We talk a lot about using your book as part of a funnel, or campaign to engage future customers, and today we have a great example of that.
In today's Book More Show we're talking with Jim Rollo an insurance broker from New York state. This is a great conversation and really Jim's book is the perfect example of starting a conversation with a group of people that you want to engage with, in a way that resonates with them. He's used all of the book blueprint mindsets that we've talked about before, starting the conversation in a way that educates people and gives them useful content, working with complimentary noncompeting businesses to add value to potential customers, leading readers to further steps that amplify the conversation further and ultimately lead people to a point that you can do business together.
The call went fast & there is a lot for you to take from it, including how jim came to the point of writing the book, the process of writing, and then we spent a lot of time really focusing on how he's planning on using the book through those complimentary noncompeting relationships.
This is really a great show if you've recently finished your book or if you're thinking about starting, and are wondering how you can use it.
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Transcript: Book More Show 067
Stuart: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Book More show. Ah, tripping over my words. Welcome another episode of the Book More show. It's Stuart here. And today we don't have Betsy Vern, but we do have Jim Waller with us. And Jim has just finished writing his book, "The Happy Home Owner." And we will, Jim will be talking with us, and ready to jump on a call, just to run through what was Jim's part of writing the book and wanting to engage with our audience, because I think they've got an interesting framework, an interesting proposition. And then, it leads to a score card, which we've spent a lot of time talking about over the last couple of months on the show. So, it seemed like a great opportunity. So, Jim, welcome to the show.
Jim: Thank you, Stuart. Great to be here.
Stuart: And I'm looking forward to this. As we were talking, as we were getting set up offline, and really looking at the details of the book, and thinking. As we were getting ready for the call I was thinking how this fits in quite nicely with the formula of the phone call that we were talking about. I think the best place to start is probably, if you introduce yourself and your organization, and then we can get into the details of the book, and how it's engaging.
Jim: Sure. Be happy to. I am an insurance agent, and have been since August of 2007. Prior to that I worked in international business development in Latin America. And working in the tag and label business, so we're making all of the garment labels for companies like Nike and Levi and Reebok and Old Navy and Gap.
Stuart: That's interesting. The people, you tend to think of big organizations. I know that you've listened to a few of the shows before, when we've come up with examples, we kind of automatically default to the same couple of examples that come to mind. But your background, not so much the business end of it, but that label, tag and label business. There's so many multimillion dollar lapels, ties, and leashes, that are financially huge, that it's simply a trajectory.
Jim: It's actually a multibillion dollar market, the tag and label business for apparel and footwear.
Stuart: That's really fascinating.
Jim: It's a multibillion dollar business. Right.
Stuart: And one of the things that sort of blends into the background, and of course, such a big underlying thing, underlying business that supports those things as a consumer, you don't really notice.
Jim: Well and I think it's important to, so the relevance of that piece of my history is very pertinent when it comes to the book, Happy Homeowner, and I'll draw the parallel, so that the listeners can connect.
So, when we were in the tag and label business, we were a printing company.
Jim: Now, if I were to day, well, we're in the printing business, then all kinds of images could come to your mind. Well, you could say, do you print books? Do you print catalogs and brochures and, well, the answer was, no. We're going to be very focused, and we're going to zero in on one market segment, and we're going to become the world leader, and we're going to be exceptional, and we're going to provide service levels to customers in that segment that no one else can touch.
And so, with the printing company, we went after the tag and label business, and became very good at it. And so, in the insurance business, I stepped back and looked at that experience for the tag and label business, and I said, "Well, what business am I in? Am I in the insurance business, or, am I in the business of helping homeowners preserve their dream of home ownership for a lifetime."
And so the insurance business, in our case, is very broad. If I say to you, we're in the insurance business, you could think of, there are many images that come up in your mind when I say the insurance business. But, if I say to you, we're in the business of happy home ownership. And so I've been working in my insurance business for 11 years, consistently improving our capability, in the residential, real estate market.
Stuart: And that's such a fantastic connection between the two, and the success that you have by choosing that niche markets for people who can make the biggest impact, where you can focus more for the expertise in an industry that's big enough to support yourselves, and an industry that's enjoyable to be in. You've been in it for 11 years. And so, this is something that you enjoy. But being able to delve into the customer's outcome, the evolving, looking for love and that sort of inside view of where the insurance government happens to be, looking after home owners, it's really, this is specifically targeted, looking at home owners. I can imagine that that feeds through all the others things that you do within the business, because you've got that frame already. There's that constraint of this.
Jim: It absolutely does. It absolutely does, right? So when a customer chooses us to protect their home, then as a follow on, they're saying well, why don't you also insure my autos? Why don't you provide disability income protection for us? Why don't you insure my boat? Why don't you provide my life insurance? So, when we're providing an exceptional experience or a remarkable experience with their home, the acquisition of their home, or if they already are a home owner, we have conversations with them no one else has ever had. Then suddenly we're building a level of trust where they're eager to have us involved in other areas, where they may have insurance needs.
Stuart: Because you are really the advocate for them, the champion for them, it's not selling a product. So, that's not the main lead in, you know, going with the home insurance lead. It's the more customer centric view of, how can we help you achieve a broader goal, of being successful in a broader area, which naturally leads across multiple products.
Stuart: I can imagine as you deal with them that, because this certainly an uncommon approach. It is much more common for people to be very, sort of, execution of product centric. So I can imagine the people that you're working with appreciate that.
Jim: They do. And so, right. And so there's multiple aspects of this. So the other part of what we do, and a very important word, is the word collaboration. Right? So the other part of what we do is, we are members, we are participants in the residential real estate market, together with mortgage brokers, real estate agents, home inspectors, closing attorneys. And so, we build and we create value for them that is compelling, that they then recommend us to their customers. So the real estate agents, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, closing attorneys, are all recommending us to their customers, to say hey, you have to talk to these people.
And so, the book is a way, in part, to give those centers of influence that I mentioned, who I call centers of influence, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, closing attorneys, home inspectors, a resource that they can then give to their customers, which is the book. A resource to say, hey, we care about you beyond the closing table. We care about you and your dream of home ownership for a lifetime. And the resources and information in this book are going to help you preserve your dream of home ownership for a lifetime.
So as a participant in the residential real estate industry, we're adding unique value that is beneficial to the people that we collaborate with, to create a remarkable experience for their customers.
Stuart: It's such a great example of, we did a show a couple weeks ago, episode 61, called "Where Can We Live This." So we talked there a lot about this idea working with complimentary, none competing businesses, and being able to leverage and kind of amplify your expertise by helping someone else's audience. Because that collaboration approach that you talked about, particularly for those who are within the collaboration or cooperative is, is thinking and it has very much the same mind set, is that everyone is helping the end customer, but everyone brings their own unique ability to it, their specialization, their desire to share information.
Stuart: The benefit that you have is that the business owner is accessing a like-minded group of organizations, and then customers, by starting the conversation with adding value. Do you find within those complimentary, non-competing businesses, is everyone on the same wave length? Or does it take a little bit of a definite people to get in, definite people that don't get in, in terms of, this is kind of, education first.
Jim: Yeah, there are. Right. It's all over the, you know, on a continuum from, to use your words, they get it, to they don't get it. You know? On that continuum, there are people at both ends, and everywhere in between, that are looking for a way to enhance their process. They have a collaborative mind set. So we're looking for the people who say, yes, I want to be a participant in this, and I really see the value of what you're doing, and I want my customers to have that experience.
And so, the book is only one piece of it. We have a whole customer experience for home owners that is extremely unique. And there are really four things that we're doing. And in the consumer insurance business, there are really four things that our process is designed to do, and the book is a big part of that. We're de-commoditizing the commoditized, right?
So insurance in general has become commoditized. There's a commodity mentality. And it's just go online and get your insurance, and you know, the rest will take care of itself. Where we're de-commoditizing.
Jim: We're making the intangible tangible.
Jim: We're making the forgotten remembered.
Jim: And we're making the invisible visible.
Stuart: And that is an interesting place, because so many people are just coming to it from the point of view of, this is a product that they hate, that they hope they never have to use. It's not, I'm going to buy something, a consumer product, where there's desire subset with the thing itself. This is very much making them face intangible elements of it, the desire elements, the reassuring people of continued interest, in achieving their dream, and the safety aspects, and the reassurance elements, making those things tangible. Whereas just the policy itself, although that's the product, it's the kind of intangible element. It's an interesting approach.
Jim: Yes. And now, and I talk about this in the book. In our business, what we're offing people is a promise.
Jim: And so, if the day comes when what we call a "storm of life" appears out of nowhere, then the moment of truth comes, when we are going to have the opportunity to deliver on the promise, and be promise keepers, and keep the promises that we've made to you. That if and when a storm of life comes up, we're going to step in on your behalf, and help you recover.
Stuart: Right. Okay. Kind of those persuasion elements must have, in the book, start to educate on all the differences between the commodity and the more real impacting elements, if the policy was called upon. So creating those in the book, some of the persuasion techniques of seeding that idea, and starting that conversation early. I'd imagine that that, then, makes the full-on conversations, as you move people towards a buying decision, a conversion point, that makes that conversation easier, because you've already sowed the seed of the idea, which is something that you want to later amplify.
Jim: Yes. Yeah, and the dream, and so, part of the message of the book is that the dream of home ownership is a lifetime dream. And I want to give special mention to your development team. Glen worked with me on developing the cover for the book. And I also worked with a real estate agent, a particular real estate agent, who was very insightful when it came to development of the cover of the book to comply with a rule that we have in the U.S., about fair housing, so that any imagery on the cover of the book or inside the book cannot indicate that we're interested in working with a particular type of people or type of person, from a gender, age, race. Anything that would indicate that we're only interested in working with a certain type of person. So if I put imagery on the cover of the book, or inside the book, that showed any type of real people, then real estate agents would not be interested, or even able to use the book, because it would be a potential fair housing violation in the United States.
Stuart: That's an interesting point for the broader market as well. Perhaps people are listening to this and thinking about those unconscious biases that are just ingrained in everyone, because there's a, sort of to go on this one, a snap to group mentality a little bit, just recognizing the familiar and naturally being drawn to it. Sharing the cover with other people, or looking out through the frame, the lens of a different question of, is there any unconscious bias that's being brought into this. That's a quite interesting point that you raise, regardless of whether there's actually a law around, called a guideline or whatever, and in the housing core specific things. It's definitely something we, when Glen had started working with the covers, we tried to keep them neutral, as much as possible. But I think your point in the U.S. about actually having that check and balance, that check point to see if there is any unconscious biases crept into it. It is an element there.
Jim: Yeah, I would say, my lesson, my take away from that experience was, and I would advise anyone who's working on a book, and they say, I have a target audience. In my case, the target audience is the home owner. But it's also the folks that we're going to collaborate with, and the folks that we do collaborate with, in the real estate industry. So I went to them and said, here's my concept, here's what I'm thinking about. Here's what I think my cover's going to look like. And so, my target audience, the collaborators if you will, I solicited their input and their feedback, which turned out to be very useful.
So I would encourage anybody who's thinking about writing a book, or who's in the process, to where ever possible, really touch base with the folks that you're looking to work with, that you're hoping the book will benefit, and get their input and feedback as early in the process as possible.
Stuart: Yeah. And that's such a good point, because so often, and in fact I've come upon this in the past, is that there's, the concept of writing a book is so overwhelming in many cases. It's for, as they say, lock yourself away in a cabin for six months type of process. And all of the focus is around the words itself. We try very much to come from the, what's the job of work at this point, of this product, of this tool. What's the end goal? How's it going to work in the funnel? And almost have the idea of there are steps in place, almost a score card, that mindset that they have.
They're writing the content in the center, it's one small element. And even within that, we sort of change the focus slightly. So I think the point that you raise about understanding how you intend to use it, and who the end customers are, but also the customers in the center, those people that you want to work with. And for each of those individual groups, maybe ask the same set of questions. So, who's this going to resonate with? Are there issues that might come up? Then change the lens slightly from the customer group to the collaborated group. Almost consider it from each stake holder’s point of view, is a great framework, a great check and balance that can quite quickly be done, because it's the same framework, but you're just changing the stake holders.
I realize a great tick in point to people, to kind of, as early as possible, actually is that, get those different elements of input, because it's then easier to tweak and change and course correct as you go through, rather than realizing it afterwards because you didn't engage everyone that you could have done.
I guess really, I guess the opposite of that is, no need to procrastinate and wait for it too long, because you're trying to get everyone's opinion. Jim: Right. I guess with that one, if you're familiar with the Colby Profile, it would depend on your Colby index. So I'm a quick start in Colby. But also, sort of wanting to check in with people quickly, and move quickly, and make decisions quickly. But I wanted to pick up on something you said a few minutes ago, talking about, I actually. So a little background on starting to write a book.
So I started writing a book in late 2016. And I remember saying to my team, well, I'm going to lock myself away in a room for some untold number of months, and sort of become the, and I might go to Cuba, so I can become the next Earnest Hemingway.
Stuart: Be the next Earnest Hemingway.
Jim: Right. So then I read one of the books that I was given. I'm in the 10-X program, a strategic coach, with Ben Sullivan, and he gave us a book that was written by a guy named Ken White. And Ken White gave credit to 90 Minute Books in his book, and about how the process was so simple, etc. And I immediately contacted 90 Minute Books, and they walked me through the process. And I said, this is the answer to my prayers. I'll go to Cuba another time.
Stuart: And enjoy a vacation.
Jim: And enjoy a vacation, as opposed to being locked in a room someplace. So it was, I had been working on it, and laboring over it, painfully. And you guys made it easy. And I trusted the process. So, you know, several times I think Ken and or Betsy said to me, thank you for trusting the process, and walking through our process. And so, it's worked, and we're on the road, so it's good.
Stuart: I think it's very difficult, a book, like I said with Ken, Ken White and, who we've also got Ken on the team, that says, Ken White, here's what we've got on the final stages, and then some follow up stuff with his score card as well. And the benefit of all of the coach clients said, that we work with, it's very much our appreciation of the 80% rule, and understanding what our job of work is, that they say some of the books that we're talking about, are engaging people and starting the conversation, and moving forward, and getting it done.
It's not about, we're not talking about fiction books here, and the words being the product. This is the job of the book, to move the conversation forward. And seeing people move through the process, where Betsy was just talking with someone last week, who we first talked to in 2015. So this was three years ago, at this point. And they could have written ten books in that time. The resistance to get started, or the perfectionism over wanting it to be perfect before it leaves, we have a rule with that early elements in that pieces of procrastination. It means three years goes by, and it never even gets started.
I think working with a coach who is particularly understanding is that the benefit of the lasting, and the getting it done, and the 80% approach, and this is version one, and it has a job to do, and you can never be sure of how successful the approach will be until it's out there and being tested. That kind of lean type of thinking approach. That I think, for you guys... Also, it's refreshing to work with people that think that way. But for you guys, it just means that it gets done. And I think it was in there.
Jim: Yeah, that's really the, for us, so like you said, what's the purpose of the book? It's to start a conversation. And in our case, we want to start a conversation in a unique way. I'm not interested in writing, and nobody's interested in reading, an insurance book.
Jim: So if I want to help you obtain your insurance license, to become a licensed insurance professional, then that's not what I'm doing. I'm trying to start a conversation with people in a way that they've never had a conversation before. And talk to them about what they want, in a way that has never happened before. And so, and then where the conversation goes from there depends on the person. But, it's really, as you say, it's meant to start a conversation about. And when you think about the title of our book, Happy Homeowner, the question is, who doesn't want to be a happy home owner?
Stuart: That definitely resonates with our group. So, you were talking earlier about the broader group, the non-competing businesses you're working with, as a channel to potential customers and that target audience. Are you looking at using the book in different ways, different channels as well? Or is that the main avenue?
Jim: Yes I am, actually. So, in our case, I am licensed and authorized in New York State and in Pennsylvania.
Jim: The other states where we're not licensed, where we don't compete, we're not authorized or eligible to compete, there, our entire framework that we've developed for the residential real estate market, including the book, is a framework that we're going to assist other insurance agencies to implement.
Stuart: Right. Okay.
Jim: So that, I don't know if that answers your question. So that is the other group, is that other insurance agents. And again, it's got to be the mindset. You know, there has to be, we have to be on the same page, and we have to have the same mind set about, they have to have the mind set of being collaborative with the members of the residential real estate industry in their local market. And delivering value to consumers in a way that is consistent with the way that we deliver value to consumers, and to home owners. And so, and again, there are going to be a particular target that I'm after, I happen to know there are 18 thousand agents in the United States, and I happen to know that a small subset of those are going to have the same mindset that we have. And they're going to want to collaborate with us, and they're going to want to collaborate with the residential real estate market in their area, and adopt the systems that we have in place, and the approach to consumers that we have in place.
So that's the long answer to your question, but the answer is yes, that's where we're going next.
Stuart: I think that's an indication element about taking the framework that you've proved and tested within your own business, and then can evidence it with other people, along with providing the framework and additional assets and everything that they need to almost franchise the marketing system, because of your elements.
Jim: That is right. That is absolutely right.
Stuart: It is such an opportunity, because you've got the evidence within your other organization, the 11 years of experience that you've got, of testing these campaigns and the approaches. So it's almost become this, having the evidence to back that up, and the supporting materials, and all of the assets in place that can be shared with others, with the regional boundaries, providing a very obvious constraint, so that they aren't competing with each other. It's a great thing, in an audience that is more than big enough to support all of the business objectives of that, and I'm sure that you have. The complete audience being 18 thousand people, and only needing a subset of those guys to raise a hand in interest.
Jim: Well, and they're facing, so the folks that are facing the same issues, and recognize the issues that I mentioned earlier, that is, they're looking to de-commoditize the commoditized. Make the intangible tangible, make the forgotten remembered, make the invisible visible. They see that need. They're looking for a way to be different, and provide unique value in the marketplace, and we have a way to help them do that. That's where the courtship and the marriage can be mutually beneficial.
Stuart: Yeah. And I can imagine it would take them to the next level of development, once the first couple of. You've got a great case study with your own business. But once the first couple of Y level franchise type clients that are onboard, siphon back through and looking at improvements that you can get from there, and the quick start mentality of gearing things up and running it in tweaks and tested, to acceleration for the next couple of years of those groups going through, via the collaboration.
Jim: You multiply your learning. Yeah, right, you're multiplying your learning. Right, and accelerate your progress collectively, because now I have the benefit of the experience and the engagement, and the involvement of many more people that can really enhance the process.
Stuart: Yeah, yeah. They get that collaborative experience, it just amplifies it in a much quicker way than you could do just by yourself. And I want to jump back to the book itself, and how that sits in the forefront of engaging with the customers. We talked about the way the customers would get a copy in the first place, primarily through the collaborative relationships, and the referrals are being given it as part of the overall home buying process. The content of the book is really focused around the seven secrets of your framework. So it begins the conversation across those seven elements. We talked briefly about the score cards, and the fact that it ties in with a broader score card that you have.
So the formal focus is, as they come on board, is the score card the next step, kind of thinking about that multiple, minimal viable connects and steps down the casual process?
Jim: Yes, well, right. It is. So let me just say that, one of the ways that, with our collaborative relationships, one of the ways, or the primary way that they will be able to provide. Let's take for example, the real estate agent. We will create a landing page for the real estate agent that is personalized with the real estate agent's photo and logo. And the real estate agent will give that link to their customer, for a complimentary copy of the book.
Jim: So when they go to that link, they'll have the option of, do they want a hard copy of the book, which we're happy to mail to them, as a gift from the real estate agent. Or, do they want a PDF copy of the book, which we'll send to them by email.
Jim: And then, the next step in the process will be, that the person who received a copy of the book will next be invited to do a self-assessment on the Happy Homeowner score card. So, then they'll be able to look at where am I on the eight mind sets, the seven simple secrets, plus a bonus secret, the A simple secret, which is a bonus secret in the book, that will help them say, where am I, compared to the ideal. Where are my gaps? And then, let's talk about how we can close those gaps, to get you closer to the ideal, when it comes to these simple secrets.
Stuart: Fantastic. And that correlation of that tie in, from the kind of the pre-seeded framework in the book itself, because you've really, the book almost becomes the manifesto, if you like, for the framework, in the sense that it introduces the ideas and sets the scene, and in a kind of narrative sense, explaining it. To have that, then, backed up, with a score card where people are evidencing for themselves where they need assistance, or if they need assistance. I think that creates a very strong funnel and through story from, here, you've been referred to this because something happened in the conversation that sparked the idea that you might like a copy of what I liked. You get a copy of it in a very accessible, customer friendly way. It kind of sets out the framework, and explains why the individual things are important. And then goes on to say, okay, now that we've set these things for you on this scale, and then under that there's the suggestion of what to do next.
At no point in there are you telling people what they should do, or pointing out that people are silly for not having done things. It's very friendly, and positive, and moving in a joined up direction, toward the ultimate outcome, which is to do business with you guys. That whole, you've talked a lot about this in the show, and as we're talking to people individually, trying to get people to think about that funnel, that campaign. The book is one piece that kind of sits in this overall journey. And what you've achieved with it is coming over to the perfect example of that, because it's so fanatically drawn together. It's so on the same path. I think it's a great example of how to use a book to start that conversation.
Jim: Well, we come, so a couple things on that. We come at life from the perspective that people are smart, not the opposite. We come at life from the perspective that, if people are smart, which we believe that they are, and we provide information to them, like we do in the book, and like we do in the score card. Like you said, we're not going to say, boy you're silly for not having done the following. Then, because they are smart, and because they're going to make good decisions, if they have good information available to them to make good decisions, then the natural outcome of this process will be that, we've given them information they may not have had in the past. And because they have that information, they're now going to make decisions.
So, we're not going to tell them what to do. We certainly do recommend certain things. But at the end of the day, people make decisions that are in their own best interest. They believe to be in their best interest. And we just want to equip them to make better decisions. And so, the outcome of all this is, by the time people go through this process, they will have four attributes. The people that we work with will have four attributes. They're pre-interested, they're pre-qualified, they're pre-motivated, and they're predisposed to do business with us.
Stuart: Right. And that's such a great point to realize as well, because all of the steps that we've talked about so far, depending on how much information you want to build into the process or system, you want to put in place. Obviously it can be relatively manual. But, everything up to the point of they come out with the score card, is a relatively hands off process. You don't necessarily need to individually, you know, people with each step in the process. They can be guided through in a very personal way, but still get a value in a very automated way, so that, just as you say, that pop out, or that process with those four attributes, are already in place. And at that point, you're already dealing with a much warmer, educated potential customer than just someone off the street.
Jim: Yes, actually.
Stuart: I was thinking about, and again, it depends on whether it's with one of them. But one of the things to consider, given the nature of the print on demand of the books, if you do have a couple of agents that have immediately or over time identify themselves as very dialed in to the program that you've got. Are those some of your closest collaborators? There's also opportunity to tweak the book slightly to include a foreword for that particular agent, or you could co-brand it in some way with that particular agent or organization.
We quite often talk to people about sort of separating themselves from the ownership element of the book. I think the nature of the industry, to a certain degree. Of the publishing industry, not the insurance industry. But there's an element of, oh, I wrote this, rather. I want to have my face all over it. But, if that doesn't serve the greater purpose, then separating yourself from that very personal connection, and allowing other people to include themselves on it.
Jim: Well actually, that's a good point. I'm glad you brought that up. We actually have already. We have real estate agents who are interested in having, as you called it, a foreword, one of the first pages inside the book would be their photograph, their contact information, and a generic letter to their customer, expressing their sentiments and their gratitude for the customer working with them, and the fact that they care about them beyond the closing table. They care about them for a lifetime, and that this book is an expression of that caring for them. And so, we have real estate agents who are very much onboard with that idea, and want to do that.
Stuart: And then that adds value to the customer, because they're not just being handed something that is valuable information, but they might not necessarily realize the value of it. They're being given a warm introduction to say, this actually can help them. For the real estate or collaboration partner, it adds value to their overall chain, because it allows them to deliver something more after the initial sale. Kind of after the life time value of that relationship is built more. It adds to, it's beneficial to you in the sense that it's even a warm introduction, more relevant introduction, made by the person, the realtor, who's got a relationship with the end customer, and the opportunity to reinforce why it's important and why they chose to work with you. And what elements of it, particularly, are there that the end customer should pick up on.
It adds value all down the chain, and this is something that we talk about a lot is, to not necessarily think about writing something and just throwing more ad money at it, or looking for a new channel to customers, or thinking about how to level things to the existing things that are there. Because changing the level a little bit there, to a little bit stronger, about 10%, is going to be far more beneficial than trying to put something completely new in place.
Jim: Right. To your point, I had a real estate agent who was, well, this will make a great closing gift. And I said no, it wouldn't, because if they haven't spoken to me, or they don't know about me until after the closing, then we have a problem.
Stuart: Yeah, it's a little bit far down the process.
Jim: It's too late. And they've made decisions that will impact their home ownership experience, without the knowledge of the content of the book. We want them to have knowledge of the content of the book before they make those decisions, not after.
Stuart: Yeah, yeah. And as we're talking, the opportunity that, and again, it was all coming from, it's a balance of how much effort is worth the benefit that you can provide, or the results, or things like that. But there's stuff in this area where I think adding a whole educational suite of material, which hopefully are some of the things that you have existing already, so I'm not trying to reinvent the world here. It's just tweaking slightly some of the assets that you already had, for the context where they're going to be used. They're adding audio into that fellow, adding video into that fellow, co-branding some of the printed material, the designed material you've probably already got. Just changing the logo very slightly, but in a way that the customers look for either that particular realtor, or, if it's a realtor versus a closing lawyer that you're working with, or someone in a different industry. They're able to dial in with that and pile on the value at the most appropriate time. They're just tweaking some of the assets that you've already got.
There are very few people that are doing this, because very few people think about that collective view. I think it's much more execution, and trying something in that, and then do something else, and testing it. It's testing lots of different things and see what sticks, rather than going deep on one particular thing, and seeing whether value can be added all down a chain that already exists.
Jim: Well one of the things that I personally enjoy in life, and the thing that keeps me excited and motivated and waking up every day, is what I call reshaping the game, changing the game, changing the playing field the way that is totally transformative.
Jim: And so, the book is a piece of that whole strategy to transform the playing field, and transform the business in a way that is totally different and unique. And as you said, nobody else is going it. Everybody's trying to play the commodity game.
Stuart: Yeah, completely.
Jim: We're not talking about price, because that's really of secondary importance. But one of the chapters in the book is Happy Homeowners Keep Cost Down. We talk a little bit about ways to keep costs down. It's one of the secrets in the book. But, that's really not the focus. And people, there are many people, I can tell you, who work with us who walk away from their experience with us, and they're paying more gladly because now they're covered in a way that they were never even told about before. And they walk away saying, why didn't anybody ever tell me about this.
Jim: And so, that's really.
Stuart: I don't know if I have ever actually told you this before. I read this as I was going through the book, prior to the call. That line, just as you were saying about working with the realtor. Having a conversation is great. But, if that conversation comes far too late, then things from this that would have been useful months ago, or years ago, are blown over. Take the time to have that conversation. And it's not about price. It's not about trying to dive in at the bottom. It's about educating people to understand what outcome they really want, that kind of value for this.
Jim: Well, let's just take the case. Let's just say, Stuart, that you are one of our customers. And whether you're coming in as a new customer, or you're an existing customer, and you and I are having a conversation. One of the things that we say over and over to customers, and I would say to you, is, I would say, look Stuart, we're going to talk about all of your risks and all of the storms of life that could come up. And you're going to do something about them, or you're not going to do something about them, but here's one thing I know. I never want you, Stuart, to walk in here and sit in front of me, and ask me this question. Jim, why didn't you tell me about that?
Stuart: Right. Yeah. I think having that, if you decided not to do something about it, that's one thing. But just not having the conversation, not knowing that it's even a decision that you should either make or ignore, it is two very different things. And I think the whole set up of the book, which we talked about quite a lot. Again, it's in the book, in the score card. When we talk about the content section there, it's very much about value driven content. It's about, even if people never did anything else with you, that having read the book, they would have gotten some value from it. It would have answered a question. And that, I think, is the key to the content that starts the conversation, that then leads on to other things further down the track.
Jim: Yes. That's the goal.
Stuart: Time always goes quick. I can't believe that we've kind of gone 45 minutes already.
Jim: Yeah. Yeah.
Stuart: It would be great to catch up with you again in the future, and just kind of circle back for people, and talk about how their experiences have been, having just seen the book, just being completed. So it would be good to circle back.
Stuart: Fantastic. One other thing, quickly, on the situation before we finish up here. I think the main thing that I really wanted to get out of this call we've achieved, which is, getting people think about that overall familiar approach, and how the book fits into a broader picture. And you example, I think, is absolutely perfect. One of the things, just on the process, you talked about thinking about starting to write in 2016, but there was there, that never got the traction. Just in terms of completing the process, our process obviously is, it's not rocket science, but it is a scientific approach more than other people. What was the highlight or the low light of going through the process? Was there anything that was a surprise that turned out well? Or was frustrating, and advice to others to be aware of there?
Jim: I would say that the design, the cover design, was amazing. The step in the process where we put the outline in place, and the chapters in place, and put the title in place. That, those first two steps were the best.
Jim: Then the phone interview was great. In hinds sight, when I received the ten copies, ten review copies, and what you called the digital asset, which is the draft for me to review, in hinds sight I wish I had held on to the ten review copies, and just reviewed the digital asset file, and made my edits to that. Which is really what ended up happening. I gave the review copies to people. And the way I speak, in my particular case, and the way I write are quite different. And so, I took my spoken words from the interview, the recorded interview, which you all had transcribed, and then I rewrote them into the way that I write versus the way I speak. But communicating the same message, of course.
So, I would have just held on to the ten review copies and said, okay, I'm going to go through the edits. And now let me, you know, here's my final final, you know.
Stuart: It's always interesting, you know. You hear from some people, when they hear that something will be printed, created there's a fear that once it's on the page, that's it, sort of thing. I think that comes from the traditional printed world, where it is difficult and expensive to make changes after something has been created. The benefit of it here is that it is very flexible. And I certainly wouldn't suggest this, but, you can make changes to it every month, and it's pretty cost effective to do. But I don't recommend that one.
It used to, back in the early days when we first started, we used to call those first versions galley copies, and they wouldn't have the final cover on them. They looked very different, but they now have the effect on the oversight of them being slightly underwhelming, other than the alive ones. We try to strike that middle ground of, here's something. But I always hear back from people on what their challenges were, because I think it gives an opportunity to tweak the language that we use when we're talking to people, and the expectations that we set.
But I think your point of, it was a straight forward process, so you'd make the changes while going through your version update now. That's something that I would point out to people as well. Not let people get hung up on the fact, or prevent them from doing it. Many of them do it, or do it themselves, is always think of this as a live document, and making the first set of changes when you see the first version come back is great, because that's your first situation.
Also, think about it kind of like as a six month or a twelve month cycle. You're going to get feedback from people who you raise issue with, that you might not have thought of. Or, something that seems perfectly clear, because you've been doing this for 11 years, and then this particular, one of the secrets is very obvious, but perhaps it's not as understood externally. Think of it as a living document. And certainly we get people that make annual updates, or even, I don't think we've got anyone who's on a regular six months cycle. But we've definitely got annual updates. And it's a very live document going forward. So this will live on in this way, too, to make improvements down the track.
Jim: Yeah, like you said, it's better to get it out there. And if we wait until we achieve perfection. It's like, I like to use the analogy of, well, I speak several languages. Actually, I speak Spanish and Portuguese. And so, learning Spanish and Portuguese required that I make a lot of mistakes, say things that turned out to be offensive and horrible and everything else. But, I use the analogy of, it's like saying, well, once I learn how to swim, then I'll get in the water. Well, right?
Stuart: Right. Exactly. I think the language analogy is sort of very right, in that my wife speaks Spanish much better than I do. I mean, neither one of us are fluent in any way. But, when we're on vacation, she's not so enthused about the idea of trying to speak a foreign language, even though she's way more talented than I am, whereas I'm quite happy to kind of remember one or two words, and I'm trying to plug the gaps with gestures and pointing.
Jim: Right. Yeah. Oh, I could tell some stories about some hilarious things that I said to people that were. You laugh about them now, but you know. I had no idea what I was saying that was quite wrong.
Stuart: I bet you were surprised at the shocked response that you got.
Jim: Right. Exactly. Exactly right. Yeah.
Stuart: Fantastic. Okay, well, thank you again for your time. Before we go, I just wanted to definitely make sure that know options to check in with you. So fill them in, but, I guess you've told them, you're an insurance inspector from your state, and sort of tell them an early reject to you guys, as a program becomes available. What's the best way to contact you?
Jim: My email is the best way. Jim@jimwaller.com.
Stuart: Fantastic. Well, I'll make sure to recreate this in the show links. The show is always ready to head over to matchmanybooks.com/podcast, and then this is, well, whatever the show is on there. Make sure that we have the contact details up as well. Again, I just want to say thanks for the time, Jim. It's been a great call. I'm really looking forward to you checking back in with me in a couple of months, and see how it's been going. In the meantime, we talked about the white label, the syndication, option of the dialing in for the individual realtors that you're working with. So, you've got my contact details. We'll set this up offline as well. But that's a lot of stuff, and an opportunity, and then we can share those stories with people later, in a future show.
Jim: Great. Thank you Stuart for the invite. It was great talking to you.
Stuart: It's really great. Enjoyed this, Jim. And we'll speak soon. Thanks a lot for listening. Thanks, Bye.