February 22, 2024

Speed Sells: The Crucial Role of Time in Customer Satisfaction

Two out of three customers say that speed is as important as price—making it an essential ingredient of brand success.   

That’s why it’s time for CMOs to harness responsiveness as a distinct competitive advantage. In this episode, Jay Baer provides a blueprint for how to get there, detailing 6 time-busting strategies shared in his book, “The Time to Win.”

From auditing your current responsiveness to baking in a “fast pass,” prepare to transform customer interactions into swift, memorable experiences that promote loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.  

Don’t miss out on these game-changing insights that could set the pace for your company’s future! 

What You’ll Learn 

  • Why time is a key differentiator  
  • 6 ways to be a more responsive organization 
  • How to apply Jay’s “need for speed” framework 

Renegade Marketers Unite, Episode 385 on YouTube 

Resources Mentioned 


  • [4:22] Jay Baer: From CX to tequila 
  • [6:49] Time as a strategic weapon  
  • [10:35] Why “The Time to Win” 
  • [14:29] The Got-It Audit 
  • [17:56] Answer before they ask  
  • [20:44] Respond without answers 
  • [24:04] Set speed expectations 
  • [29:11] Close uncertainty gaps 
  • [34:21] Offer a fast pass 
  • [38:46] You don’t always have to be on 
  • [41:12] Dos and don’ts: Applying the Need for Speed Framework

Highlighted Quotes  

  • “You have an actual opportunity to use speed and responsiveness as a distinct competitive advantage, this is your time to win.” —Jay Baer, Author of The Time to Win: How to Exceed Your Customers’ Need for Speed  
  • “Time to response is more important than time to resolution.” —Jay Baer, Author of The Time to Win: How to Exceed Your Customers’ Need for Speed
  • “Start with the Got-It Audit. If you don’t know what’s happening today, you’re not going to be able to be better at it tomorrow.” —Jay Baer, Author of The Time to Win: How to Exceed Your Customers’ Need for Speed

Full Transcript: Drew Neisser in conversation with Jay Baer


Drew: Hello, Renegade Marketers. I’m excited that you’re here to listen to another episode of Renegade Marketers Unite. This show is brought to you by CMO Huddles, the only marketing community dedicated to inspiring B2B greatness, and that donates 1% of revenue to the Global Penguin Society. Wait, what? Well, it turns out that B2B CMOs and penguins have more in common than you think. Both are highly curious and remarkable problem solvers. Both prevail in harsh environments by working together with peers. And just as a group of penguins is called a Huddle. Over 352 B2B CMOs come together and support each other via CMO Huddles. If you’re a B2B marketer who could share, care, and dare with the best of them, do yourself a favor and dive into CMO Huddles. We even have a free starter program and of course, our robust Leader Program, neither of which requires penguins hat. Thank goodness, join us. And before we get to the episode, let me do a quick shout-out to the professionals at Share Your Genius. We started working with them over a year ago to make this show even better and have been blown away by their strategic and executional prowess. If you’re thinking about starting a podcast or want to turbocharge your current show, be sure to talk to Rachel Downey at shareyourgenius.com and tell her Drew sent you.

Narrator: Welcome to Renegade Marketers Unite, possibly the best weekly podcast for CMOs and everyone else looking for innovative ways to transform their brand, drive demand, and just plain cut through. Proving that B2B does not mean boring to business. Here’s your host and Chief Marketing Renegade, Drew Neisser.  

Drew: Hello, Renegade Marketers. Welcome to Renegade Marketers Unite the top-rated podcast for B2B CMOs and other marketing-obsessed individuals. You’re about to listen to a recording of CMO Huddles Studio, our live show featuring the CMOs of CMO Huddles, a community that’s sharing, caring, and daring each other to greatness every day of the week. At this particular Huddle, we had the pleasure of being joined by Jay Baer, a Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker and the author of “The Time to Win.” He shared invaluable insights on how CMOs can drive customer satisfaction. Let’s get to it. Hello Huddlers, and welcome to another Career Huddle where we introduce you to a best selling author who can help propel your careers to new heights. Today, our very special guest is Jay Baer. Jay is a Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker who teaches business growth through customer experience and marketing innovation. He’s founded five or six multimillion-dollar companies and authored multiple bestsellers including “Hug Your Haters” and “Talk to Yours” which I also loved and in which we did a podcast on five years ago. So we’ll include that link just in case anybody wants to go back to that. Now his latest book is probably my favorite. And it’s not just because even a slow reader like me could consume it in less than an hour on an airplane, a business book that has value that is less than an hour read. One other note about Jay, it’s really hard to have a conversation with him these days without talking tequila. So we’ll get to that as well. So anyways, Jay, how are you and where are you?  

Jay: I am fantastic, Drew, great to be back. Nice to see you. Hello, Huddle. I am temporarily at home, off again in the morning for a couple of weeks. I have like, I think 11 events in 10 days or something. It’s a crazy stretch. So I’m prepping up for that, delighted to be with you. 

Drew: I’ve actually had the pleasure of seeing you be the master of ceremonies at a couple of big events and you’re really terrific at it. And just in case anybody is looking for a master of ceremonies, Jay is first choice for sure of anyone I’ve ever seen do that. So kudos to you. And I get why you’re on the road a lot because you are specially skilled  

Jay: Now that you mentioned it and now I’ve got the thing where increasingly, I will come in and do a Keynote or be the emcee for an event, more so keynotes. And then that night I’ll do a tequila education course and tasting for the top sponsors, the top execs, the potential prospects, etc. It’s really fun and my agent loves to sell it because meeting planners are like “That’s amazing. We’ve never heard of that before.”  

Drew: I love that. So can you just talk about how you go from becoming a marketing and CX guru to being a purveyor of fine tequila?  

Jay: Very slowly and then all at once. So from Arizona originally, I live in Indiana now but I became interested in Agave spirits about 25 years ago, I lived in the Valley of the Sun. And before I had kids every Wednesday, my buddy Tom and I would go to a bar in Scottsdale, and we just get tacos and sit at the bar and the bartender, his name is Steve. And Steve was super into Mezcal long before it became like a bartender’s, Darlene, and really, again, this was 25 years ago. But we were just fascinated by the whole culture and the romance and the different production methods. And we just go every Wednesday, we’re like, alright, church is in session, tell us some things. And we did that for a couple of years. And subsequently, then I just got steadily more interested in and involved in Agave spirits and studied more, and went to Mexico and visited a lot of producers. And then, when I sold my consulting firm a couple years ago, and I stopped recording my podcast, Social Pros. I thought, you know, I’ve got some time now that I didn’t used to have one if I just tried to teach people some of the things that I’ve learned about tequila over the last couple of decades. And so I just made a couple of videos on Instagram and TikTok, and it started slowly, as you would expect, but then very quickly, caught fire. And now we’ve got hundreds of 1000s of people in our audience. And I get recognized in airports every single week. Never for the six or seven books, never for the 30-year history as a CX influencer, only for tequila. And it’s like, man, you should have done this years ago.  

Drew: You are the tequila guy now, that’s amazing.

Jay: For better or worse. Yep. 

Drew: Yes. All right, we are not going to talk about tequila unless it comes up anymore, because we’re gonna move on to your book. This is how small it is, it fits into the palm of your hand. It’s a book lat. And I remember I heard you on Douglas Burdett’s show and why you ended up having to put it in threes, because it’s just too hard to ship these, but we’re gonna skip that. What I want to get to is this series, Career Huddles is about helping CMOs either get to the next level or succeed. And so here, this is a book that feels like it’s a CX thing. So talk about why this concept of the time to win and need for speed is so important. And a possible sort of strategic weapon for CMOs to think about right now.  

Jay: I don’t think this is news to anybody here. Increasingly, CX is marketing. Because any product or service advantage you have, you probably aren’t going to have very long. We’re living in a world that is increasingly interconnected. And it’s very, very difficult to say we have a better mousetrap. And we’re going to continue to have a better mousetrap. And so we have a distinct and unique and defensible service price product advantage, it just doesn’t exist in the way it did when we were younger. Consequently, consumers, B2B, B2C, it doesn’t matter, are increasingly making buying decisions based on the experience more so than the thing itself. And that was sort of the genesis for this whole body of work coming out of the pandemic, our relationship with time has changed. The pandemic taught us a lot of lessons. But I think the thing that reminded us is that we all have 1,440 minutes a day, you can’t make more, you can’t buy more, doesn’t matter who you are, that’s what you get. And I will say this, I believe time is the only resource on this planet that we actually share equally. That being the case, maybe we should pay attention to how we spend those precious minutes. And that’s why people don’t want to go back to the office, they want to work from home. It’s why baseball games are 26 minutes a night shorter now because of the pitch clock, etc. So what we found in the research and all the books that I’ve written have been preceded by very comprehensive research. What we found is that indeed, the thesis is true. People care about time more than ever, and two in three customers say that speed is as important as price. If you’re a CMO. And you believe that two and three customers think that how fast you are, is as important as whatever it is you charge for your product or service. That’s something that I suggest you elevate on your list of priorities inside your organization, because your customers already have.

Drew: It’s sort of the Amazon-ization, if you will, of the world on every level, you go in, you hit a click, boom, you bought something and then sometimes in an hour or two, it shows up. So we’ve just become accustomed as consumers, that we get fast responses, we buy stuff with a click. So from a B2B standpoint, and I don’t know if anything in your research pointed where those moments in time where response time really mattered the most. Let’s dive into that.

Jay: We asked that specifically because I wanted to have an understanding of whether it’s just be fast always or there’s some nuance to that. And the reality is mathematically it’s be fast always. More than two-thirds of customers want you to exceed their expectations around responsiveness at every node of the customer journey. So unfortunately, there really isn’t a place where you can just be like you know what we’ll get around to it when we get around to it. However, to your point Drew, it is most egregiously true that customers value and will reward you for responsiveness in any kind of post-purchase scenario, once they own it, they care more about speed than they do before they bought it. If somebody has a problem, if somebody has a question, that’s when they desperately want you to get a hold of them as quickly as possible. Those of you who have not seen the book may be thinking, why is the book so small, I have written six previous books, all of them in the more classic book style, and I started writing this book, and I’m like, wait a second, I can’t write a full length business book, and ask you to spend five or six hours reading a book about speed. It just seemed like very contradictory to the thesis of the book. So I’m like, look, if the whole idea here is to respect your customers time, that if you give customers time, they’ll give you money. And if you cost customers time, it will cost you money. If we believe that to be true, and I certainly believe it to be true. And the research backs that up, then why don’t we just sort of live that thesis in the book itself? And look, I am mature enough to admit that most people don’t read business books, they skim them, because most business books have a thesis. And then that thesis is repeated nine to 14 times with different examples through the book, like most business books, can be summarized pretty quickly. That’s just the truth. So I thought, why don’t we just cut out the middleman here? Why don’t we just give you a book that’s all meat, no fat. And not to mention the fact I didn’t really understand this until we made the book, people asked me and I should be smarter about introducing it this way. Why is the book called “The Time to Win,” because I believe you have an actual opportunity to use speed and responsiveness as a distinct competitive advantage, this is your time to win. And ironically, the way to win is also about time, everything we talked about here today, and in fact, everything in this book will be hilariously obsolete in three years. Because all the recommendations in this book, all of you will do them, you’re gonna have to, your customers will simply require it of you. Look, I’ve been doing this for 30 years now. And the one piece of the customer experience that never stays still is expectations around speed. What was fast five years ago is commonplace today. I’ve never heard a customer in the totality of my career, say, why don’t you guys just do that more slowly. Nobody’s ever said that, right? It’s always faster, faster. And so all the things that I’m talking about in this book, you’re going to have to do eventually. But if you do them now, while your competition is like, we’re fast enough, we don’t want to spend time on that we’re going to focus on other things, you have a distinct opportunity. And I think it’s about two to two and a half years, where you’re going to have a huge head start and a huge advantage. The data show very clearly how much customers care about this. And I would argue they care more in B2B than in B2C because time is valued more in B2B than in B2C. And so if you do it now, you will be able to really build a fortress around your own culture of responsiveness that will be very difficult for your competition to catch up with. But you’ve got to start now because eventually if you wait until the whole category that you’re in does it simultaneously, you won’t have an actual business advantage, you’ll just be dragged along kicking and screaming.

Drew: Should we get into how, and I know that there are six things that you recommend doing where we can fast-ify the whole organization. So where do you start?

Jay: Well, first, let me say this, I don’t want you to think that my advice is to just be as fast as possible all the time. Because there are scenarios in which you can be too fast. When you’re too fast, it actually reduces trust. So if you need to go in for a hip replacement, and you call the orthopedic surgeon, and you say, “Hey, what are you doing in the next five minutes?” That would be concerning to you, right? It’s too fast. So at some level speed can actually work against you. Many of you are probably familiar with the company Drift, the software company that powers chatbots, Drift intentionally programs a delay into their responses. So if you ask a chatbot something, it’s all AI-powered, right? So it knows the answer immediately. But they put in the fake ellipsis like dot, dot, dot, your customers are like, “Oh, somebody’s really thinking about this answer. Now I trust it.” If it just spits the answer out immediately. It reduces trust. So the same thing happens in all of our businesses, when you’re too fast, it reduces trust. So what you want is the “right now” which is what we call it in the book, which is the perfect amount of elapsed time. It’s like the Goldilocks zone for every customer interaction. And so the way that you find the “right now.” And the first piece of the framework is to perform what we call a Got-It Audit. A Got-It Audit asks you to figure out how long does it take your customers to get it? How long does it take them to get whatever, how long does it take them to get an invoice or to get an appointment set up with your sales team, or to pay a bill or to get delivery or get onboarded? Or to get a question answered, or to get help with a problem? Like, how long do those things take? And that sounds like a really obvious set of questions. But when I ask business leaders like you that question, what I hear often is, well, Jay, usually it takes two days. But sometimes it can be four, and if it’s over a weekend, it’s five. And if the guy who heads the onboarding team is on vacation, it could be as many as eight. That is not data, that is a collection of stories that you’ve chosen to tell yourself, if you’re going to use speed as a competitive advantage. If you’re going to find the right now and use the perfect amount of elapsed time as a way to gain and keep more customers, you have to actually know the number. So you have to actually know the data on this. And then a lot of organizations the only numbers we really track in terms of responsiveness are handle times, how long does it take to actually get a phone call answered or to get a social media post responded to etcetera. That’s the only part but there’s so much more to it. So the first piece of this is to perform the Got-It Audit, to make sure that you actually know what your baseline is so that you can optimize against it. Now that’s going to take a little work, you probably have to talk to some other folks in the organization to get that data, but it is very much worth having. That’s the first piece of the process.  

Drew: Let me ask you a question on that. The CMO and their service department, and the way they support the organization, is this the kind of thing where you should also be thinking about your internal audiences and your response time to them.

Jay: One begets the other. So the same way that you probably heard people like me say that you can’t have a great customer experience, without first having a great employee experience, because one begets the other, they works the same way with speed and responsiveness, it is impossible to be outwardly fast to customers and prospective customers. If you are not first fast internally, between departments, and even intra-departmental, you just can’t do it. And in fact, as a practical matter, and I think you all probably have experienced this in your career. In many cases, the front line or whomever is the first point of contact wants to be faster, wants to be able to provide things more quickly to the customer or the prospect, but can’t because of some internal roadblock, or inertia, or handoff or some kind of drama, that just doesn’t work that fast internally, the only way you can really achieve this time to win, the right now premise, is to make sure that you’re operating with maximum efficiency inside your organization. You know, especially when you cross department lines, that’s where things tend to slow down. The second piece of the framework is to answer before they ask and this one has huge implications for CMOs. The fastest you can possibly be just mathematically is predictive, is to be able to deliver what the customer or prospect needs before she or he knows they need it. I was in Scottsdale not long ago doing a presentation I had some time before, I was at the pool on my Kindle, some fancy resort. I’m just sitting there minding my own business. And the pool attendant comes over and says here’s a strawberry daiquiri. Mr. Bear, you were giving off strawberry daiquiri vibes. You’re right, I was giving us strawberry daiquiri vibes, you’re amazing. That kind of predictive execution is like a magic trick, if you can do that, but so often, we make customers, especially prospective customers work so hard to get the information that we know they need. You probably all have frequently asked questions piece on your website. But I would argue that it’s not nearly comprehensive enough. It’s not updated often enough. It’s not an organic living document in the way that it probably should be. Amazon has this rallying cry, which says we should never have to answer the same question twice. Their thesis is if a customer has a question, we need to answer it and then make that information accessible, so accessible, that no other customer has to seek it from us. It’s just obvious, it’s available on the website or somewhere else. And I love that idea. So the second piece of the framework, which really changes how people perceive your speed is to answer before they ask if I asked each of you to write down the 25 or even 50 questions that customers have most often about your business all of you could do it. But then I’d say great. Now how many of those questions can get answered without customers hauling or using a chat bot or emailing or anything else? And you might look at your list and say seven? And I would say what about the other 18? Why don’t we proactively answer them? So one of the best ways to be perceived as fast is to just understand what customers need, and push it out there so that’s more self serve. And of course, in B2B, we probably all are familiar with this. Many customers, especially younger customers, they don’t want to talk to people. Gartner says that half of all millennial buyers and B2B, half of all millennial buyers, don’t want to talk to a salesperson ever. They want an entirely seller-free experience, they want to add to cart, checkout, right? They want to buy B2B The same way they’re buying socks. And in a lot of cases, we make that incredibly difficult for them.  

Melissa: I think Drew’s connection is still quite slow. So I’m gonna just read the question that he has about the third component, which is respond without answers. So CMOs have a lot of demands on their time from a range of internal audiences and partners. Clearly, they can’t respond to everything they’re asked for in a millisecond. What’s your suggestion here?

Jay: I will say this, third piece, respond without answers, will help you not just in your business, but it will help you in your life. I’ve been doing this now, this technique very consistently, for about two and a half years and it has really improved my relationships, even with my family, with my mailman, with everybody. So what happens typically, somebody needs something from you, I need something from Joy, I need an answer from Joy. And so I send Joy an email, for example, and she doesn’t know the answer, she’s got to go look it up or ask somebody in her company or call accounting or whatever something has to happen for Joy to procure the information that I have requested. Well, what happens today, in almost every case, is that Joy gets my query, and then does the things that need to be done and then provides the information. Don’t do that because the whole time that Joy is getting the info, I am steadily freaking out. If I don’t hear back for let’s say, two days. Here’s the talk track that goes through my head and this is true for all of you. Do I have Joy’s email address wrong? Is it possible that my email to Joy went to spam, that I have a weird attachment, or something? Is Joy, maybe on vacation? But didn’t set out of office? Is Joy mad at me for some reason? Should I follow up this email with a call? Or does that make me seem sad and desperate? This is like the mentality that everybody goes through. So the better approach is, when you get a question of any kind, is to say, Joy, great question, so good, in fact, I gotta look it up, I’m gonna go do that and then I’ll get back to you. Now, this requires you to respond to everybody twice, but the first time, you’re just saying I got it. And the second time you provide what they need. And this has two huge benefits. First, as soon as you say I got it, it takes it off of their mental to-do list and they put it on your mental to-do list. And that changes the psychology dramatically and massively increases, how fast you appear. And then second, is it actually buys you more time to provide what is necessary, because and this is one of the key findings in the research, time to response is more important than time to resolution. Because the psychology change happens at time to response. So if you can just say, I got it, and teach your teams to do this as well. That’s where you get the win.

Drew: Thanks. I’m back and electricity is back. Anyway, we’re back. So their speed response was not terrible. Just happened to be in the middle of a recording session now. But I did hear 95% of what you said. And the key thing that I took away here was internal request. And this is true for Huddles, if we see something on our Slack channel, and there’s a question, even if we don’t know the answer, the key is to say, I hear you, I gotcha, we’ll get back to you. So that at least you’ve set an expectation of something right. And I think that’s probably point number four if you haven’t already talked about that. 

Jay: Yeah. So the fourth piece of the framework is to set speed expectations. What we found in the research is where you get the business advantage is when you exceed customer expectations, around responsiveness. It’s not about raw speed. It’s about being slightly faster than they expect you to be. It’s all about expectation management. The problem is living in a click-a-button and everything will come to your house world, right? In that environment, if you don’t set expectations, customers will expect everything to happen faster than you can deliver it. And this is very true in B2B. It’s gonna take two weeks to onboard somebody, but they don’t know that. They just assume you can onboard them tomorrow. And so this is really important for CMOs to have a handle on is you’ve got to over-communicate how long things are going to take and, importantly, why. You can’t just say 14 days, you have to say 14 days because of this and this, partially because people no longer are just okay with throwing out a number. And partially because when you think about younger B2B buyers, millennials, and certainly Gen Z, they don’t take nothing at face value. You can tell my son, the grass is green and he’ll be like, well tell me more about that. There’s no information on it yet. I believe you just because you said it. That doesn’t work anymore. It’s just a generational fact. So you’ve got to go out of your way to communicate expectations in a way that for us, we never really thought about, communicate those expectations and then buttress that with, why does it take that long, because once you set the expectations, then you can over-deliver on it. In fact, my newsletter last week, which is the Baer Facts, I had a story about my friend who is an airline pilot, he said every time air traffic control tells him how long the delay is going to take, he adds 50%. So if ATC says going to be 10-minute delay, he gets on the intercoms and says, “Uh, this is Captain Mendler, it’s going to be 15 minutes or so sorry”. And then if it happens in 12, oh, good news, it’s only been 12 minutes for taking off. He’s a hero, they absolutely love him. Because again, it’s not about the time, it’s about the expectations. And to win that game is for you to set the expectations. And if you don’t, they will always assume it will happen instantly.

Drew: This is so funny, because I can see the CMO, their heads are spinning because sure they want the speed, they want to promise but they also aren’t the ones necessarily delivering it. So you have to be careful on these promises. But the key thing I heard was not just setting expectations, but explaining them, it’s set and explained so that they understand and can participate. But at the same time I’m thinking about so many of the folks in Huddleland and B2B in general, they have these long, slow sales cycles, they’d love to close the deal in a day, there doesn’t seem to be a reverse here, like you can’t set expectations for speed for your customers to respond, you get to work at their snail pace. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Jay: You can actually. I was having a conversation about this the other day, and it was a professional services firm. And they were saying, you know, a lot of times, we say, Here’s how long it’s going to take. But then the customer doesn’t give us their copy or doesn’t give us their photos, or we can’t get what we need to do our job. And then we get blamed for being slow. The same rules apply, you just have to be super overt, to say to those customers, here’s the day that we need the thing, here are the implications if that doesn’t happen. So what a lot of firms do is they say, “Okay, we need your copy by November 15.” But what they don’t do is say, “We need your copy by November 15. Or you go to the back of the line, and we’ll pick up your project next year.” They don’t explain the ramifications. And then they’re like, “Well, they just didn’t give it to us on time.”

Drew: Once the customer is onboarded, I totally get that, I’m thinking about, it’s six months, we got through the first stage were in the RFP, they called in all the companies then the CEO said wait, we gotta get in another vendor in here to even it out, I have a friend who is the CEO of this company, and that the whole process starts again. And next thing you know, it’s 15 months. And finally, the squeeze is saying, “Okay, I think you’re the winner, but you got to come in 20% Lower.” And I don’t think there’s anything in your book that fights that other than to have been the people that met every single deadline that they said they were going to along the way. So you set a standard of speed and delivery. And that was part of your promise.

Jay: Yeah, I think the way I would maybe work on that and people do it all the time is to say, hey, this pricing is only good for a certain amount of time. And if you’re gonna run us through the wringer, then we’re going to change our price. But some of it’s just a power dynamic, right? If you’ve got more customers than you need, you can play that game. And if you’re like, “I definitely need those customers,” you’re probably going to do their bidding at some level, the power to say no is the greatest marketing attribute you can have.

Drew: Okay, so we’re continuing through your top six ways to develop a time to win program. Number five is to close uncertainty gaps.

Jay: So, people hate waiting more than ever, we established that. The thing that they hate almost as much as waiting is uncertainty. Because uncertainty creates anxiety and anxiety typically keeps people’s money in their pants. We are guilty, especially in B2B, of big uncertainty gaps, uncertainty chasms. And the way I define an uncertainty gap is it’s the difference between what you know about your business and how it works and what the customer knows about your business and how it works. And increasingly, we’ve got to close that down. We live in a culture now where uncertainty gaps are being closed for us all the time, mostly by technology, whether we like it or not. You think about something like transportation – Drew and I are old enough to remember a pre-Uber, pre-Lyft world where you would have to telephone a taxi. And you would say, I need a cab, I’m going to the airport. And they would just say, okay, he’ll be by to getcha. And that was all the information you were allowed to have – when is he coming? No idea. What’s it gonna cost? Won’t tell you. Which of these identical taxis is my taxi? You’re not allowed to know. Massive uncertainty. And now, of course, Uber – you’ve got the icon, you’ve got a headshot, you’ve got a license plate, you’ve got a blood test, right? You’ve got an ancestry.com printout on this guy. You’ve got massive information to the penny what it’s going to cost. And increasingly, that is happening all around us. And so one of the best things you can do is to make sure that customers understand what’s happening along the way. Because it changes how fast they perceive you to be – you’re not any faster, it changes how they perceive you to be. Now, when I owned a global strategy firm, I realized how bad we were at this. So large companies, mostly B2B would pay us a bunch of money to create a marketing strategy, a customer experience strategy. And we would take their money, and we would go into our workshop, virtual company, and we would build the strategy and it would take 75 or 90 days. Internally, we had incredibly detailed project plans. We knew exactly what had to happen every day to hit deadlines. We did this for 13 years, we never missed a deadline. We knew exactly what had to happen. But what I realized now is that there was a huge uncertainty gap, because we were terrible at communicating that fact outwardly to the client. What I realized now that I’ve done this work is that my customers were thinking, did Jay and his team just steal this money? Is there a strategy? Will there ever be a strategy? Do they not need anything from us? How are they possibly just doing this? What are they doing? And now if I had to do it over, I wouldn’t be sending weekly or possibly even daily updates on what’s happening with the project, because it reduces all of that uncertainty. And so you can use this in lots of different parts of your business, certainly presale, also post sale, it will have a material impact on the psychology of your customers and prospects. If you just think, “Okay, what do we know versus what do they know?” And you’ve experienced the power of this in your own life. Recently I had to call AT&T. And they are like, “Okay, we’re going to answer calls in the order that they were received.” And every time I hear that, I think, what was the second choice of how to answer the calls? Was it that or alphabetical – we weren’t sure, but we decided to do order they were received. So we answered calls in the order they were received, we expect your call to be answered in 11 minutes. I think they did it in 10 minutes as I tracked it. And I felt pretty good about that. But if they wouldn’t have said anything, they just said call order they were received, you’re in the queue somewhere, if it was still would have been 10 minutes, that 10 minutes would have felt like an hour, because time moves very slowly, when you don’t know what the end state is. So it’s one of the best things you can do is to close uncertainty gaps, really, throughout your whole business, but certainly around responses.

Drew: As you’re talking about, I’m really thinking about the number one uncertainty gap that CMOs faces is helping their CEOs and boards and investors understand actually how marketing works. And when they get into a rebranding situation, or repositioning, or even a new product launch. There’s all sorts of things that need to happen. And often, particularly a rebranding process, there is a long time where the CMO goes away and comes back. And so I feel like it starts with the interview, where you’re filling in the uncertainty gap of how long it takes to actually build a new marketing program and what that takes, and then communicating to all the stakeholders along the way. And I’m thinking of those sometimes, you know, when you’re taking a survey and says you’re 12% done, so it gives you a sense that you’re moving along. And so there needs to be a similar kind of a thing that marketers use to market marketing internally to fill in that uncertainty gap.

Jay: There’s one key piece of advice in my book “Youtility” to market your marketing. 

Drew: Market it. Okay, now, we’ve gone through these first five ways of setting up your time to win. The last one is super fun, offering a fast pass. Maybe you could share the experience that you had in Vegas, and then let’s talk about how that might apply, what this looks like for B2B.

Jay: It applies to everybody. You’re all going to make so much money on this one, market your marketing but offer a fast pass. So in the research, we discovered that one in four customers will pay as much as 50% more to not wait. You should let them do that. You could give them that opportunity. So, increasingly you see fast passes around us, right? Disney has one called Genie Plus, you pay more you get to go to the front of the line. TSA Pre is a fast pass, Clear is a better fast pass, right? You pay more, you wait less. I was in Vegas and I went to Caesars to do an event. It’s 2:30, check-in time is at four. Come back at four and we’ll give you keys to your room. Meanwhile, lose as much as you can in the casino, or Mr.Baer, we’ve got a new program – if you’d like to give us an additional $30 now, we can give you keys. Would you like to take advantage of that?  And this is the beauty of the fast pass – not everybody is going to want to do that. Not everybody’s going to want to give them $30. But I’m fresh off a cross-continental flight. I’m like, sure, here’s my money. One in four customers will take advantage of this. We should all offer this. The great thing about a fast pass – if you just say, okay, you want to pay us a little bit more. You’re the next customer. You’re the next one to get onboarded. You’re the next one to get the shipment of ball bearings or whatever the deal is. It doesn’t matter. All you’ve got to do is shuffle your customer sequencing. Now what some people say to me is, “Well Jay, okay, I get it. Maybe we can charge the company 20% more to be the next one we serve. Great. But what happens to the one who was next, who’s now second? What do we do about that?” Here’s my advice. You upcharge the fast pass – it’s just pure profit because it’s not going to cost you anything more. Then you go to the person that you have to bump and you say, Hey, I’m terribly sorry. We have an emergency. I know we told you it’s going to be a week, but it’s gonna be two weeks. But we feel terrible. So we’re gonna give you a 5% rebate on your invoice. Is that okay with you? And 95% of the time, they’ll be like, sure, that’s fine. They win in their mentality. You win economically. The fast-pass people win because they wanted immediate service and didn’t think they could get it. And you keep 15% for doing nothing other than shuffling your sequence.  

Drew: I can think of ways of applying fast pass and various aspects of what we do for CMO Huddles. But I’m curious when we talked about this a little bit, I think it’s hard to wrap your mind around fast pass in B2B – let’s say software service firms, consulting firms. I mean, there’s so many, there’s a wide range of them and I just wonder if there’s another example or another way to think about it so that we can help inspire folks, because I totally agree, I mean, there’s such a win here is, particularly when we talked about trying to shorten the sales cycle or shorten the service cycle, right, which is getting them onboard.

Jay: Yeah, that’s it. In the consulting side, I am so mad that I didn’t think about this because I would have been doing this all the time because we only had a fixed number of strategists. And a larger than that number of projects, which is a first-world problem to have. And invariably big companies, like fortune 50 companies will say, hey we need a strategy and we’ll be like “Great, it’s going to be six months, we’re full.” And now I’m like, well, that was ridiculous, why didn’t I say, “Okay, giant company, I’m going to charge you 20% more than we typically would, but you can be next, that would have required literally nothing to do other than me just figuring it out. Then onboarding the same way, especially in SAS, buying is the easy part – implementing is the hard part, getting people to actually use it, and train the trainer, and all that kind of stuff, that’s the hard part. That all takes resources on your site. And so those resources have to be marshaled and organized. And you can only do so many onboardings at a time. You say “Okay, great, thanks for buying this. You want to be onboarded sooner, okay, we’re just going to charge a little bit more in your invoice to be onboarded sooner.” And even on the support side, right? Like, it’s pretty typical to have different support contracts based on – you’ve got phone support versus chat support versus email support. And there’s a different tier of pricing associated with that, that is in a way a fast pass of a certain type.  

Drew: So CMOs have a lot of stress. Your book inspired me to think about how there was a time and a service gap. And so thinking about that in all different ways and how we could do it, because I could just see, the part of the mentality here is “oh, well the CEO sent me an email, do I have to respond like he sent it at 11:30 at night? Do I need to always be on?” How can we do this in a not be always on and yet still have this time to win from an internal management standpoint?  

Jay: Let me take that a couple of ways. One, I’m not suggesting this is easy. I’m suggesting this as necessary – whether you want it to be true or not is immaterial. The fact is, we do care about our time more than we used to. And we will spend money based on how much our time is respected in a way that we didn’t used to. Fundamentally, we now interpret responsiveness as respect. And I would argue that’s more true in B2B than in B2C. As I mentioned earlier, you’re gonna do this. It doesn’t matter whether you want to, it doesn’t matter whether you’re happy about it. All these things we’re talking about, you’re gonna do. And I will also say that it is important to understand. And I’ll just reiterate it – the solution here is not just to be as fast as possible, for a couple of reasons. One, you can be too fast and two – it’s not about speed. It’s about being faster than people expect. It’s about the psychology of responsiveness, more so than actual responsiveness, right? So if you can set expectations and slightly exceed, like my pilot example, right – that’s how you win that game. So a lot of this again, even something like respond without answers. It doesn’t take you any more time to do that, you’re just saying I got it.

Drew: I see that as an important distinction. I also see a lot of folks using auto reply in the off hours, that would be a simple way of saying, “Hey, I’m sleeping, it’s 12:10 to eight in the morning.”  

Jay: With AI, those kinds of auto replies are gonna get a lot smarter, won’t just be sleeping, it’ll be like AI can say “I got it” in a more nuanced and believable way. The neutral news is that, on one hand, technology and AI will continue to increase how fast people think you should be. But also technology will make it easier to be faster anyway without as much effort on your behalf. So I think that part will be a fair fight.

Drew: All right, let’s wrap up with two do’s and one don’t for B2B CMOs applying the Need for Speed framework.  

Jay: So the first do would be I think, to fundamentally understand that this can be a business advantage that customers have already changed their thinking around this, they want you to be faster, and that this can have a material impact on customer acquisition and customer retention. So the first to do is to just understand the research, which you can get at “The Time to Win” I don’t even ask you for an email address, I just want you to have it. Because it really is, I think, the most foundational research ever on this relationship between responsiveness and revenue. And you’ll see the research has a lot of stuff we didn’t get a chance to cover here today to help you understand that this really is a movement in terms of what customers expect and why. Second do I think is I would really start with that idea of the Got-It Audit. If you’re going to build a culture of responsiveness in your organization, which is really what we’re talking about here. You can’t really do that based on anecdote, based on story. You have to work with other people inside your organization to get a better handle on your speed. If you don’t know what’s happening today, you’re not going to be able to be better at it tomorrow. It is true of anything, right? So a don’t is to be disheartened and thinking that you’ve got to do all these things at once. Here’s the good news. Your competition thinks they’re adequately fast. Your competition hasn’t read the research, your competition hasn’t read the book. They just don’t get it. I do believe you’ve got a 24 to 30-month headstart, but you don’t have to do it all at once. So don’t feel like this has to be this massive weight on your shoulders. That’s not what it’s intended to be. But I do think if you chip away at it over the next, say two or three quarters, at the end of that you’re gonna be like, “Wow,” and your competition is gonna say “How did they pull that off?”

Drew: I love it. All right. Well, my big takeaway responsiveness equals respect, responsiveness equals revenue. Thank you, Jay Baer. Where can people find you?  

Jay: You can find me at JayBaer.com or the TimeToWin.com which I put in the chat, which has the research and it’s TequilaJayBaer, Instagram, and TikTok if you’ve got any questions.  

Drew: All right, and are we going to see a Jay Baer tequila brand anytime soon?  

Jay: I actually just came out with single-barrel tequila. We’re working with a brand called Primo. I don’t know that I would do my own brand, just because there’s now almost 2,000 tequila brands.  

Drew: Got it? All right. Well, thank you. To hear more conversations like this one and submit your own questions while we’re live. Join us on the next CMO Huddle Studio. We stream to my LinkedIn profile that’s Drew Neisser Every other week. 

Show Credits

Renegade Marketers Unite is written and directed by Drew Neisser. Hey, that’s me! This show is produced by Melissa Caffrey, Laura Parkyn, Ishar Cuevas, and our B2B podcast partners Share Your Genius. The music is by the amazing Burns Twins and the intro Voice Over is Linda Cornelius. To find the transcripts of all episodes, suggest future guests, or learn more about B2B branding, CMO Huddles, or my CMO coaching service, check out renegade.com. I’m your host, Drew Neisser. And until next time, keep those Renegade thinking caps on and strong!