Search Interviews:

Khalid Saleh  3:18  

I do I do. Oh gosh, you take me back to 2005. So just kind of to set the stage. I’ve lived most of my life in fairly warm climates. Prior to Chicago, I was in Texas and I had and this is diverting a little bit but I was graduating from college I had an interview in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they fly me out, never seen snow my whole life mind you survived, you know, for how many years without snow. It was December, I’m running late to the interview. I opened my car, there’s snow on, you know, on the sidewalk. I don’t know how to deal with snow didn’t really know that you can slip when you run. So I’m like trying to catch the interview. I’m running. And I take a tumble. I mean, I just flew in the air landed. And I’m like, Oh my God, that hurts. I got up, clean my suit up and you know fresh pressure grad from college. And I look at them and I’m like, I will never live in the city. Like what do you mean? I’m like, I mean, I can do the interview. But I will not accept the job offer. I’m like, You can’t do that. I’m like, Yeah, I can. I just did. Of course, as fate would have it, I end up spending now a good chunk of my life between Michigan and between Detroit and Chicago. So, in 2005, I was a software architect and I got this dream position. I was still based in Houston, Motorola, building, their e commerce website. They want to revamp the website and they’re like, oh, gosh, you know, we haven’t really caught up on this e commerce thing. And I think it’s here to stay They hired the consulting company I was working for. They bring us on in October. And they basically said, here’s an open checkbook, let’s build this ecommerce website. And we want to release it by the end of the year. Now, if it’s a small e commerce website that you can do within three months, but as Motorola, correct, I mean, you talk about all the bells and whistles, and like, you know, that you want to put in a website. The cost for the software was $35 million, the cost for the servers were $15 million. Imagine that in three months. And for me, it was sort of a dream come true. Because I’m software architects, you know, I got to whatever technology we wanted to use, they were like, good, just go ahead and use it. Is this going to help us build a better website? Of course it will. So endless, endless nights work in downtown Chicago. I call that period and McDonald’s period, because I would finish work at 1130 or 12. o’clock didn’t really know Chicago, I go out, and the only thing that’s open is McDonald’s for there was a period of a month, where I just stayed downtown Chicago, and I just ate McDonald’s. That was the one meal a day oh, gosh, like, you know, it does things to you. Long story short, it’s three months. And we built the website, the 120. Engineers, I was one of three architects actually on the project. So we built the website, we are super excited. And I just like many people, I would read different business books whenever I had time. That’s how I look, you know, that’s my hobby. And I start thinking to myself, I’m like, Wow, man, they’ve invested a ton of money, are they going to have enough people coming to the website? That was the question, I tried to bring that up in cold meetings. And I think I had the looks, looks from the marketing team, like listen guy, you’re the software guy, just build the website, on your land. That’s exactly what it is. We go live. And they had so much traffic that our beefy Sun Microsystems servers went down within couple of hours. That’s how much traffic they had. So yeah, what I worried about when it comes to traffic was really a non issue. So we’re super excited, traffic is coming, bring the servers backup traffic is coming people coming to the website. About a week later, we start hearing some rumblings that there’s something wrong, but we don’t know what it is. And then we start digging through the data, and they’re not getting orders. For that first month, they must have gotten about 10 orders for the $50 million investments. And I was a software guy didn’t really impact me, we had finished the project. But things basically had changed on Motorola after we spent so much money, and you have nothing to show for. So I would say some people lost their jobs. And some people like me thought, Oh, well, this is this is an interesting problem. I wonder if other companies face the same issue, struggle have the same struggle that Motorola faced. And that’s really how the idea of invest was was born kind of early 2006. So you were thinking,

Jeremy Weisz  8:08  

we built this amazing infrastructure and system, but it didn’t convert.

Khalid Saleh  8:14  

Basically, basically, people people were coming. There was no, it was not due to the lack of traffic, not due to the lack of people coming to the website. But people were coming browsing and browsing, browsing and then leaving. And ultimately, if you created websites, the ultimate goal is like, Okay, well, it’s great that they’re browsing our website, and they recognize the brand. But I want money in the bank, I want those orders. I want that revenue, and especially back in 2005 2006. If you think about it, you know, there were more and more ecommerce companies coming online every day, and they were doing really well. So when you see such a huge investments, and nothing to show for Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s these like, No, put some questions in your head. And look, I wonder if this is a serious problem. And how many of those ecommerce companies are struggling with this issue?

Jeremy Weisz  9:02  

You know, call it I wanted to, to pull up your site and walk through a few things because you just think and everyone listens to your content, you some some great videos online, just going deeper in that customer journey. And we’ll walk through some of those and how you think, but I figured the best way to start the conversation is through your website. And because when you look at your website, and people can check it out if you’re listening is invest That’s what we’re looking at. From the video. You can see there’s some differences between your site and when you go to a site and I’ve heard you talk about there’s a rhyme and a reason to what you did here. So I’ll just have you walk me through what what we’re looking at and what some of the rationale is.

Khalid Saleh  9:48  

So it’s interesting because this is kind of an evolution of the websites and compared to how it was a year ago so about a year ago, we had our website and we were always revamping our website. it. And as we look at it, we start noticing that people come in, they don’t scroll, they don’t click, you know, and and the goal ultimately is even for us is to have conversions, we want people to come to the website and say, You know what, oh, this is a really cool website, I want to contact those guys. So we revamped it completely. So every business owner that comes and talk to us, usually they say, Hey, can you help us improve conversion rates? Well, as we dig deeper to say, Well, okay, so everybody complains about their conversion rates. But let’s dig a little bit deeper. And what are you truly, really trying to accomplish over here. I was talking to a company based in DC. And I got introduced to them through a VC, a venture capital company that invests in them. And almost every year, around October, November, I’ll fly out to DC have dinner with them really, like establish a good friendship with them. And every year, I’m thinking to myself, Oh, they are going to become a client, and they don’t become a client. And I’m like, What’s going on here? We’re kind of the best at conversion optimization, and they’re not signing that contract. So I’m talking to Kayla McHale, what’s going on? Can we just have a conversation, this is the third year in a row, where I fly in, we have a good conversation, and then nothing happens. And he’s like, you know, what’s called? Let me tell you, when you’re flying over here, basically, you have to understand I’m not thinking about conversion.

So I’m talking to Kyle, I’m looking at what’s going on here. Every year, we have the same conversation. Are you considering other conversion optimization agencies, I mean, let’s just have a very transparent conversation. And he just laughed. He said, Khalid, when you fly over here, every year, I have to consider what are the new initiatives that I’m going to be doing, that are going to help me increase my revenue by five 10%. The fact that you’re here, it’s means you are the company that if I’m going to improve conversion rates, so you are the company that I’m going to hire. But you have to understand I’m looking at 10 initiatives, and looking at hiring a company that does translation for our website, I’m looking at sending snail mail, pieces, like you know, like regular, like one of those paper mails that we all receive and just throw away. And you are one of the options. And I just sat there, as he said that and I’m like, wow, I’ve always thought that we get hired to improve conversion rates, we don’t really get hired to improve conversion rates. What people say is, yeah, help us improve conversion rates, but what they are really saying, they want you to come and help us grow our business. And if you had told me about our competitors, I would have told ya, we compete with, you know, other conversion rate optimization companies, but in the mind of my customer, actually competing with the mail that you receive in your mailbox, and I’ve competed with a translation company. And I would not if you had asked me to list 10 companies that I compete with, or 10 different industries, I would not have mentioned those. And thus you see over here, you know, we’ve been expecting the idea is really, we want to speak to away from kind of the typical very formal business b2b, where we say, Hey, we’ve been expecting you, just like a friend. And hitting really very clear on the thing that we do, it’s time to grow your business. So that’s one thing that we do. Now, this is what I call kind of an emotional headline, correct? Where people say, Oh, I can connect with this. This is exactly why I want to come to those people. But it’s not enough to use emotions. Because sometimes people use emotions, and you look at them, and you say, I have no clue what you do, my friend. Sometimes I look at, we got hired by this enterprise software company. And I was looking at their website, and I kept on looking at their websites. And then I was talking to their VP of marketing. I told her, you know, it’s really nice that you want to hire us, but I have no clue what you guys do. And I actually even went on LinkedIn, trying to understand the kind of software and you’re just using such very fluffy emotional language that I don’t know what you do. So that’s reason you always want to anchor the emotion and the functionality serious about growing your business. Improving conversion rates is the single best investment you can make. So we’re telling them right away here’s what we what we do. So right away, we use emotions. We anchor that with functionality. People recognize that Oh, wow. Yeah, okay. This is what I would hire people. And if you notice, just our sub sub headline, right that kind of the second headline there, why do people hire us? And we’re also careful about what how we chose this because lots of times when you’re b2b People think oh, you know Yeah, why do companies? I’m like, no, no, we get hired by people. People make decisions emotionally. And then they justify logically. And then we use again looking. So why do people hire us? We’re using kind of that language, but we’re very clear conversion optimization, user experience, design, training, education, user research. People say, Yeah, this is what I’m looking for. Correct. We’re trying to use the terminology that the typical companies basically say, Yeah, this is what I’m looking for. So we’ve hit on the problem that people say I by the I end up with this problem, then we told them, yeah, you know, people hire us to do this. The next question that people have is like, Well, yeah, but do you really have experience. And that’s, you know, what you see over here, our clients come in all shapes and sizes, where we said, You know what, let’s go ahead and put some clients get that, you know, social proof to show people the different companies that we work with, and the results that we achieve. So as you highlight different companies, you’ll see the different results. Jeremy, let me ask you this. What I see a problem here, by the way, which we are planning to test out, but what do you think the problem with something like this is, as you see those logos, as you see those names?

Jeremy Weisz  16:13  

Why me mean, I mentioned in the front of the interview, it may alienate a smaller company. You know, I didn’t mention the front, like, you’ve worked these big companies, and you also work with startups. So I don’t know if that’s what you’re referring to. But like, if there’s a smaller company, it’s not like eBay. They may be like, well, they only work with larger companies. I don’t know if that’s what that’s what this makes me think of,

Khalid Saleh  16:35  

yeah, you hit the nail on its head, where when I look at this, if somebody is coming in, let’s say they’re doing couple million dollars, or $10 million, they look at this, and they’re like, oh, gosh, those guys must be expensive, correct. It’s like when I go to a SAS website, and I click on pricing, and they don’t show me pricing, contact our sales guy, and I’m like, Oh, God, if I’m going to contact sales guy, you must be expensive. It’s funny, because I subscribe to this one services, like 50 bucks a month, and they’re like, Oh, you have to talk to our sales guy. And I jumped on the call with the sales guy, I knew their price before. And I’m like, Dude, I don’t know how you guys make money. But it also month is not worth me and you having a conversation. Maybe like, you know, like, if you’re charging, like $5,000 a month, we need to have a conversation. But the idea over here is to show some logos and some results. Now, again, we wanted to lend credibility. And we said, Okay, we have the big name companies. So as you see over here, they were not sure if we can help them because they thought they were small. But then when they saw the results, so again, now we’re hitting for the smaller companies to say, Hey, we’ve achieved results. And I’m thinking about the mind of the visitor of this, who’s coming to the website, and my idea there is to show them the results that we achieved, the companies that we achieved, because there’s really, when you’re hiring a consulting company, when when you’re hiring an agency you’re always wearing, you know, are they going to be able to deliver results for me? Or are they just a fly by night operation, and they’re just gonna take my money and run away with it. So if you see that’s those three sections, either the next section, where we have videos from companies that we worked with video testimonials are very powerful. I know Jeff Cohen, by the way, oh, Jeff, like, you know, was kind of like early on, was funny, because we have not done videos in a long time. And now we’re back to doing videos. And I’m sorry, there’s this one company. I know I’m connected to them on LinkedIn to the founder, where they do on site video testimonials. And I’m like, I need to find out that’s actually one of my to do’s for today. I don’t think I need to send videos because anybody can claim correct, they can put a case study together and then think about the visitors like is this real is not real, versus you put it out there with the with your own with a customer that we worked with the client that we worked with, and have them describe the work that we’ve done and the results that we’ve we’ve delivered. So that’s kind of the idea over here, kind of showing all these different videos that we have really lending credibility again, Jeff is

Jeremy Weisz  19:03  

with Amazon now. So maybe you need to start working on Amazon and redo that and do another case story. Oh, damn.

Khalid Saleh  19:13  

So as you see like an old now now it’s like an a kind of flick the dish Jeremy’s in Wisconsin. And then again, we’re trying to move to the kind of typical b2b is very formal. And what I’m trying to do with the website, and we’re trying to do with the copy is to say, You know what, here’s our story. Here’s the human, the or the humans behind investment. Here’s the kind of work that we do. So you see that investment story. And it’s interesting, because when we look at heatmap data, people highlight this section, where we say, okay, yeah, like, you know, this is really cool. People actually spent the time to read it. Again, if you notice, like now go from a lot of guessing, and scattered testing to big results, time and time again. So we’re hitting that because lots of the companies that we talked to struggle they have tried AV testing looking forward Just getting random things to say, You know what, we are going to deliver big results. So here’s what we are going to do for you. We spent a lot of time kind of working through the copy to say, You know what, okay, yeah, here are the pains that people have. And as you see over here, now, again, the team, you know, we’re showing the team design. And this is probably like an older version looking up, because we’re constantly expanding the team, kind of one of the biggest pains that we have is hiring the right the right talent. So that’s kind of in a nutshell, the website, we can spend, probably call our website,

Jeremy Weisz  20:30  

one thing and I want two questions on that. One is, I’m going to get back to the about page. And I don’t know, you know, typically, I’ve heard it’s whatever the second most visited page on the website, but you can see the your navigations on the left side, as opposed across the top. And I’m wondering if there’s a reason for that.

Khalid Saleh  20:50

We used to have, it’s on the top. But what we found, and we’ve tested this quite a bit where we found the side navigation that you have over here, primary navigation, the home about services on the side works better for us. So I can see that this works better for investment in this audience. But then you have the secondary navigation, the services, the software and the education, correct that secondary navigation because we have the services, and everybody comes to us for the services. But then when we looked at we said, Okay, we have the software, which is now is even a separate entity. But still there’s kind of our sister, the sister company, and we’re like, we need to drive people there. And we launched our educational course. And we’re like, Hey, how can we get people there? So this is main navigation. So this style of navigation, we’ve tested that works a lot better than the,

Jeremy Weisz  21:37  

you know, yeah, I mean, people kind of pick their chooser adventure here. And I just want to point out, you know, I opened up the about page, what I like about your about page, it’s really interesting, I don’t know if I’ve seen this anywhere else. But when you scroll down, you have these navigations here, so you have the about us. And then you have our story, which I love because you kind of have a nice timeline here. And then our team and our clients, so you kind of have this navigation within the about page that I think is really interesting.

Khalid Saleh  22:08  

Yeah, lots of times people have this as a drop down in the in the top header, as you see over here, we go into the top header, but they have it and we said, You know what, let’s, if somebody is coming in, let’s put it inside the page. And let’s kind of drive them to click to different sections. So we’re like, you know, kind of crafting, really the user journey inside of our website to say, you know, here’s what I want you to click on next. And here’s something else because you’ll be interested to learn about the story and the the team and the clients. So let’s just put it all there.

Jeremy Weisz  22:39  

I think, you know, for any businesses instructive college, you know, the way you thought about this is you mapped out kind of inside, what is the customer user thinking along this journey. And this is what you’re answering, and you’re answering in their words, right. And that from that story of time to grow your business, you’re not talking about, you know, changing a button or you know, that conversion rate you’re talking about what’s the main result that they want from using you and then that kind of goes through. So I wouldn’t, I would encourage anyone, check out invest Just Just look at what they’re doing here and mapping out the customer journey journey and using their customers words. And I know you’re a big proponent of really talking and digging deep with a customer and I don’t know, your next book, I thought of the title of your next book, I don’t know if you will come up with your next book. But when I’ve researched you, it’s really you’re humbled by the customer. And even though you’ve been doing this many, many decades, you’re not hiding your horse, like you’re always looking at it from being humbled by the customer and and just doing deep research on it. Because most people in your position may be like, You know what, I kind of already know, I’ve been doing this for so long. I kind of already know, right? And you are humbled by the customer. And I want to talk about the emotional research and some of the emotional triggers that you’ve seen when you’re doing research these companies why people buy Yeah, and and I want to give you good you give a few examples, but I often don’t laugh out loud when I’m doing research for these but you said something in one of your talks. I don’t know you don’t know what I’m gonna say right now. But you know, the saying is always Why do you buy a drill? Right? Oh yeah. Because you’re not buying a drill you’re buying a hole. But when you talk about it and this hit home you’re not buying a hole you’re buying How do I put this nicely out appeasing your nagging wife. I mean, I’d like that is totally true. That is why I’m buying that drill. Or I’ll hire you to come over and do the jail because I I am not handy. But talk about the emotional research and what you’ve found. Because even though you’ve had you’ve had, you have, which, if you’re looking at the screen, take PI right here, FYI,, which is a software I’ve heard you talk about you will watch over someone’s shoulder, and what they’re doing and how they’re navigating. So talk about some of the emotional research that you found.

Khalid Saleh  25:25  

Well, let me let me mention something about being humbled by by people. So our rocket invest, basically. And I will say, I always joke, you peel the onion, you two things happen, you cry, and then you discover that oh, well, okay. We look at the website, we find our problems in the website, and we say, Oh, well, there is a problem here. Here’s how we fix it. Here’s a design. Here’s better design better copy. So yesterday, I was doing, I was doing a recording for a webcast showing some case studies for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. And Black Friday, Cyber Monday are coming. And I was like, Okay, well, okay. So if you have a discount, show the discount. And if you have a timer, let’s show the timer as well, kind of like a best practice. Everybody would agree with that. Very simple, very straightforward. The issue always is in the implementation, well, how are you going to show the didn’t? How are you going to show the discount? How are you going to show the timer this, Hey, you have two more days until the Black Friday deals run out. So the team, of course, produces four different designs, and they always ask, so which design you think is going to win of those four different designs. And I look at them, and I know, I’m like, gosh, man, I always pick like the design that’s gonna lose, but you know, I gotta be designed. Number two, I mean, like, it’s, it makes it makes sense to me. And in my mind that I try and justify it. Well, okay, so like different people in the company different pick different designs, and then we we at Cisco, we release the or designs always be tested. Exactly. And the site gets just a ton of traffic. So I think within a day, they get almost like, especially black Friday about 200,000 visitors. So it’s, you get test results right away. And of course, the design that I had, in a lucid and on the crealy. It’s just come up people, you know, one time helped me here. So you can rationalize something. And I think every designer, every executive marketing executive, or CEO, or business owner today, say, Oh, this is the better design? Well, you will discover and you’ll be humbled by your visitors, because they will pick something else. We’re working with a really, really nice lady. She has a really nice website. And I’m like, Hey, you have a problem here. People don’t know you have a ton of orders coming through your website, but doesn’t show on your website. If you have it, flaunt it. So you know, might as well do that. It’s like, yeah, social proof, it makes sense. Just got an implemented, we don’t need to a B test that. We go back and forth. And I’m like, listen, yeah, social proof, we can all agree. But here’s four different designs for the social proof, which one is like, well, they all look good. I’m like, well, we literally went back and forth for almost like two weeks negotiating with her until she agreed to test it out, we test it out. And then I come back to her with the data. And I’m like, let’s take a look at the data. Some of the designs that you thought were absolutely amazing, they actually reduce your conversion rates. And she’s like, What, like one of them increase your conversion rates by 4%. One, increase your conversion rate by 17%. Guess what? We could have just deployed maybe one of the losing designs, and then you look at us and say what happened? That’s reason you need you need to test. Love it. The unit. Let’s go back to the emotional

Jeremy Weisz  28:30

really quickly, before we move on emotional. Yeah. Can you tell me what did you it’s, you know, hindsight is always 2020. In the 70%, left 4% versus negative? Yeah, what did you see? Looking back? Why do you? What’s your hypothesis of why that 70% converted better?

Khalid Saleh  28:49  

Well, it’s sort of interesting, because social proof, everybody agrees on social proof. But what kind of social proof Are you going to use? And what you see it and this is really fascinating, different websites and different customers, different people come to the website are impacted by different social proof. For some websites, you are a fashion website and being mentioned by like, you know, influencers really resonates really well. For other websites, magazine mentions works really well. For a third website, the number of customers who have placed an order works really well, or a third or fourth website has video testimonial videos, they’re really very raw shots on iPhone. So it’s always this journey of trying to figure out for your particular audience what works really well. At the high level, yeah, we agree social proof works well. But you know, which social proof is going to work better? We work with a company out of Australia, they sell those blue lights and glasses. And we’re testing something where we said like, you know, is it do we need, which works better? Is it the social proof from scientists, basically in scientific research, or is it the influencers? Oh, God, the data shows that people coming who come to that website absolutely could not care less about scientific research. They don’t care that that just tanked completely. They want to see influencers, they want to see enforcers, and they want to see influencers, basically saying that this is an absolutely amazing, amazing product. Whenever you’re running an experiment, you have a hypothesis, and you hit the nail on the head when your hypothesis is correct. But the tough question that you always want to ask. Okay, so my hypothesis was resulted in four or five different implementations. One of them one, okay, that’s great. But those that lost, why did they lose? That’s really the tough question. Because you’re trying to rationalize and you say, Well, yeah, maybe people don’t like scientific research for this particular audience, or people don’t really care for mash magazine missions. Can I actually say that consistently? No, I need to test that again. Maybe after two three other experiments, I can come back and say, every time we’ve tested magazine mentions, we ended up tanking the conversion rate plus avoid mentioning magazines on our website, because it doesn’t work for our audience.

Jeremy Weisz  31:00  

So I could totally see maybe for that particular those glasses. They weren’t influencers, or maybe there was like a nutraceutical company and it would convert better with scientific research, or maybe not.

Khalid Saleh  31:11  

Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. I always tell people, for this particular web site, or this particular audience, I can make an assertion or another website, different audience can make any assertions, we got to test it out. But the point is, you have to start by thinking through it and saying, Okay, well, let’s test this out. Lots of times people, they get up in the morning, and they say, oh, we should test this. I’m like, Well, yeah, we can test it. But let’s think through the process of why you want to test this, and what is the problem that you’re trying to fix? Because just randomly just think anybody can do that. You just wake up in the morning, Wolf, does this new headline and next day, was this this new image and this different visitor flow? Okay, well, no, because otherwise, you end up just spinning, you know, like, constantly and not achieving the results that you want to achieve.

Jeremy Weisz  32:00

I remember I had Khalid Joe Sugarman, who was the founder of blue blocker sunglasses, and I don’t remember if they split tested the infomercial, but what one out was the video of the user reactions when they put on the glasses, and they show like, Wow, it’s amazing. So you just don’t know what’s going to convert it to you, you test a few things, and you see what people are drawn to. So talk about the emotional reasons when you’re looking, you’ve looked over probably many, many people’s shoulders, and how they’re using something and why they’re using it.

Khalid Saleh  32:39

As this is, by the way, fascinating to me with the drill that I keep on mentioning that story until now, it proves that my wife does not listen to my podcast interviews, because I’ve survived there without her mentioning, mentioning anything. So everybody who goes to business school, you know, gets to hear the saying no one buys a quarter inch drill. Everybody buys a quarter inch hole, the hole that you put in the wall is Professor love. It’s from Harvard who said that now I’m moving to Chicago, you know, and I’m thinking to myself, I’m like, okay, look, you know, we have all these paintings, but you know, when you just get a new house, and there is about a million things going on, and I’m gonna get to the paintings are some points is like one of those projects that my wife keeps on nagging me about, and I’m like, Yeah, I’ll get to it, I will get those paintings. And and by the way, we just moved to a new house. And the paintings again, are not up. But you know, we were just trying to find time. So I invite some friends over, and I’m like, oh, gosh, need to put the paintings up. Because we’ve spent some money on those paintings. I don’t have a drill. I’m not exactly the most handyman. But you know, I can live with that. Now as I near 50. I go to Home Depot, and I’m thinking to myself, Okay, let’s buy a drill, walk into Home Depot. And I literally I’m like, Okay, I’m not going to buy the 150 Bar Grill because, I mean, I’m just gonna use it once or twice. And I’m not gonna buy the $20 drill. So we’re gonna choose something in the middle. So I spent 50 bucks on it’s, I’m walking outside and I’m thinking no one buys a quarter inch drill. Everybody’s everyone buys a quarter inch hole and I’m thinking myself yeah, but the drill bought the home the wall. But really I bought two other things if we’re being honest. One which is very important is my wife who was going to stop nagging me about putting the paintings up no more nothing can that she’s going to also complain about how poor off a job I did hanging the papers, but that’s a whole other discussion. And then the other thing that I really thought is I have friends coming over and they’re going to see those paintings and they can tell me how nice they look and you know, I’m like oh, so there’s the emotional side the satisfaction that I’m going to get and then there’s the social side correct off like my friends looking at it and think to themselves, Oh God, man, this guy’s like no knows how to buy paintings. every action we take, if we are willing to kind of peel the onion, peel the different layers, we’ll discover that there’s three aspects to it. The functional side of things, the emotional side of things, and the social side of things functional, the functionality that I’m getting, I buy a car because it gets from point A to point B, the emotional, I buy a specific kind of car, because I want to show off if you want to admit to it, because otherwise everybody was going to be buying, looking at a $20,000 car. And then there’s the social how I think my peers and the group that I hang out with is going to look at me, getting people to admit to those, it’s a little difficult. So that’s reason you want to interview customers, and you want to drill a little bit deeper. And really, it has to be a very conversational style interview. And as you start drilling deeper, going back to the example of Are you hiring Conversion Rate Optimization Company? No, I’m not hiring Conversion Rate Optimization Company, I’m actually hiring a company to help me improve revenue. Why are you doing that? Well, I’m doing it because my bonus depends on its and then my family is going to be able to take vacations. And because I want everybody in the company to think that I’m an amazing CMO or VP of Marketing, correct. So getting people to really share those insights from you is difficult, but it’s very powerful. And then usually we do we do interviews, and they’re very conversational interviews where we start by saying, so hey, what’s going on what was going on in your, in your life that day when you decided to buy this item? And then they’re like, how will this happen is like, and then instead of going forward, like So how was the experience buying it, then? Do you like it? No, we don’t do that. We go backwards. So one was the first time you’ve taught yourself, this is an annoying problem that you want to solve. And you saw really going deep and having conversations and it is absolutely amazing. Because you can tell whenever you’re interviewing somebody when you hit that emotion, that raw emotion, and they just open up and is like, oh, gosh, yeah, we got it. I think one time, and I’ll just give this example. I’m interviewing a lawyer out of DC. And she bought a pajama pajama said this expensive, $150 jama, but she’s a lawyer, oh gosh, difficult to interview lawyers. And I’m trying to draw really deep, and she just like, you know, she wouldn’t give me like three, four word answers. And I’m like, Okay, so like, you know, we’re 35 minutes into the interview, and I’m like, Okay, I’m like, I’m not going anywhere. And then I’m like, so I’m like, okay, so you bought the job. It was in February when you bought it. I’m looking at you. I guess like, you know, what anybody from your family commented about the gentleman how nice it looks. I’m just now like really just grasping at straws, trying to find something. And she’s like, No, I bought it for myself. I’m like, Okay. And she had a sigh. And she said, then she goes on. Thank you. She’s like, you know, I just felt I needed it. And I’m like, Okay. At that point, as an interviewer, you just keep quiet because you’re allowed the person you’re interviewing to open up. Look, yeah. So she says, Well, I mean, I told you, I’m a lawyer. But why didn’t tell you as I work, and in Congress. And if you remember, we had at that point in time, it was the whole mess that happened in DC. And she was there. Basically, when the crowd was trying to enter, basically, Congress, and she felt very threatened. So she bought that pajama. And she started crying as a reward for herself. So we go from, I am not going to open up to all I am rewarding myself, I need to do something really nice for myself. We went from like, this is awkward, I’m not able to get anything out of her too. Well, this is awkward. I’m not even sure what to say at this point, because she is crying during the interview. But you can tell that emotional trigger, where you took her back to that moment where she just felt like okay, what happened and oh, I need to reward myself. So you even talk

Jeremy Weisz  39:04  

about it. You know, when you’re doing this and you’re talking to a client or customer that you even kind of gauge on the point, what time of day was it? Where they were sitting? Also the location and everything?

Khalid Saleh  39:20  

Definitely. Yeah. And people always find it very funny because whenever we started our interview, I tell them, hey, just imagine us shooting a documentary. So if you want to be in a documentary, this is your chance. You are going to be the hero on the director. I have a camera man standing behind me. People will laugh. But then when he starts asking themselves, sir, hey, what time of day on? Yeah, maybe it was the morning? Yeah, maybe it was like on a Saturday morning. Like, Oh, can you describe the weather to me and where were Where are you sitting? And it’s almost like you’re trying to take them back to that moment. Correct. Because initially, they’re saying like, I remember when maybe it was the weekend. And then it’s like, do you remember was a night or day or night and they’re like, Oh, no. It was around 4pm Oh, it was really nice weather because I was sitting and I opened the window. And like who was sitting there, you’re really taking them back to that moment, to that struggling moment where they said, I’ve had enough, I am going to do something about this pain, I am going to solve it, I am going to buy this product or this service and you can feel it in their voice.

Jeremy Weisz  40:19  

I want to talk in just to talk about your process and a little bit more about what you do. And let’s take for example, Z gallery. When when they weren’t, you start with them.

Khalid Saleh  40:31  

So as the gallery is fascinating, because it’s one of those things. So it was early November, maybe November 1 Second 2017, VP of marketing as the gallery, reaches out and says, Hey, guys, Black Friday is about to come. I typically see my sales increasing by 25% during Black Friday, and people say Oh, only 25% tell them listen, when you’re a million dollar company 25% is, you know, is really like, oh, you should be able to do 50%. But when you are doing 700,000,025% is really significant. So I’m like, okay, and the gentleman who’s he’s a good friend now cut, I’m like, okay, so what do you expect? He’s like, anything above 25%? is really like, you know, I’d love that you guys can do that. Can you actually put the team together? Get started? We have three weeks until Black Black Friday, Cyber Monday? Of course. I mean, I’m a business owner, who would who wouldn’t want the gallery as a client? I’m like, Yeah, sure. Turn around until the team put the team together, they already signed the contract, we have three weeks or less run a whole bunch of campaigns. Now, you got to specifically a short timeframe, a scary timeframe. Because it meant that’s especially towards the that last week, people were sleeping in the office. Lots of sleepless nights. And the idea there, okay, so we have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, people are coming, they’re highly motivated, correct. If you think about it, Black Friday comes, I’m looking for a deal, I’ve saved some money. What do you need to do? Whenever you’re looking at especially promotional periods, you want to really look at your messaging, you want to look at your offers. And when I removed the hurdles, from the way of looking from the way of your visitors just make it easy for them to place an order. So we spent three weeks putting a whole bunch of campaigns, we launched that Thursday nights. And from Thursday night, it was November 24. Until for about 10 days, we’re running constantly running different campaigns. And I think at the end of the 10 days, we have a call with calamities that guys, you’ve just paid for yourself for many years to come. Just during those during those 10 days was fascinating. If you look at the actual work, because optimizing a website to improve conversions is already complicated. But optimizing for such a short period is very powerful. Because all we said you want to the homepage of the gallery at that point in time, and they hadn’t look you know, items worth 50% discounts item with 30% discounts item with 25 25% discounts. And we were watching session recordings, and people are just kind of clicking all over the place. And we said you know what, you’re just confusing people. Paradox of Choice. Let’s Let’s limit this, you know, one big offer, here’s our hot sellers. And let’s test this out. And by making tweaks I don’t like the word tweaks, usually whenever I’m trying to improve conversion rates, but Black Friday, Cyber Monday, yes, we tweaked the website where we said you know what’s clear messaging, clear discounts, clear offers, and remove the hurdles out of people’s way. And translators for millions of dollars for them during that during that period. After we got done with that. We want to actual optimization, the really slow process of saying, let’s analyze the upside, let’s find out all the problems. What else

Jeremy Weisz  43:43  

can you do now?

Khalid Saleh  43:45  

Oh, gosh, yeah. So. And you know, this has been fascinating working with the gallery.

Jeremy Weisz  43:50  

So Z Gallery, and we talked earlier about, let’s give an example a small company. So you worked with T shirt, which is men’s skincare.

Khalid Saleh  44:00  

He absolutely loved the company. They’re based in Chicago, so and we worked with them. This was a two man operation. And I know a few they would get annoyed with me, but I will mention it and then I’ll apologize. But I think one of them was not even full time at that point in time. And it’s a skincare product for men. Men don’t care about skincare. That’s the reality of it. I don’t know if I don’t use any skincare products. And it’s funny because I subscribe to teach. And I think the only people that use the product are my brother in law, like my brothers in law where I get it. I’m like here, this is for you. This is for you. This is for you. And when we did with Teach was absolutely fascinating because this is our standard project where we during the first six to eight weeks we come in and we say listen, we’ve done so many experiments where 24 25,000 Bv experiment at this point, based on our experience, what are the quick wins what are the low hanging fruit that we can see on the website? Let’s just come up with a whole bunch Should those. And usually we hit the ground running within a couple of weeks, we have a list of low hanging fruit. And we’re just fixing them testing them, again, you our methodologies, Oh, I see a problem over here. Here’s different ways to fix it. Let’s test this out, your visitors will have the final say. So we test this out. Meanwhile, as we’re doing all these quick wins, quick fixes, we’re doing very deep research. That’s when we look at your data, your analytics, your heat maps, your session recording and looking at your competitors stealing some of their ideas, not copying them necessarily, but saying, Oh, this is an interesting idea. I wonder if I can fix it in a different way. Look at doing those deep customer interviews. One of the fascinating things when we worked with each, we thought that’s we’re going after certain segments of the market. And we discovered that they have a complete different segment that’s actually willing to pay for a monthly subscription. We, we came back to the Teach team and we said hey, by the way, everybody we interviewed said that they really would love an acne medicine. And I think like initially, when we mentioned that they’re like, this is not what we do. You know, we’re not an acne company like no, we don’t have for we don’t offer acne treatments. Well, now they do. So again, customers, and the customer insights can drive lots of the business and how the business goes, teaches a very successful company now, five, six years later, I think there are three or four times larger than investment as well. So

Jeremy Weisz  46:30  

So listening to your customers is key.

Khalid Saleh  46:33  

Oh, definitely it. It unlocks so much. We, we got hired by I think the second or the largest SEO company, SEO company, they hired us and they said, Hey, can you help us improve conversion rates? Part of our process is interviewing customers, customers or clients of our client. So I’m talking to the gentleman, he is the grandfather of the industry. And I’m like, can we introduce some customers? And he looks at me, either. I mean, very well respected in the industry. Is that college? What were you doing back in 1996? Like, I was still like a freshman in college at that point in time. He’s like, Well, I was doing marketing and SEO back then. Okay. So I’m like, Well, can we just do the interview? So we go back and forth. Finally, the team agrees, and we start doing the interviews. So we’re talking to their clients, and we’re asking them questions, again, similar questions, but what’s going on your life kind of drilling really deep? After we finish those attributes, we sent them to the agency that hired us, and they’re BPF marketing emails. And Becky said, you know, it’s like, we’re not sure about those interviews, they’re going to be provide any value in all honestly, but you know, they, you guys kept on pushing. So we might as well we said, might as well, we’ll see, the value that we got out of those interviews, if you don’t even touch our website is just worth 10s of millions of dollars for us. And I’m like well, going coming from a company that said initially, really, we don’t want to do this into Oh, God, this is worth 10s of 10s of millions of dollars. It’s really a good testimonial. I love it.

Jeremy Weisz  48:05  

I can’t I have one last question. Before I ask it, I want to just encourage people to check out invespCRO INVSP Check out your website, also. Figpii To learn more, that’s their their software Sairee. You mentioned kind of getting the full heat maps and data and analytics and all of that. That’s where they can check that out. My last question I have is, you mentioned business books. And you really liked different business books over the years you study different business books. I’m wondering what some of your favorites are as recommendations to listeners of what they should check

Khalid Saleh  48:53  

out. One of my my most favorite business books, The Road Less stupid. Keith Cunningham absolutely recommend the book. And I recommend, by the way, listening to the audio version of the book a lot better than the book because if you just read the book, you’re welcome. But the audio version, and Keith is the one who actually reads it. And a friend was telling me that it actually teaches kind of gives the book in a in a seminar format to three days in Austin, Texas, because that’s where he’s based. It’s about $7,000. So it’s a bit more on the pricey side. But if you’re running a business, I highly, highly recommend reading that book. Another book that influences really what we do. Now the name escapes me,

Jeremy Weisz  49:41  

Robert chill dini. Well,

Khalid Saleh  49:45  

everybody recommends everybody recommends that but competing competing against luck. Absolutely easy read. I was joking about many business books that you read could be summarized in a blog post. But you know, the authors have to say It all adds to justify the publisher paying them but that competing against luck is absolutely fascinating. It is the foundation of the jobs to be done framework which is what we use when we whenever we do interviews. So that’s a really it’s a quick read. I think it took me about four or five hours to read. But it really drills going back to the emotional side of why we make decisions loss of loss of good case studies that

Jeremy Weisz  50:24  

come out of that book. Khalid I want to be the first one a thank you check out And thanks everyone. For watching, came down to make 100 grand