SPS 218: Portable Stories, Great Case Studies, And Writing Books People Share with Joey Coleman

Posted on Jul 12, 2023

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Home > Blog > Podcast > SPS 218: Portable Stories, Great Case Studies, And Writing Books People Share with Joey Coleman


Chandler Bolt (Host) 00:03

Hey, Chandler Bolt. Here and joining me today is Joey Coleman. Joey helps companies keep their customers and employees. He’s an award-winning speaker and he works with organizations around the world, small and big. He’s worked with brands like Volkswagen, with Zappos, with Whirlpool. He’s the author of the Wall Street Journal Best Seller, Never Lose a Customer again. He’s got a brand new book that just came out. It’s called Never Lose an Employee Again.


Now you may remember Joey back from Episode 54. So way, way back Back in the day old school, that was the old school. So if you want to learn about using a book to raise your speaking fee, he talked about how he’s gotten over, at what that point it’s probably way more now, but over $300,000 in speaking gigs from the book and how to get a six-figure advance. So he broke down the process of getting an advance, of raising your speaking fees, doing speaking, all this stuff. So if you want to learn that stuff Episode 54, if you want to see behind the scenes of his new launch and a check-in on hey, how is the book sold so well since we last spoke, then this is the episode for you, Joey, welcome.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 01:13

Good to have you here. It’s so great to be here. Thanks so much for having me back on the show and thanks to everybody who’s listening in and watching in. So appreciate it. I’m like everybody who I know who listens to you and is in your orbit channel. I’m a big book sky. I’m a books addict. I love all things book related, so being able to come on your show and talk about books and my experience with books is just a true delight. So thanks for having me.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 01:37

Yeah, thanks for being here. Well, let’s dive in with you. Know, why are books such a big part of your brand and in business as a whole? I mean, obviously you’ve got the main one that I feel like has been kind of like a flagstone book, and then now building on that with the second one. But what’s the line behind that?

Joey Coleman (Guest) 01:54

Yeah, I mean, I’ve been a fan of books since I was a kid. I think this idea of being able to grab what someone knows about a topic, a perspective, etc. Condensed into something you can consume in a matter of hours, where they’re taking decades of life experience, is just, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, minute for minute, the best investment you can make. We’ve got over 6,000 books in the house. My wife is an editor and a g(Host)writer. We are addicted to books. My kids are constantly reading books. I’m all about books.


And when I started speaking full time, I had been on stage hundreds and hundreds of times and people would come up to me and say, oh, do you have a book? I want more of what you just said. And at the time my business was structured that there were two ways to work with me. You could hire me for a speech, which was a six figure or a five figure investment, or you could hire me for a consulting engagement, which was a six figure investment. There were a lot of people that wanted to make a two figure investment $20. And so that’s part of the reason we wrote the book. It allowed me to increase my impact, increase my reach, increase the number of companies I could interact with.


And then, once you write one book it’s kind of like getting a tattoo, I think you start. You start to think, well, what if I did another one? What might that look or feel like? And then you write a second one and I’m already thinking about the third one, and you know, things lead on to there. I know some people find bookwriting to be, you know, an incredibly torturous process. Hemingway Esk, I actually love writing books. I find that it hones my thinking, it improves my speaking, it increases my clarity and it allows me to explore things with my mind and with my words. That happens kind of in a playground, a literary playground, if you will. That is just a really fun place to play.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 03:40

That’s cool and I love that. And now I’ve never heard that analogy of the tattoo analogy. I always say it’s like kind of like learning how to ride a ride a bike. Once you know how to do it, you can do just do it again and again and again, and it’s like that muscle memory makes it easier. What new fact did I know about you, with your wife being an editor and g(Host) writer? So I’d love to hear more about that, maybe, like because I would you know, I’d assume that you’re probably more known as the speaker, she’s probably more known as the writer and the editor. And so what have you learned from her that’s helped you write? Almost like incorporate the live feedback from talks into what you called like the literary playground to help you write better books.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 04:24

Yeah, Chandler, if we were to talk about all the things I’ve learned from my wife, we need to do a podcast interview with books.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 04:31

There’s so many things that I’ve learned from books.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 04:34

Well, a couple of thoughts. Number one, I want to be clear. My wife’s also a great speaker in her own right. People ask me all the time Joey, have you done a Ted talk or a Ted X talk? I haven’t, but my wife has. Ok, she’s a rock star of a human being.


But what I really learned from collaborating with her and she has helped me with both the writing and the editing of both of my books is that you want to bring in an editor at different points in the book process and most people in my experience wait too long. They wait too long to bring in an editor and here’s why they think, oh, I’m going to bring in someone to correct my grammar or my spelling, that’s great, that’s a copy editor, that’s important, that’s valuable. You absolutely want that in your book process. But you want someone checking your assumptions as a developmental editor very early on in the process, and that’s the role my wife plays in my books, which actually does both. But where she’s been an absolute godsend is helping me to say all right, I think I generally know where you’re going, but you’re going to want to spend some extra time here. You’re going to want to deepen this a little bit. You know she in full disclosure.


She challenged me hard on this book. When I first told her I wanted to write this book, she’s like, yeah, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I was like, I’m sorry, what? Like honey, normally you’re super supportive of my idea. She’s like you spend 20 years being the customer experience guy. Now you’re going to be the employee experience guy.


I just don’t necessarily get it and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little hurt by that. I was like come on, this is I feel it. I’m excited about this book, but it forced me to hone my thoughts. It forced me to really look in the mirror and see is this a book I want to write or is this a book I need to write? I don’t know about you, Chandler. I know a lot of authors have books that they want to write. I think you’re better served if you find the book you need to write and you go write that one, because that comes through on the page, that comes through in the written word, in the spoken word, in the audio book. You know, that is really what I think moves the dial for somebody experiencing your book, reading your book, listening to your book, and so that’s why I think getting an editor involved sooner rather than sooner rather than later is a good thing.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 06:46

Hmm, so she challenged you on hey, the employee book when you’re the customer guy. What? What do you see? Is the difference between the book that you want to write and the book that you need to write?

Joey Coleman (Guest) 06:59

So I think the difference between the book you want to write is lots of writers are curious people. They’re curious about topics and often I think they write books because they want to scratch an itch. They want to explore a topic, they want to research it, they want to kind of get it in there and mess around with it and come out with their own perspective, their own point of view To your point about riding a bicycle. Once you learn how to do that, you can do that pretty much with any topic. You know you could take a really good writer and say, hey, I want you to write a book about the seashells that you might find on a beach in San Diego and they can put together a book that addresses that. But how many people are looking for a book about the seashells you might find on the beach in San Diego? Not a lot, right? So when I talk about the book you need to write, I’m talking about the book that is going to compel you to be writing every day. The book that is going to compel you to challenge your own thoughts. The book that’s going to compel you to make a statement.


I love that so many books are being written these days. I think it’s great. I think it is good for our society as human beings to have more knowledge being put down on paper, to ideally stand the test of time, or put into the airwaves in an audiobook or put down in digital length on a, you know, a Kindle or a note. The challenge I have with many books and I say this respectfully because I know writing a book is hard, but most books don’t actually have a point of view, they’re just kind of a rehashing of other things you probably read somewhere else. I like to write books and I like to read books that challenge my assumptions. One of my goals for this book was to seed it with a number of sentences and one, liners and paragraphs that made people go what? What is this guy talking about? What this feels different? Yes, because that’s where we get growth, that’s where we get development, that’s where we get the expansion of the human consciousness, as opposed to just reiteration of things we already know.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 08:51

Well, that’s a great point because I mean, I feel like that’s what you did really well with the first book is you wrote you did this a similar thread of like things that jump off the page, and this feels different, right, and I feel like you wrote a really engaging book that people got value out of, but then there was also like shareables, kind of like you’re saying, which I’m assuming kind of the point of some of those quotes and one liners too, is there’s a shock factor, but then there’s also the share factor, and so what can you speak to that Like? What are your tips for people who want to write a compelling, engaging, like better book that is also shareable?

Joey Coleman (Guest) 09:30

Well, when it comes to shareable things, I turned to my good buddy, clay A Baer, who coined this phrase called the Portable Story. And the idea is, if somebody reads your book and they go to a cocktail party and somebody says to him, hey, what are you reading these days? Number one, they’re going to be a remember the title of your book. They’re going to share that. And then if they say, well, what’s it about? They’re going to have one story that they can share that makes that person go oh, I got to read that book. That sounds good. That sounds interesting. So one of the things I try to think about when structuring my books and also doing the research for my books is where am I embedding potential portable stories? Little case studies, little. I’m big on case studies, as you know, chandler, for my first book, my first book, had 46 cases. I think it was the 46 case studies that made the book. This next book has over 50. My goal was to top.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 10:20

I need to have more case studies. Second book right, you know sophomore album you got to have more songs, Exactly, Even bigger, better right More case studies, and this one includes case studies from all seven continents.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 10:31

I think I’m actually the first business book to ever be written that has a case study from all seven continents. But that’s beside the point. The moral of the story here is to create those type of portable stories that you want to talk about, they have to talk about, and to give things, give people the chance to be contrarian. So like, for example, one of the things that I share in the book, that especially HR folks when they hear this. So the new books called Never Lose an Employee Again, it’s all about creating remarkable employee experiences. So a lot of HR folks have kind of read the book already and are looking at preview copies and giving me feedback on it, that kind of thing.


One of the things I say in the book is you should give candidates the questions that you’re going to ask them in the interview in advance of the interview. Now, folks, if you’re just listening, chandler’s got kind of a little bit of a stunned look on his face. He’s like what, why am I going to give the questions to the candidates before the interview? That doesn’t make sense, joey. Well, here’s the thing I like to have the interview and the conversations I’m having with a candidate as closely resemble what their time as an employee is going to look and feel like as possible, and there’s no way I’m sending a brand new employee out to meet with a client without briefing them on who the client is, the type of topics we’re going to talk about, some of the questions they might be asked, some of the answers I hope they give. Why are we creating this fiction with our new employees coming in that like, hey, I’m going to try to snowball you with some questions that you don’t know and let’s see if you rise to the level of being able to answer them. And then we roll out some of the most pathetic, boring questions that are ever asked in an interview, things like tell me about a time where you made a mistake and you figured out a way to make it better. Tell me your greatest strengths and weaknesses. What’s your goal for where you’ll be three years from now? Ok, these are lazy questions, folks, I’m sorry, and if you ask any of these in your interviews, I apologize. But we’ve got to do better. We’ve got to be more interesting, more exciting, Because what I want to see is how does this employee react to things they don’t know.


How does this employee react to the kind of questions that dive a little deeper? Let me give an example. One of my favorite questions that I came across this isn’t mine, I came across in the research, but I feature it in the book is think of your computer at home and all the browsers, the browser tab windows that you have open. What are those on pages of, and why? Tell me about that.


Now, what immediately happens is somebody goes one of two things. Actually, I only have three browser windows open on my computer at home. It’s this one, this one and this one. Other people are going to say, oh my gosh, it’s such a problem. I like have 700 browser windows open at any given time. It’s about this. It’s about this. You learn more about how they think about organization, the consumption of information. Going back to resources, exploring new resources, that question unlocks a ton of things about who that person is as a human being in a way that is going to give you much more insight than me saying so, chandler, tell me how you think. That’s a very difficult question to both ask and answer. Whereas, tell me about the open browser tabs on your computer. Now we’ve got something that we can dig into a little.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 13:44

I like that a lot. You talked about case studies and I didn’t even think about this until you’re saying it, but that is, I feel like in some ways, a secret sauce of yours Just thinking about. I guess I probably should have given this context at the top of the interview. But I think that how never lose a customer again is one of the best books, especially on customer retention. Our customer success team and product team has read a bunch of books on this stuff. This one just rises to the top. We did it as a company book club. Joey was kind of enough to come in and also do some Q&A with the team. The team loves this book. It’s one of our core readings when we hire people on the customer success and product side of the business. It’s an amazing book. Highly recommend it, buy it.


I haven’t read the new one yet, but I’m sure it is just as good and it’s got 10 more case studies. It’s at least 20% better. But I circle back to this case study idea. I didn’t even think about that, but I can remember how you just trickled those throughout. It wasn’t like a lot of times case studies can feel like okay, this is just kind of blooped in there as like I’m so awesome and you should work with me and that sort of thing. It was illustrating a point. Can you teach, maybe? Well, first off, why are case studies so important to you inside the context of a book? And then, how do you do that in a way where they add to the book and not just feel like it’s like an extra thing or a random inclusion?

Joey Coleman (Guest) 15:17

Yeah, no, I appreciate that question, chandler. Here’s the thing Human beings are powered by story. If we think back to cave mandates, when people were huddled around the fire trying to stay warm, we know that they were telling stories. We know this because we’ve seen drawings on the walls of the cave. We can imagine someone doing a presentation. You know? Okay, here’s what the woolly mammoth looks like. Throw the spears at this part of the woolly mammoth.


These were being told, these conversations were being had and people love learning from stories. Why? Because it doesn’t usually feel like you’re learning. Humans love learning. They don’t necessarily love being taught.


The distinction there is if you’re reading and you’re the story and what you’re taking away from it is embedded in the language and in the narrative and the dialogue and the you know kind of arc of the protagonist. It’s going to hit it a very different way. Now, when I think about using case studies in my book and in both of my books. Actually, what I think about is telling stories that are going to move the reader from point A to the point. I want them to go and to think about leading them through an entire book almost as a fiction writer might, of getting them from the beginning of a story to the end of the story. The other thing I do that’s different than some folks and you kind of alluded to this in your question is many, many, many of my case studies. Not all of them, but the great, great majority are about companies I haven’t worked with.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 16:50

Hey Chandler Bolton here. I hope you’re loving this episode so far. It’s time to go from inspiration to implementation. All right, so if you’ve learned something, we want to help you implement what you’ve learned with your book. So what I want you to do right now is go to selfpublishingcom forward, slash schedule book a publishing consultation with one of the experts on my team. We’ll talk about your goals for your book, your dreams, your challenges, your next steps and we’ll start putting together a plan. All right, so go to selfpublishingcom forward, slash schedule book a call with the team. Let’s see how we can help with your book. It’s time to implement.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 17:28

The stories aren’t told to have you go, joey’s great to work with. Some business books are written that way and that’s fine, and those folks kudos to you, you do, you, I’ll do me. My stories are written to make you say I bet we could do that here and I bet we could do that without hiring Joey, because nowhere in this story did it say Joey helped them do this. Joey just shared the story and it’s a story they haven’t heard. One of the things that is very important to me is to not only include examples from Apple and Amazon and Zappos and these are amazing companies, don’t get me wrong. They do incredible things in the customer experience space and in the employee experience space. However, I want a reader to say I’ve never heard of this company, because some small part of their brain will also go, and no one’s ever heard of my company either. So maybe I could do this, maybe I could implement what he’s talking about.


Because, Chandler, I believe there are three types of books. I also believe there are three types of speakers, the same categories. There are books that make you think differently, books that make you feel differently and books that make you act differently. And while I certainly want my readers to think and feel differently, if they don’t act differently, I haven’t earned their investment of time reading my book. So I want my books to be action driving playbooks that make people go.


Yes, this is changing how I think about customer experience, or changing how I think about how I treat my employees. This is changing how I feel about the responsibility I have to the people I serve. But, more importantly, it is calling me forward. It is propelling me to take action and be different tomorrow from who I was today, to do it better, to do it more thoughtfully, to build personal and emotional connection, to take it to the next level, Because that, I think, is how you write a book that’s a perennial seller, that’s as valuable 30 years from now as it was the first day you read it.


You know one of the things that I really love and you mentioned this with your team, and I so appreciate it how I know I did a good job with my first book is when people say to me hey, I’m reading your book again for the fourth time. That to me says you got enough value the first time, that you would be valuable to read it again. That was one of my goals for both books and I’m proud to say we achieved it with the first one. We’ll see what the second one. That’s my hope. I think we’re actually going to get it even better with the second one, but we’ll see what happens over the time.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 19:53

Hmm, that’s really great. I like that. A couple of things I’d pull out of that. I love what you said about the point of a great story or case study in your book is to get people to see themselves in the story and to say, hey, I can do that. It’s really interesting. It reminds me of a speaker trainer that I had one time. He was like if you tell a story in your talk and anybody ever comes up to you after the talk and is like man, that’s a really great story. It was a bad story. But if they come up at the end of the talk and they’re like, oh my gosh, that was totally me when you said that thing, it was totally me. Exactly, that’s a great story. They’ve got to see themselves in the story. I love how you featured that and mentioned that and the originality too, because it’s like we don’t need to hear again how Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 20:44

Yeah, I mean, here’s the thing. I don’t want to denigrate stories that we’ve heard before. The reason they’ve stood the test of time. The reason they continue to be told is because there is a kernel or a nugget that is important for us to learn.


However in the context of business books. We kind of know the stories. We kind of know that Apple cares about design. We kind of know that customers get taken care of its appos. We kind of know that Amazon started out with books and now does everything. Okay, we stop those. Tell me the story that you don’t know. So, like Amazon, canada is one of the featured companies in the book.


Amazon Canada has this really interesting thing that if you’re applying, they give you the option to talk to someone who’s in an affinity group like you. So if you are of a certain race or a certain religion or a certain culture or belief, you can self-select and say let me talk to somebody like me in the organization and as part of the interview process, they put you on the phone or on a zoom call with someone like you. So you can say, hey, I’m concerned. I want to know are there people like me, or the people that believe what I believe, that look like me, that act like me, that think like me, et cetera? That’s part of their process.


Now, most people have never heard that about Amazon. Most people have heard oh, it’s terrible working in their warehouses. They treat their people obnoxiously. Oh, my God, they’re burning through people left and right, but gosh, I still love doing business with them. Give me my prime delivery in an hour. That’s even faster. And it’s like, well, wait a second, what is happening behind the scenes? To me that also leads to portable stories. So if you’re sitting in a cocktail bar or you know, cocktail party in some ways talking about, oh, amazon, you’re like. You know. I learned something funny about Amazon the other day in this book. I was reading what was the book? Oh, it’s called Never Lose an Employee Again and it’s how Amazon does interviews to allow people to see themselves within the organization by interviewing with someone of a similar affinity or similar interest or a similar background or career. Now we’re having a different conversation.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 22:49

That’s really cool, that’s awesome. I want to ask maybe one more question on the first book and ask a couple more questions on the new book, kind of broadly like why do you think the first book Never Lose a Customer Again? Like, why do you think it sold so well and over a lot, it feels like over a long period of time, like it wasn’t just a flash in the pan kind of book, like a lot of books are yeah.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 23:12

Well, first of all, I appreciate the question and I want to acknowledge luck and good fortune. Okay, there are some amazing, amazing books that are written that will never sell more than 200 copies. There are some books that aren’t worth the paper they’re written on that will sell thousands and thousands of copies. Okay, so some of it is just luck, but if I take a little more responsibility, some of it is because of both the way I went into writing the book and what I’ve done since then and since I know we’ve got a lot of folks that are into books, not only writing books, but marketing and selling and promoting books. I’ll share an example of each.


In terms of writing the book, it was really important to me with every book I write. If we’re going to chop down a tree and print this on paper, that tree had to grow for decades before we could chop down the tree Right, 30, 40 years. I want the day my book comes out, to be able to imagine someone, 30, 40, 50 years from now, sitting reading that book and still finding great value.


So, I try to write in a way that is evergreen no pun intended, but the tree’s analogy right Something that is going to stand the test of time and be worthy of the investment that went into printing the ink on the page and buying the book. So I think it’s important to write books that are valuable over time. That involves things like not necessarily mentioning specific platforms or specific tools talking in general about behaviors as opposed to and I recommend you do this Now. If you’re writing a book that’s 10 hacks to get more followers on Instagram, yes, of course you’re going to have to talk about Instagram, but know that it is highly likely that that book is not going to be have any value 30 years from now because the Instagram algorithm is going to have changed so much. So just be clear about the type of book you’re writing. Number two the ongoing sales and promotion. If you want me to be on your podcast and talk about never lose a customer again, I’ll come on your show.


I probably do two or three podcasts a week about my first book that came out five years ago. Why? Because I, as the author, need to keep talking about it. No one on the planet will care more about your book than you do. If you think your publisher is going to care more about it oh my gosh. If you got another thing coming. If you think your editor is going to care more about it oh, you’ve got a new thing coming. If you think your public publicist or your team or your even your readers know you are going to care more about your book than anyone else. So this is why I talk about writing the book you need to write instead of the book you want to write, because I need you to still keep talking about this.


Book. Always blows my mind when you meet an author and they’ve written 30 books and somebody asked him a question about their first book. And I’m sick and tired of talking about that book. Stop that behavior, please. If your reader wants to talk about that book, you put it into the world. You get to keep talking about it. Now you may say, hey, I don’t want the whole conversation to be about this, but you got to give them at least one or two questions. Answer their questions. They invested time to read your book. I always believe that if somebody is willing to invest their time to read my book, I’m willing to invest the time to answer any questions they have about it.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 26:35

That’s cool, I like that. Well, let’s talk about the new book, kind of a great segue on never losing employee again. So I want to talk about the behind the scenes of the launch of this book, but actually maybe before then I’ll back up on title and brand choices. So I mean, when you look at the covers, very similar, obviously, the title very similar. So it’s a play on that brand and kind of tying the brand together and maybe serializing the book in a way. What was the why behind that? And kind of the thought process behind that and turning it from a book to a multi-book brand.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 27:17

Well, I think there’s the process going into it and then there’s the process on the other side. When I wrote the first book, I didn’t know I was going to write the second book. I knew that employees were a part of the customer experience, because he can’t deliver a great customer experience unless you have great employees. Doesn’t work, who’s going to deliver the experience? So I knew that employees were a part of the story, but I wanted the first book to really focus on the customer side. As time went on, after the first book came out, I realized that I couldn’t be saying to these folks hey, go create remarkable customer experiences without also telling them how to get great employees who could deliver those. And so I actually see the books as siblings. I’m not currently seeing them as a whole family or a series, I’m just seeing them as a brother and a sister. That’s it, two siblings One that’s focused externally on the experiences you create for customers, one that’s focused internally on the experience you create for employees. So when it came time to do the title for the book, the cover of the book, the layout, the chapter structure, it made sense to have them feel related. I also realized that in terms of the internal structure of the book. I talked to my first book about the eight phases of the customer journey, and one of the first things I did when I was getting ready to write Never Lose an Employee Again is I took the manuscript from the first book. I did a find and replace for everywhere that I had said customer and replaced it with employee, and then I read the whole book and it worked and I said, okay, I’m on to something Now. Then, to be clear, I erased it. Okay, I didn’t just find and replace in book number two, ready to go. No, I erased that. But I had the structure, I had the outline, I had the flow and I knew it worked. And so to me, that’s why these two books work as companions. I didn’t know I’d be adding the companion book at the beginning, but as soon as I started to play with it and realized that it was a companion book, I was like, okay, I need to make these flow and feed into each other.


The other thing I will say is one of the most interesting pieces of advice I ever got from my friend, ryan Holiday, who’s an amazing writer, is the day my first book came out. I had the pleasure of having lunch with him, which was such a treat to have a meal with one of your favorite authors that’s alive today, the day your book comes out. I could have pinched myself. I was so thrilled. And during that lunch I said to him hey, ryan, what is the secret to selling a book? You’ve sold millions of copies of your books.


Any advice you have for me as a first-time author my book’s been out in the world for a couple hours now what advice do you have? He said, joey, nothing sells a first book like a second book. I said what do you mean by that? He goes if you write a second book, there will be people who read that, who haven’t read your first book, who will go back and read the first one. I was like, all right, that’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought of that before, but it’s true, I’ve done that. I presume you’ve done that. Everybody listening and watching you read a book and you’re like I’m gonna read everything this author’s written. So if there is some ability to tie a through line to what you write, joey writes about experience. I write about customer experience. I write about employee experience. My next book is gonna be about human experience. I write about experience. So that if you are a human who’s into experience, you’re gonna learn a thing or two from my books, or at least that’s my book.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 30:45

And a similar avatar, right. Like I mean, it’s pretty easy in the context of your book to say, all right, I run a company, I’ve read one or the other and never lose a customer again, and then bought it from a whole team and then, okay, now never lose an employee again and buy it for the HR team or the whole leadership team or what.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 31:06

So it’s kind of a couple of things, yeah you’re so right and, if I may, you just hit on one of my biggest sales challenges right now, because that’s exactly what has happened. People who read the first book are like oh my.


God, everybody in the company that needs to read this book never lose a customer again. People who are reading the second book are coming back and going Joey, this is amazing. I only want our head of HR to read it, because if our employees read it, they’ll realize we don’t have that great of an employee experience. Oh, interesting, but here’s the thing I respectfully tell them. The employees already know you don’t have a great experience. They don’t need to read a book to know that you actually want them to read it, because employee experience is not only created by the head of HR. Yeah, employee experience is created by everyone you work with coworkers, colleagues, managers, bosses, direct reports, contract employees, anybody who is in the space, who is part of the team, is contributing to the overall experience. So if you want all of your people to be on the same page, to use the same nomenclature, to kind of approach experience in the same way, I think they should all read the same book, and especially folks who are responsible for managing people.


Because here’s the thing the book talks about eight phases of the employee journey. The fourth phase, in the middle, is the first day on the job, the activate phase, most of the activity that happens before the first day on the job is managed by the HR department. They’re doing the ads, they’re doing the interviews, they’re doing the hiring and the onboarding. They’re getting people on board when you show up for the second day on the job. Who’s responsible for that day? Not usually HR, it’s usually manager, manager. Yeah, so half the book, half the book is devoted to what happens that is under the purview of the manager, not the head of HR. So if your manager doesn’t want to read the whole book, I would pause it. They should, because it will give them contextualization. But if they’re not willing to read the whole book, jump in and just start reading on phase five, the activate phase, what happens on day two when going forward, because that’s where it gets really messy and complicated. But it’s also where all the gold and the possibilities lie of creating long-term engaged, retained employees.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 33:19

That’s cool. That’s cool. I wanna dive into the launch just a little bit before we wrap. I think I saw this. I think you did a dual book launch or like a launch party.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 33:33

We did a dual book launch party right With Michael Hardy senior.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 33:35

Yes, he’s been on the podcast as well. One of the most successful self-published books of all time pretty incredible.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 33:42

Millions of copies self-published in the business space. Unheard of right.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 33:46

Yeah, Pretty incredible. So what was the thought process behind that? You guys I guess both have books launching at the same time similar topics, it seems like. But what was the thought process behind doing a two-author, two-book launch party kind of together, and then any learnings on the other side of things Like were you glad you did it, Not glad you did it? Anything you change?

Joey Coleman (Guest) 34:10

Yeah, well, I’ll lead with the punchline. I was thrilled that we did it. Okay, it was amazing. It happened literally two days ago when we’re recording this. So I’m still feeling the afterglow. But here’s what happened.


Michael Bunga Stainer, amazing writer, amazing human being he reaches out to me. We had actually just met in January in person. We’d both been familiar with each other’s work, but we had never met in person. We meet in January, okay. And he says to me about two weeks after we met hey, I see that your new book, never Lose an Employee Again, is coming out the same day as my book how to Work with Almost Anyone. They’re both about workplace, they’re both about experience. Yours is kind of a more structural, story-based, mine is more of a question-based. You know how to help you navigate and facilitate those relationships. What do you think about doing a joint book launch party? Chandler, he wasn’t at the end of that sentence before I was in. I was like this just sounds fun, this sounds different, it sounds exciting. And he said well, I’m in Toronto. I said, great, let’s do the party in Toronto. Okay, now I live in the United States, I live in Minnesota. I like to call it the Canada of America, right?


So I gel with my Canadian friends. I feel good about Toronto. I’ve got a lot of friends and clients there. A lot of our mutual friends are based there, and so we said great, let’s do it in Toronto. Couple lessons learned. Number one when you bring two authors mailing lists together of their close and personal friends, you get a bigger mass of humans that might be able to come to the party. When those two authors have a Venn diagram where the overlap is about 50% of the invitees, you’ve got really cool energy. Okay, so we, even though we had not met personally, we had dozens and dozens of friends in common. So now we’ve created an event which is going to be a pool for people that are going to be interested in it.


Now I’m going to unpack pieces of this. Hopefully, mbs doesn’t mind that I’m sharing this, but I’m going to unpack it a little bit. We started talking about it and he’s all about the two-hour party in the middle of the week. What do I mean by that? Well, most people are willing to go to a cocktail party or willing to go hang out at a book launch, but they don’t want to get trapped somewhere on a school night or a weeknight for five or six hours. So we said, hey, this party is going to start at six, it’s going to end at eight, at eight or one. Literally we’re kicking you out Like it’s going to be time to go. It’s going to be two hours. You know what’s going to end.


Number two we decided this isn’t going to be a presentation party. This is going to be a party. We did 30 minutes of hors d’oeuvres and drinks. I did 15 minutes of content and facilitation. Michael did 15 minutes of content and facilitation. Then we went back to the party. So you weren’t sitting there listening to somebody read chapters from their books for two hours and things like that, right.


Number three everybody who came to the party got a book free. We thought about oh, do we want to sell books? It’s like I don’t want to sell books to my friends, I want to give them books. They’re coming to the party, it’s a party favor. We signed all the books why People love books signed by the authors. So we pre-signed all of them. And then we also told people hey, if you want to personalize, come up and we’ll personalize it on top of it. But now you’ve got signed copies.


We designed it in a way was to make it an experience, to make it fun, to make it interesting, to make it something that they would enjoy going to. So anybody out there that’s thinking about doing a joint book launch party, here’s what I would recommend Find somebody whose book is similarly vain or topic, so that the people who are coming because we know they’re going to be interested in one topic will necessarily be interested in the other. Find an author whose ideals, whose perspective, whose values you think align with yours, because it’s a lot easier to play in a party with somebody who kind of has the same interest in the same approach than to play in it with some rando and number three. I believe that having some type of a party is necessary. I will tell you to be honest, chandler, I didn’t do this with my first book.


I didn’t have a launch party. The main reason I didn’t is, I told myself well, I don’t know who would come and it feels weird and I’m not even sure I want to do it. I walked out of that launch party like I was on cloud nine. Why? Because producing a book and getting it out into the world is something that so few humans have ever done or will ever do. That it is worthy of your celebration and acknowledgement. And there’s one thing I know about authors and I say this from a place of love we have a tendency to write a book and get to publication and are just like. I just want to be done with this. I’m exhausted.


I’m tired, I’m worn out. Take time to celebrate and mark the milestone of your book is in the world and that, hopefully, you’re going to make an impact. Give yourself that gift. It’s a good.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 38:49

That’s cool, that’s really cool and I mean it’s. That’s a weird thing about being an author is that oftentimes you don’t get to actually unlike a lot of other things you don’t get to actually experience the customer interacting with the product, and not that you totally do at a book launch party, but you at least get to see people with your book and it’s topically about your book and so it kind of feels like OK, this thing that I created and worked for so long, I can actually somewhat see the fruits of that and see it kind of out in the wild, which I think is a really beautiful thing and I just earmarked for folks as well. If you want to double click on book launch parties, check out the episode with Nick Gray. He’s the author of the book the Two Hour Cocktail Party and we went deep on. So it’s funny. It’s like it sounded like I’m smiling.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 39:38

Michael read that book and that’s where he got the idea of the two hour. So now we’ve come full circle.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 39:44

Small world yeah.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 39:45

That book. Then when we were playing in the party, he’s like, hey, we’re doing this two hour. I’d never heard of a two hour cocktail party. I was like, ok, that sounds good, what are we going to do? He’s like, oh, here’s the strike. And just followed the structure to the team that’s outlined in that book, so I love you just reference that episode because yeah, 100 percent, that’s a model.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 40:02

I have to text Nick and tell him if he doesn’t already know. I’m sure he’d love to hear that and I know he’s got a goal of like getting people to (Host) 500 cocktail parties. There’s 500 people to (Host) their first cocktail party, or whatever, so that’s one more. So check it, he’s got one.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 40:16

He’s got one from Joey and Michael and it’s maybe check two for the price of one.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 40:23

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, joey, this has been so great. Man, where can people go to find out more about the book? Like, who’s the book for a fit? For I know we’ve talked about that a little bit, but where can they go to get the book, buy the book, all that good stuff.

Joey Coleman (Guest) 40:37

Yeah. So let me preface this answer with something that I think every author should be thinking about. People consume books in different ways. Some people like the hardback, some people like the ebook, some people like the audiobook. It was really important to me to have the book available in all three formats at launch, and I know that some publishers and some authors have a strategy of well, first introduce the ebook and try to hit some list, and then roll out on demand the print book and then drop the audiobook 30 days later so that you can get another lift. I’m a customer experience guy and my theory was I want my customers to be able to consume my book in whatever way works for them. On the same day, I don’t want to create second class citizens or folks that have to wait for it. So we did that. So the book’s available in all three formats and I narrated the audiobook, so if you’ve enjoyed the sound of my voice, you can hear me narrating. I narrated the first one Never Lose a Customer Again. I narrated the new one Never Lose an Employee Again.


Would love to have you check out the book. It’s available wherever you get books. Friends, go out and support your indie bookstores. Ok, I know we all like going into Barnes Noble and taking photos of the book with the Amazon app and ordering it on Amazon. Ok, and, by the way, barnes Noble knows that too. Go to the indie bookstores. They’re the ones that are creating the opportunity for you to browse around. Create some space. But if you want to buy from Amazon, that’s cool too. I buy from Amazon as well. Wherever you like to buy books, go buy books. If you’re interested in diving deeper into these conversations around experience whether that’s customer or employee with me, best place to find me is either on LinkedIn Just search Joey Coleman and I promise you’ll find me.


The second one is to come to my website, joeycolmancom. That’s J-O-E-Y like a five-year-old or a baby kangaroo, coleman, c-o-l-e-m-a-n. Like the camping equipment, but no relation, joeycolmancom. There you’ll find information about both books, you’ll find videos, you’ll find links to my podcast, which is all about how to create remarkable experiences. So lots of information and content out there for folks to consume. And I’ll just close by saying, chandler, it was an absolute delight being back on the show. I appreciate everything you’re doing to get great books into the world and I thank everybody for listening in. I know we’ve got a lot of authors listening and watching. Keep writing books keep being remarkable. Keep writing books that are going to move people to action and to stand the test of time as evergreen books, because, lord knows, we need more of them.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 43:06

Yeah, I agree, joey. This has been great. Guys, grab a copy of the book, never lose an employee again. That’s the new book. Or grab the book Never lose a customer again. Great books. Check them out, joey. You’re the man Appreciate you. Thanks, chandler, have a good one.

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