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Ross Shafer

Acclaimed Expert on Customer Service; Author, Are You Relevant? 12 Reasons Smart Organizations Thrive in Any Economy

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$10,000 - $15,000

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  •  Ross  Shafer
  •  Ross  Shafer


Ross Shafer is a 6-time Emmy Award Winning Comedian and Writer. Pretty good for pet shop manager moonlighting as a comedian. In l984, a local TV station saw him and decided to hire him as an on-air host. Ross’ unconventional style was soon spotted by the networks and he moved to Hollywood to host talk/game shows for ABC, Fox, USA, and Comedy Central.

What Ross gleaned most from show business was how TV and movies reacted to emerging trends and human behavior shifts. So in l994, he began studying how customer emotional connections affected organizational growth (or extinction).

To that end, he has written 14 H.R. training films on customer service, motivation, and leadership. He is also the author of nine books, including his two newest BEHAVE LIKE A START UP…and SUCCESS: IT’s ON YOU.

Today, Ross is one of the most sought after keynote speakers on the subjects of Customer Empathy, Personal Motivation, Leadership and Business Relevance.

Speech Topics

PURPOSE: This is a fun, motivational, and insightful opening or closing keynote.

 Ross Shafer says, “Best practices are a moving target. Relevant leaders are able to sustain growth because they can evolve and adapt more quickly than their competition.” If you are an organization that is dedicated to ‘making your mark’ on your industry, then developing a culture of ongoing relevance will insure your future.

Staying Relevant is different from being current. Being “current” is awareness. Relevance is taking action to make sure you matter to your customers, your clients, your members, and your teams. If you don’t matter to your constituents, they can go away and not care if you exist. Ross says, “Our team examines (18) different industries and we cross-pollinate trends, buying habits, and cool, disruptive practices for the purpose of enlightening organizations to the possibilities of extreme relevance.”

Which Industries Do We Study? Our clients tell us they are excited to hear about what is revolutionary in Financial Services, Healthcare, Technology & Software, Hospitality, Insurance, Restaurants, Automotive, Building and Construction, Energy, Manufacturing, Retail, Trade Associations, Agriculture, Food Processing, Fitness, Supply Chain Mgmt., Franchise, and Direct Selling. Learning effective tactics (from outside of your industry) will ignite fresh ideas within your own organization.

What Areas of Relevance Can We Talk About? We know that every organization has motivating initiatives already in place. We also know that you have unique pain points. Our breadth of experience allows us to provide relevant insight into a wide variety of operational & performance areas. Let’s talk about what you think will benefit your group best.

  • Designing Customer Journeys

  • Finding Competitors in Your Blind Spot

  • Getting Buy-in from the Right People

  • Harvesting Innovative Ideas

  • How to Become Truly World-Class

  • Developing a Culture of Accountability

  • Big Data & Digital Marketing

  • The 2020 Workforce

  • Why Big Fears Small

  • Inspiring and Retaining the Best Talent

  • Relationship Building: How to Create Instant Rapport

What Are Your Company’s Challenges? Recent merger or acquisition? Change in leadership structure? Technology or industry shifts that are causing shock waves? Are your attendees slow to adjust to change? Ross is able to absorb your initiatives and dovetail them into his remarks. In fact, Ross’s engaging style is such that attendees often come up to him and say, “How long have you worked here?”

Purpose: 45-90 Keynote on How to Recharge Your Organization

Has Your Company Felt Complacency Creeping in? When your company first launched, did you shake the world with something new and groundbreaking? Were you the unlikely underdog that unseated the industry leaders? Over time, have you had so much success that you’ve slowly lost your hunger? Do you find you aren’t as reactive as you once were? Maybe you are celebrating yesterday’s profits while your competitors are turning up the heat. Ross Shafer can reinvigorate your organization by sharing case studies of legacy companies who were determined to get their youthful groove back.

What Can We Learn from Startups? In the beginning, startups have very little to lose because they aren’t risking long-term relationships. Marketing and staff budgets are skinny so they have to do a lot…with a little. They don’t have the time or the resources to make things perfect so they frequently launch in Beta Mode and they make on-the-fly adjustments to lock in new business. Startups react with extreme urgency and an eagerness to please. They are also less intimidated by larger companies and will do ‘the unconventional’ to go after your market share. Ross believes legacy companies can reinvigorate their organizations by being nimble, urgent, flexible, reasonably open to risk, and eager to change tactics when market conditions shift.

Don’t Assume You Have Unbreakable Relationships: Legacy companies sometimes assume that they’ve built such strong and lasting client relationships that they don’t have to work as hard. But unless you remain vigilant, a startup can swoop in with a fresh idea and land one of your best clients. Magnusson/Klemencic Structural Engineering is a 93-year-old company that has designed and built some of the world’s most recognizable buildings. Yet, their philosophy is: “We have an active data base of over 5,000 clients. We think of them as our friends. However, when we do a new pitch we send in the A-Team and act like it’s our first time. We may win on our past work but we prefer to win on our enthusiasm.” Ross can show you what it takes to ignite your enthusiasm.

Create the Startup Buzz Again. Startups create an industry “buzz” because they are fearless in their pursuit of credibility and unique offerings. They disrupt the market and all heads turn. In a high velocity recommendation economy, “buzz” is important to your clients and customers. Your clients/customers/members want to know they are partnering with an entity that will get them to the future first. Ross describes what your organization (and teams) must do to compete against the startups that are huddling in the corner secretly plotting to steal your market share.

Ross’s Experience is Your Asset. Ross is America’s only Speaker/Business Consultant who has won multiple Emmys® for his work in TV broadcasting, produced (14) HR Training movies, and has written bestselling business books. Benefit from Ross’s experience with over 2,500 clients.

Purpose: Motivating 45-90 Keynote on How to Advance Your Career.

Ross Shafer says, “We all want success in our careers and business…but too often we look for encouragement and validation from other people. Ross will inspire you to take charge of your own destiny when nobody is around to guide you. Ross reminds you that nobody cares more about advancing your career than you do so, you must become the leading expert on…you.

No Blame. No Excuses. Focus on Excellence. Regardless of your personal trials or professional obstacles, assigning blame or making excuses will not improve your situation. Instead of complaining, refocus your energies on increasing the excellence of your performance. Excellence will bring you respect and job security. Excellence is the fast track to a fulfilling life.

 The Side Effects of Excellence. Regardless of your profession, becoming extraordinary defines ‘who you are’ much more than ‘what you do.’ Excellence attracts connections and influence. Excellence increases confidence and achievement to the point that others will offer you incredible opportunities. You just have to manage your fears and reprogram your mind to ignore your self-imposed limitations. Ross will leave you with an entirely new vision of your capacity to succeed.

Ramping Up Your Resilience. In your career, you will be exposed to mergers, acquisitions, changes in leadership, industry shifts…as well as good and bad economies. Ross will teach you how to forge a resilient attitude toward unforeseen circumstances. He will show you how to prevent making poor choices during uncertain times.

Becoming Necessary to your Organization. If you want to become a valuable and necessary member of your organization you must be able to think beyond your job. Organizations honor creative people who can discover new revenue streams, develop ideas to save money, and suggest ways to improve process efficiency. Ross will describe where to look for these innovations and how to execute them.

Getting Yourself Noticed…In a Good Way. You have no doubt noticed that people who can communicate with confidence are the ones who get the best opportunities. Ross will show you how to master the “elevator pitch” and how to handle yourself in meetings. He will describe how to gain the confidence of your peers – and how to get buy-in from the most influential people. Ross will also give you a strategy for overcoming intimidation by people who have something you want (sales teams love this part).

Ross Walks the Talk. You’ll hear this serial re-inventor’s ‘personal journey of ascension’ from small town pet store manager – to Emmy® winning network TV host – to bestselling business author. You will recognize his personal obstacles as your own…and learn how to overcame them.

Purpose: A Revolutionary Customer Experience Keynote

Why Is This Different? The POW WOW Effect is an easy approach where both entry-level employees and seasoned leaders instantly know what to do (and what not to do) to improve customer scores. Now, before you get your feathers ruffled by the term POW WOW, consider this: Ross Shafer is part Blackfoot Indian…and in the Native American culture, a POW WOW is a gathering of tribal members to heal old wounds and to celebrate new alliances. POW WOW is the ideal language and behavior to describe how our teams should execute the customer’s experience.

Forget The “WOW” Moments? We’ve all been told that we are supposed to “WOW” the customer. The WOW moments are nice but WOWS don’t guarantee loyalty. We need to be far more aware of our POW moments. POW moments are the mistakes we make. POW moments knock the wind out of a customer. A POW moment is when the customer gets anxious about a possible confrontation with you. A POW moment happens when you don’t deliver on your brand promise. A POW moment is when you blame the customer for a problem. POWS are so formidable that our research shows (5) WOW moments can be completely erased by (1) POW. Your customer scores will only ‘move the needle’ when you eliminate the POW moments.

“POWS” Are The Dominant Emotion. Too many POWS can be devastating to your revenue. No POWS makes a customer feel safe and respected. No POWS creates a culture of trust and loyalty. Best of all, the POW WOW effect is elegantly simple to teach. You’ve only just heard about it but you will never forget it.

The POW WOW Alignment. We often try to anticipate what we believe will be WOW moments for our customers. But what if they don’t agree? What if our WOW action is actually perceived as a POW? Here is a real world example from one of our clients: At 10:00am a power technician rings the customer’s doorbell to alert them he is “on property.” Our power company client determined that is the most conscientious protocol. However, the furious customer called the main office to say, “Please tell your technician to stop ringing my bell. I work the graveyard shift and I’m trying to sleep!” Using The POW WOW Effect, Ross Shafer came up with a simple solution…to give customers four preferred ways to contact them when “on property”: (a) Ring my doorbell (b) Phone me (c) Text me (d) Leave a door hanger to tell me you were at my home. What are your WOW moments that could be interpreted as POWS? Ross can show your team how to eliminate the POW moments and raise your customer satisfaction scores

THE ULTIMATE EMCEE: Ross hosts a select number of multi-day events for his high-end clients each year. Because Ross is a trained talk and game show host (helmed over 1,000 network broadcasts), he is the perfect choice for moderating your executive panel discussions and complex award banquets. Ross will keep the programs lively and on task; drawing on his vast experience and lightening wit to navigate (and rescue) even the most unpredictable situations.

TALK SHOWS: Ross is adept at handling back-to-back breakout sessions that may feature a myriad of presenters. He has hosted such luminaries as President George Herbert Walker Bush, Jack Welch, Colin Powell, Bob Dole, James Carville, Tom Peters, Marcus Buckingham, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to name a few. Since many high profile presenters are more comfortable being interviewed by a “pro,” Ross is able to show the utmost respect from the opening introduction throughout the Q & A – yet he doesn’t shy away from the probing questions your people want answered.

GAME SHOWS: Finally, Ross is a popular favorite for hosting custom game shows. Not only do these formats lend themselves to imparting important training information about your company (in a fun way), they also encourage participation of the entire audience. Ask us how Ross and his game partners at (Game Show America) can create a custom “TV” show for you.

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