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Mar 8, 2018

On today’s episode of Just the Tips, Dean and I welcome a true entrepreneur, someone who has been building businesses literally since she was a kid. When she was just 5 or 6 years old, Sheri Fitts looked at the empty glass baby food jars that her younger brothers were feeding from and saw opportunity. She cleaned them out, put some rose petals and water in them, and began taking them around the neighborhood, selling rose-petal perfume. But that’s just the beginning of Sheri’s story. Now she’s a sought-after speaker in the financial services industry, an expert in marketing financial services, and has twice been named one of the 100 top influencers in the retirement planning industry. This is someone who has been an entrepreneur her entire life, and the insight she shares on today’s episode of Just the Tips will blow your mind.

Early adoption put Sheri ahead of the pack

Going from working in financial services to specializing in digital marketing seemed like quite a leap, so I asked Sheri how she got started down the path she’s on now. And it turns out, thanks to her father’s work as a computer programmer, she’s always been an early adopter of technology. So early on, when she took on a marketing role, she taught herself PageMaker so she could excel at design. And she began email marketing before email marketing was even a term entrepreneurs used. It’s that willingness to dive into what’s coming next that has made Sheri so successful, and her company ShoeFitts Marketing, such a prominent player in financial services marketing.

Want to connect with your customers? Be vulnerable.

One of the biggest differentiators for any successful company is creating a great customer or client experience that connects with people in a genuine way. Sheri is the real deal when it comes to branding and customer experience, so I asked her what’s working effectively right now to create that connection. And for Sheri, it really comes down to authenticity and vulnerability. The more “real” you are in your business life, the more people will feel that and connect with it. That’s a tricky thing to do, of course, but Sheri provides a crystal clear, real-life example of a company that is doing just that, and is growing very quickly, and is just about to announce that’s it’s been purchased. If being authentic in a business setting has been a struggle for you, you have to listen to this week’s Just the Tips.

Customer experience is as important as customer acquisition

This is a topic near and dear to Dean’s heart. As he says in this episode, businesses spend so much time and money on new customer acquisition, but don’t focus enough on the happiness (and retention) of current customers. As he says, customer acquisition can be the most costly part of any business, but if you’re able to turn your current customers into lifelong fans just by doing something small, or going beyond what you promised, that becomes incredibly cost effective. As Sheri says, if you do a little bit of work after the sale, it can go a long way. She and Dean are on the same page with this one, and I do my best to disrupt the chemistry, but even I have to admit they’re onto something.

Connect with your audience: Make them feel significant

As Tony Robbins says, the number one need people have is to feel significant. And as Sheri says on this week’s episode of Just the Tips: “The people who understand there is no line between business and the personal are the ones who will be successful.” This episode may be a bit of a lovefest between Sheri and Dean, who are of one mind when it comes to making a great customer experience, but it’s also full of tips for how to create that experience. You won’t want to miss it.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:35] Sheri’s origin story
  • [9:00] How can companies connect with their audience?
  • [10:10] An example of a company being real
  • [15:34] Keeping your current customers
  • [18:35] Simple ways to improve the customer experience
  • [24:43] No line between business and the personal

Resources Mentioned

Music for “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Connect With James and Dean

James P. Friel:

Dean Holland: