, maybe that’s part of what’s wrong. And what often happens is that if there’s a problem with the customers you mentioned, you know, we expect it right the first time, and companies have gotten really good at placating the customer, we’ll fix that customers issue so they go away happy, but not enough of us are asserting negativity. By that I mean, we dig deeper, we want to find out what’s wrong with the process that created that dissatisfied customer to begin with, because we don’t fix the process, we’re going to continue to create these occasionally dissatisfied customers. Where’s the friction in the process? What is wrong with the execution and companies have to be willing to go into the negative like that, in terms of what creates distinction, it’s four points. Number one is clarity, it gets back to what we talked about earlier about being crystal clear about what your values are, and what your focus is, then from there, it’s creativity, which doesn’t mean chaos, it doesn’t mean, you know, blowing everything up, it means it’s finding one unique aspect about why people should do business with you. If there’s nothing different about you, your product or service, why wouldn’t I choose a cheaper alternative? Or why wouldn’t I choose the competition? So what is there in terms of innovation or creativity and what the product or the service or, the customer experience that sets you apart? 3rd is communication, that that’s why what you’re doing James here is so important. I mean, the the ability to communicate ideas, and part of what we’re going to understand as well is the one form of communication that works across all generations is narrative. Everybody loves a good story. Yet very few organizations are good at telling their story, and focus on that compelling narrative. And the fourth and final is the customer experience focus, what’s it feel like to do business with you? How are you creating a compelling experience that I as a customer would want to repeat and refer. So when you do those 4: clarity, creativity, communication, customer experience focus, when you’re executing at all four of those cornerstones, you’ve made the progress that it takes to stand out in your respective field.


James Nathan  29:53  Fantastic, and that negative thing you mentioned previously, as soon as you mentioned customer experience focus, I think so many businesses say they’re customer focused, and then not they focus on what they can get. Truly focusing on the customers, understanding what you’re doing that the customer doesn’t like as much as what they do. I know when you…. I was I was watching a video of one of your talks recently, and you were talking about describing what we are as well as what we’re not. What do you mean by that?


Scott McKain  30:25  Well, it clarity doesn’t just mean what we are right. Clarity is so difficult. It I just did a program for a group of financial advisors in San Diego, California. And they all said, well, we’re really clear about what we are. I said, Okay, what do you not? And they didn’t know what I meant by that. Okay, you say, and I pointed to one, you said, my focus is on the surgeons, I’m absolutely focused on helping surgeons build their financial practice, you know, build their finances. I said, man, that’s absolutely great. Hey, by the way, I just won the lottery I have 5 million to invest. Am I a client? And if you say yes to that, you’ve just told me you’re not….


James Nathan  31:05  You’ve just blown that away


Scott McKain  31:06  Exactly. And that is so hard for businesses, because everybody wants tell you what they are. But at what point do you say what you are not? And it’s really….. no one is loyal to a generic. And it’s almost impossible to find a really significant business that is trying to be all things to all people. Here in the States, we have Walmart, you know, people say well, Walmart’s all things to all people, really try to buy a pair of cufflinks. Try to buy a tuxedo, try to buy a fine suit, they know who they are, and they but knowing who they are also means they know who they’re not. And that is a fundamental essence of creating distinction.


James Nathan  31:51  And you know, I have very important point to make about Walmart if you’re ever in Orlando do not go near one at 8 o’clock on a Friday night, you will not leave there for 3 hours. That place is busy, busy, busy, they know exactly who their market is. And, you know, it no great retailer doesn’t. I’m loving chatting, but I’m also conscious of time. Scott, could you leave us with one big thing, one golden nugget, one thought, something that people could do in their business today to make their business better for today and for the years to come? What might that be?


Scott McKain  32:30  Oh, what a great question, James. You know, this sounds so simple, but it’s so difficult to do. Walk through your business, and do so with the eyes of a customer. Or take a customer with you and walk side by side as they go through the process. Whether it’s, you know, if you’re a phone business sit with a prospect by a speakerphone as they try to buy your product or service, or get you know, I just did a program with Disney. And one of the things they talked about is that Walt Disney would go out in Disneyland and would find, you know, parents with a child and say, Can I borrow your five year old for the next couple of hours? Because he wanted to walk with the child and see the park through the child’s eyes, not his own. To learn how customers see what you do. I had a chiropractor, I speak to a group of chiropractors and we were talking about one of one of my big things is the ultimate customer experience, here in the States we own the trademark on that term. And, one of the things he was doing, and of course, his heart was in the right place, right. He was parking in the rear of the office building because he wanted to save the spots up front for his patients. Because as a chiropractor many of them had back problems and had trouble. You know, he was trying to do the right thing. But it also meant he hadn’t walked in the front door of his own office for a while. So he does that. And he said I noticed that you know there was a couple weeds there. But landscaping didn’t look real sharp. So he said I call the landscaper, they planted a couple new bushes. They pulled the weeds. And he said here’s the terrifying thing. Every patient for the next week mentioned it. And I said why don’t quite get what why is that terrifying? He said don’t you get it? They wouldn’t notice the new landscaping if they hadn’t previously noticed the weeds. He said one patient even said, you know I kind of wondered how good of a doctor you could be if you couldn’t even take care of your front door.


James Nathan  34:31  Goodness me. You know, and you mentioned that and you mentioned Disney a moment ago, you know, they dust the plant and there’s a really good reason for it. The magic is in what you’re doing.


Scott McKain  34:40  Yeah, well I love that.


James Nathan  34:42  Scott, thank you so so much. It’s been great chatting with you.


Scott McKain  34:46  James. What a thrill. This is really been a lot of fun, and I look forward to continuing the conversation down the road as well.


James Nathan  34:52  That’s great, thanks Scott.



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