‘Talk Triggers’ can help shake up your business (Biz & Books review) | nnbw.com

‘Talk Triggers’ can help shake up your business (Biz & Books review)

Terri Schlichenmeyer
Special to the NNBV
"Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth"

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The book: “Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth”

The author: Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin

The details: c. 2018, Penguin Portfolio, 256 pages, $27 U.S.

Buy online: amzn.to/2Qr9L8I

Blah, blah, blah. Sadly, that describes your business. Nothing has changed in decades and so it’s time for something new.

You’d like to shake things up but the budget is limited and you don’t know what to say. That’s fine: in “Talk Triggers” by Jay Baer & Daniel Lemin, you’ll learn that actions speak louder anyway.

Ask five people in your office for lunch ideas, and you’ll hear raves.

This restaurant has the best (fill-in-the-blank). The staff makes that restaurant a fun place to eat. Free drinks are available at another. By giving these recommendations, your staff has noticed what Baer & Lemin call “talk triggers,” or differentiators that create word-of-mouth buzz.

Talk triggers are “built-in,” say the authors, but they don’t come naturally. You get them by utilizing what truly sets your business apart from competitors; or by creating a thing or reliable, consistent event that does. Remember, “same is lame”; if your competition can also lay claim to your boasts, then you need something else that makes you stand out, something that’s not “a stunt or a campaign or a slogan.” Make it “you,” thereby giving people reason to talk, blog, or post about you.

To better pinpoint talk triggers, Baer & Lemin offer their “4-5-6 system,” starting with the four talk trigger criteria. Be remarkable, and don’t conform. Be relevant, and make sure your differentiator actually relates your business. Be reasonable; you’re not Oprah. And be repeatable, by being ready to keep your talk trigger for awhile.

Know the five “types of talk triggers” and why your goal should be to use them in every customer contact. Teach them to your employees. Link them back to the four talk trigger criteria, and then take the six “steps to creating talk triggers.” Finally, preserve your work and your word-of-mouth momentum by knowing how to spot a formerly-successful talk trigger in fail-mode. It happens, and there are things you can do about it.

Beware of where you are when you start reading “Talk Triggers.” One strong breeze, and this dry-as-the-Sahara book might turn to dust.

Indeed, despite the adorableness of the cover, it’s not a whole lot of fun to read.

Then again, if you didn’t come strictly for fun, here’s your book.

Authors Jay Baer & Daniel Lemin offer many, many case studies to nicely illustrate how to make people rave about your business by being slightly, smartly outrageous on a long-term basis. The best thing is that the companies they profile aren’t the same ones you see in other books of this kind; instead, you’ll read about uncommon businesses that strongly, specifically exemplify the authors’ talk trigger methodology. Most delightfully, the authors implement their own advice, offering website freebies and a brazen back-cover offer that’ll leave you speechless.

And yet, it isn’t for everyone. Remember, this book is on the dry side. It’ll cost to get free advertising, and it’s not free of work. Go into it with that in mind, though, and you’ll find “Talk Triggers” to be more than just blah.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is the reviewer behind “The Bookworm Sez,” a self-syndicated book review column published in more than 260 newspapers and magazines in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. She can be reached for feedback, ideas and links to reviews of books on a broad range topics at http://www.bookwormsez.com.