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How Speaking Your Customer’s Lingo Makes You Irresistible

Shep Hyken Interviews Jeffrey Shaw, the LINGO Guy

What if you could speak your ideal customer’s language?

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Top Takeaways:

  • Go deep and horizontal in your area of expertise. The new “niche” is an expansive business model. Decide who you want your customers to be, and then build a brand around them. Once you nail that down, you can then go horizontal because there will be multiple audiences who want what you’re offering.
  • Lingo, by definition, is the language of a community. When it comes to your business, who is your community? Once you figure that out, you can decide what language you are going to speak. Lingo is also understanding what isn’t said, the unspoken. When a business speaks to that, the customer feels like the company really understands them.
  • Rather than build a business you want and try to cram customers into it, build a business with your ideal customers in mind.
  • When you think of your customers as a community rather than just a database, that changes the way you see them. That causes you to care for them.
  • Understand that each of your customers, though they all may have some things in common, are unique individuals and want to be treated that way.
  • Realize that customers no longer want you to define their experience for them. They want to create their own. You’re setting the stage, but allowing them to make it what they want it to be.
  • Every customer is a valued one, whether they buy frequently or once, or whether they spend a lot of money or a little. We don’t have to buy into the 80/20 rule that says only 20 percent of customers make up 80 percent of sales. If you are marketing to your ideal customers, this number should not exist.
  • The process to developing the secret language of your ideal customer:
    1. Perspective – Understand how they see the world.
    2. Familiarity – Create comfort in your environments, in everything the customer does to interact with your business.
    3. Style – Customers resonate with style and whether or not it matches their own. You want to emulate the style of your ideal customer so that it draws them in.
    4. Pricing Psychology – This should attract your ideal customer, not scare them away. Pricing creates the right perception of what you offer.
    5. Words – If your words aren’t chosen carefully to draw a specific kind of customer, you end up getting whoever comes along.


Jeffrey Shaw is the author of LINGO, a book focused on helping businesses stand out, attract their ideal customer, and create brand loyalty that supersedes price. He is also a portrait photographer whose work has been featured in People Magazine and on The Oprah Show.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, “New York Times” best-selling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

“Defining your area of expertise is imperative today. If you don’t, you can quickly become irrelevant.” – Jeffrey Shaw


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This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How do I market to a specific client base?
  2. How can I make my customers feel unique?
  3. How can I better understand what my customers want?
  4. How do you define your ideal customer?

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