Talk triggers spark conversation, generate sales

March 21, 2019 By    


The Cheesecake Factory’s menu is 5,940 words long. The length of the menu has generated so much chatter among friends and in social media that the company only spends 0.20 percent on advertising. Its largest competitor spends $268 million more per year for advertising.

Cheesecake Factory customers are the sales generators. Customers tell their friends about the menu, which creates even more customers. Authors Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin refer to the Cheesecake Factory phenomenon as a “talk trigger” in their book “Talk Triggers.” According to Baer and Lemin, a talk trigger must be remarkable, relevant, reasonable and repeatable.

DoubleTree by Hilton offers each guest a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in. DoubleTree gives away more than 75,000 cookies a day as a remarkable, relevant, reasonable and repeatable symbol of its warm welcome.

When businesses compete, they tend to copy what they see others doing. But who wants to be like everyone else? Creating a talk trigger for your organization is not a publicity stunt or a single event but a consistent differentiator worthy of a remark.

For example, plumber Nick Huckson, the owner of The Sault’s Plumber in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, created a talk trigger by painting the image of a man sitting on a toilet from the waist down on the driver’s door of his vehicle. The driver in the cab completes the upper half of the image.

An effective talk trigger creates conversations among potential customers. Be remarkable.

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