Episode 84 – Single Serving Customer or the 3rd Door?

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Today, I will give you some examples of something that I love! It is a technique known as the Single-Serving Customer or the Third Door. 

The concept comes from a movie called Fight Club about twenty years ago, with Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. In the movie, Edward Norton was a defeated soul in a corporate job who spent a lot of time flying across the US to customer meetings. After meeting Brad Pitt on a flight, Edward Norton says to himself: “You are the most interesting single-serving friend I ever met.” That was an excellent way to describe the kind of person we tend to strike up a conversation with on a plane. They feel like our best friends at the time, but we never see them again.

Thinking about that, I realized that it also applies to what often happens to us in the corporate world. You meet someone and get excited because they feel like your best friend. But after getting them as a customer, you never contact them again. That is the concept of the Single-Serving Customer.

A while ago, I read a book called The Third Door by Alex Banayan. The author describes how he hacked his way onto the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right while he was a college student. Even though he knew nobody when he started, he applied the core concept of his book. That can also be applied to sales, business, or life in general. The result for Alex Banayan was that he went from being a college student to interviewing people like Pitbull and Lady Gaga, then Warren Buffett, and finally, getting his pinnacle interview with Bill Gates!

The Third Door means that there are essentially three ways in which you can get into a club:

  1. You can stand out front and wait in line with everybody else to get in.
  2. You can pay big money for VIP access.
  3. You can get in with the third door, which is the door at the back club where you know someone. You walk right in, get a table, and get served.

The club could represent your customers, a network, or influencers with whom you would like to connect.  

The concept of the book, The Third Door, is about scaling. It clarifies how getting deep with your relationships and helping other people will allow you to open that third door without having to wait in line or pay lots of money. That concept can be applied to sales and influence if you look at it at scale. 

As a result of automation, tech tools, and AI, many people tend to look at a single-serving example to get new customers. They also try to leverage things at scale without the perspective of having an individualized and deep relationship. When you apply the concept of the third door, you will start to see some crazy results!

Here is a tangible example of how I applied the concept of the third door with my customers:

We focused on a secondary sales process for a SAAS company worth about $6 500 000 in revenue. (Once you get someone as a customer, you need a secondary sales process to get them to upsell and expand.) The company was transitioning someone from training to sales. That person spent only 25% of their time on sales over the following two months, and their results were between 300 and 400% return on positive reviews. (Social proof.) They also got tons of feedback on what was and was not working well in their market, and they were on track with 200-300% of the revenue from existing customers in the previous year. 

Most companies are unenthusiastic about creating a secondary sales process. That is not good enough because they spent a lot of time acquiring those customers, and it costs seven times as much to acquire a customer as it does to get additional business from existing customers. So, once they get that customer, they do not have a specific sales process to continue serving them and expand the amount they spend. 

Some companies are so focused on doubling or tripling their revenue that they fail to notice the gold and diamonds that they have sitting right there in their customer base of people they love. Yet they are chasing someone else.  

Do not have your customer be your single-serving friend. Serve that customer and continue to serve them. Put in your secondary sales process to bust open that third door to multiple companies and customers that are like your existing customers by continuing to upsell and expand. You can create a warm lead machine from scaling referral systems.

Implement a secondary sales process, and you will see massive results! Just by doing just this one thing, you can either double your sales or double your revenue in twelve months. You will have more fulfilled customers and get tons of feedback. 

Links and resources:

Books mentioned:

The Third Door by Alex Banayan