Speed Beats Price, Says Marketing Keynote Speaker Jay Baer

marketing keynote speaker Jay Baer

The hardest part of making a purchasing decision usually boils down to the infamous question, “You can have it fast, cheap, or right? Pick two.” 

It’s impossible to achieve all three.

Quality declines when you deliver fast service at a low cost, which is fine for a hamburger and fries, but not a tattoo.

Improve your quality while maintaining your speed, and your costs go up. First-class airline customers get better seats, food, and service, but all passengers still arrive at the same time.

According to New York Times best-selling author and top marketing keynote speaker Jay Baer, who presented the findings of research he conducted on the relationship between responsiveness and revenue, today’s customer wants either fast and cheap or fast and right, but not cheap and right. He's on a 25-city speaking tour talking to small business owners at events hosted by Chase for Business.

Why? Because after losing three years of our lives to the pandemic, it’s clear that tomorrow is not guaranteed. We’ve seen firsthand that time is a finite resource. We can’t make more time. In the post-lockdown economy, there are fewer buyers for cheap and right, and more buyers for fast and right. In fact, 1 in 4 customers will pay as much as 50% more for the same product or service if they don’t have to wait.

There’s a direct relationship between how fast you get your customers what they want and how much revenue you generate. But you have to be able to respond right now. Move too slowly, and you lose business.

Marketing keynote speaker Jay Baer's research on the relationship of responsiveness and revenue

How fast you need to respond varies by industry, product, service, demographic, and type of communication channel. You have to figure out the Goldilocks timeframe for responsiveness. 

Baer calls this “The Right Now.” And based on his research, it’s just slightly faster than your customer expects. If you deliver anything too quickly, customers will be amazed at first. But that amazement will quickly transform into skepticism because the perception is that if you deliver that quickly, it can’t be any good. 

So you can be too fast. Drift, the world’s largest chatbot software company programs a 3-second delay into their response times, even though their technology is capable of responding instantly. People mistrust robo replies, even when they’re chatting with a bot.

The opportunity to outperform in a given market by responding faster is limited to the next two years. After that, artificial intelligence (AI) will mature and everyone will be able to respond quickly.

Baer’s Time to Win Framework

marketing keynote speaker Jay Baer's Time to Win Framework

Baer, who says he's not a futurist because he's more interested in what's happening now, offers six steps to help businesses deliver “the right now” to their customers.

  1. Got It Audit – Audit response times so you know how long it takes to respond to customers. How long does it take for customers to get information, quotes, purchase orders, or help?
  1. Answer Before They Ask – Anticipate and deflect frequently asked questions online. Ask ChatGPT to “write a list of questions customers might ask that aren't answered on this page:” and paste in a URL of your website. Build an FAQ accordion that answers all those questions.
  1. Respond Without Answers – Instead of waiting to reply until you have the whole answer, reach and out and confirm receipt of the question, even if you don’t have the answer, so the customer knows you’re on it.
  1. Set Speed Expectations – Eighty-three percent of our customers expect us to be as fast or faster today than we were before the pandemic. You can’t play the pandemic card anymore, so set your customer’s expectations and then beat those response times, but just slightly.
  1. Close the Uncertainty Gap – When people don’t have information, they become uncertain. Lack of information creates anxiety, so close the gap by providing greater transparency. By giving customer’s visibility over who, what, when, where, and how, apps from companies like Dominos and Uber are closing the uncertainty gap.
  1. Offer a Fast Pass – If a quarter of your customers are willing to pay a 50% premium for immediate service, why not offer a high-priorty service for top-paying customers? It could be your own personal version of TSA Pre-check.

Chase, which saw a huge influx of cash after Silicon Valley Bank failed, threw the event at the San Gabriel Hilton for small business customers with deposits of $1 to $10 million annually stay competitive. Chase bankers Hasmik Kalajyan and Lilit Zakarian say their customers already expect fast response times. The bank brought in Baer to teach the roughly 200 local business owners how to exceed their customers’ need for speed.

Bianca and Paul Anderson of Integrity Turnkey Business Solutions.
Bianca and Paul Anderson of Integrity Turnkey Business Solutions.

Paul and Bianca Anderson of Integrity Turnkey Business Solutions said they intend to begin by implementing the Got It Audit and Fast Pass ideas. Caron Ng of Nu-Set, which sells door locks, came specifically to hear Jay Baer present his research findings and said she was particularly interested in trying out the Time to Reply software he plugged in his presentation.

Chase bankers Hasmik Kalajyan and Lilit Zakarian.
Chase bankers Hasmik Kalajyan and Lilit Zakarian.

As Baer puts it, “If you give your customers time, they will give you money. But if you cost your customers time, it will cost you money.” Put Baer’s framework into action to convert responsiveness into revenue – right now.