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Choose The Right Franchise Speaker

Kelly McDonald

CEO of McDonald Marketing

Franchisees are in a unique situation when it comes to business: they don’t control the product, they don’t usually control the marketing, and they don’t typically control pricing. These are things they have little or no control over – the franchise brand takes care of that.

However, the one thing that is COMPLETELY in their control at all times is the customer experience. This is the first-hand interaction and experience that the customer has with the brand, so it’s arguably the most important aspect of all.

But we are not all the same – what a 75-year-old woman wants may be very different than what a 25-year old wants. What a busy mom values may be different than what a busy executive values.

How can franchisees create exceptional, delightful and memorable customer experiences for all of their customers? How do you deliver an amazing experience for someone who is not like you?

In “Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You”, Kelly shows franchisees five key principles for creating an exceptional customer experience for all different kinds of people. From generational differences to men and women, different racial and ethnic groups and even core values, Kelly takes your franchisees through simple, no-cost, effective ways to enhance and heighten the customer experience for every kind of customer.

It’s the one thing that is in your franchisees’ control at all times. And it’s the aspect of business that matters most of all.

Kelly McDonald Video Intro

Travels From:

Denver, CO

Fee Range:

$10,000 – $20,000

Favorite Food:


Kelly McDonald's Bio

Kelly McDonald is considered one of the nation’s top experts in leadership, marketing, the customer experience and consumer trends.

Her franchise client experience includes brands such as Taco John’s, Ace Hardware, BlueCross BlueShield, CertaPro Painters, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, State Farm Insurance, Harley-Davidson, Great Clips, Miller Beer, and KOA, among others.

Kelly was named one of the “10 Most Booked Speakers in the U.S.” and ranked #1 on the list of “25 Hot Speakers” by Successful Meetings Magazine.

She has been featured on CNBC, in Forbes, INC. Magazine, BusinessWeek, CEO World, Fast Company, and more.

She is the author of four bestselling books.

Her newest, “It’s Time to Talk about Race at Work:  Every Leader’s Guide to Making Progress on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” is one of the top Bestselling Business Books in the U.S.

Kelly lives in Denver and when she’s not on the road speaking, she enjoys boxing (yes, boxing, not kickboxing) – and shopping for high heels.  She’s also learning to play the cello.

Kelly McDonald Headshot

Partial Client List:

  • Ace Hardware
  • BlueCross BlueShield
  • Burger King
  • CertaPro Painters
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Franchise Marketing Association
  • Halloween Express
  • Harley-Davidson
  • James Hardie Contractor Summit
  • LINE-X
  • Mattress Firm
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Outdoor Living Brands
  • Paul Davis Restoration
  • Pizza Patrón
  • Quality Chek’d Dairies
  • Rent-a-Center
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Toyota
  • True Value Hardware
  • Kelly has spoken at our Harley-Davidson University conference four times. We keep bringing her back because our dealers request her and her information is so important to them. She gives them the tools they need to create customer satisfaction and she does it in a fun and high energy way that makes her one of our dealers’ favorite speakers.

    Cheri Judkins, Learning Operations Manager Harley-Davidson
  • We have had Kelly speak at our Spring & Fall Conferences multiple times. She has several different business topics that our franchisees need and she is a favorite of our store operators. We also bought each attendee a copy of her customer experience book, since that is where our focus is now with all of our stores.

    Sue Amatangelo, Director, Home & Garden Showplace True Value Hardware
  • We’ve had Kelly keynote at our convention twice and our franchisees love her. She understands the relationship between franchisor and franchisee and delivers specific take-aways that our franchisees can act on immediately to grow their business. We chose Kelly because of her focus on crafting an exceptional customer experience and that’s what CertaPro Painters is all about, delivering “wow” experience for our customers.

    Mike Stone, President CertaPro Painters®
  • Thank you for the wonderful presentation you made at our Annual event. Everyone I’ve spoken with has stated that they were very impressed with your energy and keen insights. We couldn’t have had a better speaker to cap off our event.

    Michael Nibbelin, Senior Research Analyst State Farm Insurance

Kelly McDonald's Keynotes

How to Work With & Lead People Not Like You

Diversity in the workforce is a hot topic.   Many employers are under pressure to make sure their workforce and employee base is diverse, inclusive and representative of the customers they serve.  The most progressive organizations value diversity because they realize that a diverse workforce has positive impact on the bottom line.  Such a workforce doesn’t just lead to better decisions and solutions and innovation – it has been proven to grow business and profits.  And a diverse workforce doesn’t just mean employees of different racial and ethnic backgrounds; it can also mean diversity of thought. 

There are numerous ways we can be “diverse”:  A new mom is in a very different place than one who is an empty nester.  Someone with a master’s degree is very different than someone who went to a vocational/technical college.  Someone who is foreign-born is different than someone who is U.S. born.  “People not like you” takes away the baggage that is often associated with the word diversity and frames the subject in a more relatable way.  We are ALL dealing with people “not like us”.  Sometimes that can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be.

When the person in the next cube or office is different from you, friction can arise.  Different people may not see eye-to-eye on an issue.  They may have vastly different approaches to work.  Their communication styles may be very different.  Their comfort in working with technology may be miles apart.  Cultural backgrounds and norms can differ.  Even men and women can see situations differently.  How do you work alongside someone who may be quite different from you, respect those differences and be effective in your role?

And what about leading a diverse team?  Leaders face daily the challenges of inspiring, communicating and executing strategy with their teams.  Now imagine the challenges of leading teams that may be incredibly diverse!   How does one motivate and lead groups of people who come from different backgrounds?  How do you do that when people are motivated by different values and view the world and work through different lenses?

There are dozens of speakers and sessions on management, leadership, and working with difficult people, yet none tackle these business issues from the standpoint of working with people not like you.  This is a fresh take on a very important topic – and a timely one.  Much news coverage is devoted to what companies are doing to make their workplace more diverse and inclusive.  But what is that like for the people who work there, day in and day out?  How do they adapt to different people and work approaches?

This session takes the topic of work and leadership to a new place – one that is getting more attention every day and will continue to do so.

Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You

How To Delight & Engage the Customers Your Competitors Don’t Understand

This session will show how franchise owners, brands and products struggling to differentiate themselves in a sea of sameness can foster long-term loyalty and brand preference with exceptional and customized customer service.


  • Learn the latest techniques that innovative companies are using today to train their staff to deliver exceptional customer service.
  • Best practices among leading companies and brands will be reviewed.
  • Learn how to listen for what a customer wants, not just what he/she may ask for.
  • Learn key insights into delivering terrific customer service to the Hispanic customer. Specific strategies and tactics will be discussed as well as Do’s and Don’ts.
  • Specific strategies and tactics will be discussed as well as Do’s and Don’ts.
How to Market & Sell to People Who Are Not Like You

Diversity marketing is the new norm, and this doesn’t simply mean racial diversity. Diversity comes in many forms: gender, race, age, life-stage, language preference, sexuality, and hobbies or special interests are all ways in which people’s differences are recognized. By recognizing these differences and tailoring your product, message or marketing efforts to reflect consumers’ uniqueness, you are validating the importance of a consumer group.


  • Learn about the hottest new market segments and how they’re shaping culture.
  • Learn the key emotional drivers for important target segments and how your business can leverage those in marketing messages.
  • Learn which group represents the largest opportunity for your business right now and which group will be your greatest opportunity tomorrow.
  • Specific strategies and tactics will be discussed for identifying your high-potential prospects and reaching them effectively.
It’s Time to Talk About Race at Work: How to Make Progress on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Corporate America is not very diverse; we’re a long way off from having equal representation of people of color in many organizations, especially in key executive and leadership positions. Many leaders want to create change, but don’t know how.  How do you know where your blind spots are that can create obstacles for diverse talent?

And how do you address the issues and comments that come up when employees feel nervous, resentful or uncomfortable as you make headway on diversity, equity and inclusion in your organization?

Your intentions may be sincere and heartfelt, but intentions aren’t enough.  If you don’t know how you come across to others and you don’t know how to build bridges, people can be offended, jobs can be lost, and lawsuits can be filed.  This session (and the book) does not approach this from the standpoint of social activism, political ideology or an HR perspective. This is the roadmap for how businesspeople can successfully create a fair and equitable workplace, one that recognizes diverse talent and fosters productive and constructive conversations across different perspectives that make business better – for everyone.

Not a bunch of theory, this session provides specific, actionable, no-cost tactics that you can implement immediately.  When it comes to talking about race at work, attendees will move from “uncomfortable and unsure” to “confident and empowered”, using proven tools that get real results.  And that’s language everyone values.

This session will illuminate:

  • The well-intended things people say that are hurtful or offensive to others
  • The excuses people use to avoid doing anything about diversity
  • Why your diversity & inclusion efforts haven’t done the job

You'll learn:

  • How to talk about race in helpful and positive ways: do’s & don’ts
  • Answers to tough employee questions or racist remarks
  • Where to start when you don’t know where to start – an 8-step framework that will show you, step-by-step, how to become a more diverse and inclusive company, department, or team.
  • How to effectively recruit, interview, and support diverse candidates
  • How to build business relationships with people who are different from you
  • For leaders, how to set the example, reduce tokenism, and deal with naysayers and derailers. How to avoid “Launch & Abandon” with your diversity efforts.
How to Wow, Work With & Win Customers NOW

Experience this IN-DEMAND topic! Global companies, associations and independent businesses are RAVING about the insights and no-cost, actionable takeaways in this info-packed session.


Right now, your customers need you more than ever. But not in the usual way. What your customers want and expect from you now is radically different because we’ve changed the way we work in some fundamental ways. Now, more than ever, you must differentiate yourself and your company on the experience that your customers have, rather than simply the products and services you offer.

You now have a unique opportunity to “wow” your customers, by demonstrating that you have their back and that you’re here to help and serve them as they navigate whatever is around the next corner.

You can work with your customers in new ways by being “quietly helpful”. The work you do now, in this way, will position you for the WIN: how you, your company, brand, people and products will be seen long-term, not just when times are difficult or uncertain.

In this session, you’ll learn new approaches and mindsets that will make you better, smarter, and more effective in serving your customers – and you’ll cement the bond for increased sales and loyalty.

This session will cover:

  • How to address the concerns your customers have right NOW – and how you can tie those into exceptional sales and customer service
  • How to stay visible without spamming your customers
  • 5 low-cost, no-cost action items that you can apply immediately
  • What to do – and NOT do – when things go wrong
  • Consumer trends and insights to leverage to grow business now

Additional Resources

Video Clips

How to Work With & Lead People Not Like You

Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You

How to Market & Sell to People Not Like You

Book Jackets
How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You: Practical Solutions for Today's Diverse Workplace by Kelly McDonald
How to Market to People Not Like You: "Know It or Blow It" Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers by Kelly McDonald
Crafting the Customer Experience For People Not Like You: How to Delight and Engage the Customers Your Competitors Don't Understand by Kelly McDonald
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