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The Customer
Elevator Rant


Before you can have an effective
marketing and communications
strategy, you have to know what
your customers are bitching about
on the elevator when you’re not
around.
Bob London
President
London, Ink LLC
www.londonink.com
In B2B marketing
& sales, we often
have the wrong
perspective

       My Elevator Pitch…
       Our “About Us” Section…
       Our Sales Proposal…


         (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
HEY, I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU:
A BEAUTIFULLY FRAMED PICTURE!


      (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Of me!          It’s an awesome picture of
                                             me, your pal, Bob London!



                                                        It has an
                                                        elegant, hand-
                                                        carved, woode
Featuring my                                            n frame!
patented
“casual-jacket-
thrown-over-
the-shoulder”
pose

                                                        Tell you
                                                        what, I’ll even
                                                        sign it.



                  (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
“UH, THANKS BOB…BUT I DON’T NEED
(OR WANT) A PICTURE OF YOU.”


     “What I’d Really Love to Have…”
        (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
(c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Now that’s what I’m talking about.




        (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
In B2B Marketing &
Sales, You Often Have the
Wrong Perspective:
             Yours.




      (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
You Have a Quota
                         Your Customer Has 2
                         – 3 Gigantic, Burning
                             Hot Priorities


  Your marketing and sales
approach needs to resonate on
    their terms, not yours.

                         Your Customer Has 2
 You Have a Quota         – 3 Gigantic, Burning
                              Hot Priorities

       (c) London, Ink       www.londonink.com
Sound obvious? Consider this:
       In a London, Ink study of 50 B2B proposals, the
       average amount of focus on customer perspective
       was just 7%, based on word count.

Web Site Design/Dev, $100K        Custom Content/E-
Budget                            Newsletter, $70K Budget
• % of Proposal Devoted to        • % of Proposal Devoted to
  Customer Perspective              Customer Perspective
  o Vendor 1:           20%         o Vendor 1:           6%
  o Vendor 2:           3%          o Vendor 2:           8%
  o Vendor 3:           5%          o Vendor 3:           3%


                (c) London, Ink       www.londonink.com
To shift your perspective and have an
effective marketing and sales strategy…

                   You have to understand your Customers’ Elevator
                   Rant.
                   What are their biggest challenges and priorities?
                   What are they complaining about when you’re
                   not around?
                   It might not be directly related to what you are
                   selling.


      Understanding your Customers’ Elevator Rant helps
     improve every aspect of your marketing and sales mix.
               (c) London, Ink        www.londonink.com
How do I uncover my
Customers’ Elevator Rant?


  Try asking your customers 


  (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Engage 5 – 7 customers in a
         non-sales dialogue.
1. Their Perspective on Their Business                          The most valuable
   • What are your top 3 business challenges next year?         45 minutes you
   • What key initiatives have you prioritized to address those will ever spend
     challenges?                                                with your
2. Their Perspective on a Specific Functional Area              customer.
   • Does (industry) have a reputation?
   • What do you expect from a (functional area) provider?        The best time to
   • What are (functional area) providers missing?                talk with
                                                                  customers is when
3. Their Perspective on Your Business (Connect the Dots)
                                                                  you are not trying
   • How do your priorities and challenges relate to              to sell them
     (functional area)?                                           anything.
   • What would make you a customer for life?

                      (c) London, Ink         www.londonink.com
BUT WILL OUR CUSTOMERS
ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF?



       (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Since you asked…
                                                                                                                                                          Bu sin ess c h a l l en g es > k ey in it ia t iv es >
                                                                                                                                                                        Peo pl e pr io r it ies
                                                                                                                                                      CHALLENGES                           I NI TI ATI VES                PEOPLE PRI ORI TI ES                    I NVOLVED
                     Big g est bu sin ess c h a l l en g es                                                                                                                                                                                                       HR EARLY?
                                                                                                                                                      •   External: trying to divine       •   External: stayed behind    •   We’ve involved HR in plan on           No
                                                                                                                                                          strategy amidst uncertainty,         re collecting own data         how to involve staff in getting
                                                                                                                                                          healthcare payments, etc.            on outcomes/ quality,          analysis; use operational plan to
                                                          •    Vendors really need to define value prop.                                                  We will have to adjust.              have to leap forward.          restack resources; seats on the
                                                          •    Spend a lot of time with clients—understand what they need vs.                             Everything will change           •   Designed to address            bus.
•       Everyone’s looking for more                            tell them what they need.                                                                  within 3 years, we don’t             market factor – prove      •   We’ve used HR a lot to set




                                                                                                                                          Example 1
                                                                                                                                                          know how.                            what we do works.              goals, deliverables, make
        value from us at the same or                      •    No more suitcase, here’s what you need.
                                                                                                                                                      •   But don’t chase rabbit trails;       Clinical outcomes,             connection between indiv perf
        lower prices.                                     •    Need great strategic listening skills.                                                                                                                         goals are a part of operational
                                                                                                                                                          Discipline of acting and not         patient quality
                                                                                                                                                          acting.                              measures.                      plan…rely on HR for this.
•       Business strategy/                      •     L onger sales cycles these days.                                                                                                                                    •   Helping other staff succeed!
        prioritization and HR                   •     Pulling out what is usually consulting which we would normally pay for.                                                                       redacted              •   Some staff are finding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              themselves in new roles.
        functions are totally                   •     Then they can shop around for price.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          •   Set goals, stay clear on
        independent. No need to                 •     Once we got nod, then there’s negotiation.                                                                                                                              objectives.
        involve HR during formation                                                                                                                   •   Internal: we have grown but      •   Strategic plan, identify                                              No
        of business priorities.                       •
                                                          redacted
                                                              Level of people who have these jobs aren’t strategic.                                       seeing net revenues decrease,        new sources of revenue,




                                                                                                                                          Example 2
                                                      •       Two types: good at day to day 5500 forms, insurance renewals,                               so need to make major                big internal shift, look
                                                                                                                                                          adjustments/ corrections to          for new opportunities.
•       Retention is far and away the
        # 1 concern and challenge.                    •
                                                              operational/ admin, 401K.
                                                                                                                               “Cu st o mer f o r l •if e?
                                                              Then more senior people in big orgs that are a partner—never going                          ”
                                                                                                                                                          higher net revenue with new
                                                                                                                                                          initiatives, then new non-
                                                                                                                                                                                               New tech platform
                                                                                                                                                                                               (A M S). Web site,
                                                              to get someone like that due to outsourcing, budget, size, etc.                             dues revenue – greater               rebranding.
                                                                                                                                                          return.
                                                                                                                                     • W hat we’re missing is: ― what are we missing?‖
                                            •       HR providers should focus on understanding that staff retention and      • Esp when we get involved with workforce rationalization: how do we need to operation in                                                 6
                                                                                           • CEOs/ ED’s change in
                                                    recruiting is greatest challenge in coming years due toknow they workforce 3 years; skills, dev current staff,TPO & L ondon, Ink
                                                                                                                                  Proprietary & Confidential,
    •     ― People don’t leave                                                                                                                                    getting new ones, etc.
                                                                                                aren’t HR experts. They
          companies they leave              •       Boomers exiting, difficult to replace skill set, millennials.
                                                                                                know there are things        • These are things outside of day to day resp of on site person—they don’t have time to
          managers.‖                        •       Candidates aren’t readily available, not looking.
                                                                                                they don’t know.               think about and we don’t expect them to bec of their hours.
                                                    Will it be greener on the other side? • TPO’s relationship with        • M ost HR providers do good job dealing with tactical part of HR needs; where a lot don’t do is
                                                                                                us gives them an               5     initiate strategic part of HR. M ight have capab but don’t promote it.
    Proprietary & Confidential, TPO & L ondon, Ink
                                                                                                opportunity to                     • Strategic: every department: accounting, HR, production needs a biz plan for the year, chapter
                                                                                                proactively assess and               in biz strat: what does HR see as challenges, internally or externally.
                                                                                                recommend—even (or                 • Have to be able to market it…it’s really a conversation; perhaps day to day consultant isn’t
                                                                                                especially) without being            capable but C-level person more appropriate. Very easy for HR providers to get wrapped up in
                                                                                                asked.                               tactical needs of a company.

                                                                                            •   Strategic conversation
                                                                                                needs to happen with C-
                                                                                                L evel person, not HR
                                                                                                                                                          redacted
                                                                                                                                   • Our HR person had high level HR position for 30 years but bec there are so many changes
                                                                                                                                     on reg basis, she can’t keep up
                                                                                                                                   • TPO gathers latest changes (health insurance, etc.), disseminate to their team, bring to us.
                                                                                                consultant.                        • Don’t know that they do this but would be a nice benefit, great service offering.
                                                                                            •   Would definitely value             • TPO could be experts in disseminating info.
                                                                                                broader perspective on
                                                                                                best practices—                      • I have 1 HR person and she’s great, but I look at TPO as having an HR team. I have a desig
                                                                                                knowledge areas beyond                 consultant but that person should bring entire TPO org knowledge to bear on big issues.
                                                                                                what our consultant is               • Not sure if TPO functions that way—is there emphasis on changing trends, directions that
                                                                                                comfortable with.                      they download to the individual consultant so that person is bringing collective knowledge.
                                                                                                                                     • That would be very valuable: not just hiring consultant, hiring team.
                                                                                            •   This should be proactive.
                                                                                                                                             • Not interested in the idea that I have to bring them in. They know the big picture
                                                                                                                                               so they should be thinking about this. Proactively: if you want to achieve these
                                                                                                Proprietary & Confidential, TPO & L ondon, Ink goals, here are recommendations we would make for you to be successful. 12
How many of you would like
to have customers “for life”?

How many have actually asked your
customers what it would take for
them to become customers for life?



         (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Technology Outsourcing Firm
1st Gen Message   2nd Gen Message Elevator Rant
We keep you up    We get to know  “I need someone to help
and running!      your business!  us make sense of big
                                  technology trends
                                  coming down the road,
                                  so we don’t get
                                  blindsided or miss an
                                  opportunity.”

                                              New Revenue
                                                              New Positioning
                                              Opportunities

                                                        New Service
                                                         Offering
                  (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Business Intelligence (BI)
    Consulting Firm (Public Sector)
1st Gen Message 2nd Gen Message Elevator Rant
We’re BI software We know the    “60% of BI software
experts!          public sector. implementations fail to
                                 meet expectations. Tell me
                                 what I’m doing wrong.”


                                                New Positioning




               (c) London, Ink    www.londonink.com
Data/Solutions Firm
1st Gen Message     2nd Gen Message      Elevator Rant
We provide          Our solutions        “There are a thousand other
competitive         deliver              ways we can use your data.
intelligence in     competitive          So stop trying to sell me your
your industry.      intelligence to      existing solutions and start
                    your call centers.   helping me figure out where
                                         else I can use your
                                         competitive intelligence. And
                                         don’t charge me for
                                         consulting hours.”

                                          New Revenue        New Service
                                           Opportunity        Offering
                  (c) London, Ink        www.londonink.com
The customer’s answer to the
“customer for life” question is
usually their Elevator Rant.




(c) London, Ink      www.londonink.com
HOW DO WE SHOW CUSTOMERS WE
“GET” THEIR ELEVATOR RANT?



      (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
How do we show prospects that we
“get” their Elevator Rant?


    1. We write it down in
           our proposals.

       (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Use the “Proposal Word Count Test”

         # of
       Customer
       Focused                    Should be at least 25%
       Words in
       Proposal
                                      Customer Focus
                              =          Quotient

   Total # of Words in               Usually under 5%
        Proposal




            (c) London, Ink       www.londonink.com
Your proposal should start where
your last conversation left off.
• I heard your overall business challenges and priorities.
  (NOTE: This is not their pain point relative to what you
  are selling.)
• I accurately understand your requirements/pain.
• Here’s our overall approach given your situation.
• Here’s how we will address your requirements.
• Here are some other ideas and recommendations to
  think about.
• Now, here’s some more about us.


             (c) London, Ink      www.londonink.com
Even the file name of your
proposal sends a message

                 Customer-Focused




                   Vendor-Focused


     (c) London, Ink                www.londonink.com
How else can we show prospects
that we “get” their Elevator Rant?


     2. We reflect it on our
                  Web site.

        (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
It’s Not All “About Us”
 • We obsess over the “About Us” Section
 • Do we spend enough time on “About You”?
   o   Articulate their Elevator Rant
   o   Describe how you address the Elevator Rant
   o   Define our sweet spot in a way that resonates
   o   Give examples/case studies!


   Your goal should be for prospects to see
         themselves in your web site.
          (c) London, Ink      www.londonink.com
How else can we show prospects
that we “get” their Elevator Rant?


  3. We incorporate it into
       our elevator pitch.

        (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Don’t focus your pitch on you
  or your service.

• What we are. (Quickly establish what bucket you fall into.)
• Why people need us. (The Elevator Rant they can identify with.)
• How we serve that need. (Your approach that addresses the
  Elevator Rant.)




                (c) London, Ink     www.londonink.com
But we’re in a commodity
business. It’s so transactional.
It’s hard to differentiate.
Everyone focuses on price.

    • Then the Elevator Rant is even more critical.
    • It positions you as customer focused.
    • It can help differentiate your entire
      marketing approach.


           (c) London, Ink   www.londonink.com
Summary

• Change your perspective from “About Us” to “About You.”
• Understanding your Customers’ Elevator Rant is critical to
  having a successful marketing and sales strategy.
• The Elevator Rant isn’t hard to figure out. Just ask your
  customers.
• Do the “Proposal Word Count Test” today.
• Talking to your customers when you’re not selling will yield
  new revenue opportunities.



              (c) London, Ink      www.londonink.com
Thanks!
Bob London              www.londonink.com
President               bob@londonink.com
London, Ink LLC            +1 240.994.7644

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Do you know your B2B customers' Elevator Rant?

  • 1. The Customer Elevator Rant Before you can have an effective marketing and communications strategy, you have to know what your customers are bitching about on the elevator when you’re not around. Bob London President London, Ink LLC www.londonink.com
  • 2. In B2B marketing & sales, we often have the wrong perspective My Elevator Pitch… Our “About Us” Section… Our Sales Proposal… (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 3. HEY, I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU: A BEAUTIFULLY FRAMED PICTURE! (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 4. Of me! It’s an awesome picture of me, your pal, Bob London! It has an elegant, hand- carved, woode Featuring my n frame! patented “casual-jacket- thrown-over- the-shoulder” pose Tell you what, I’ll even sign it. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 5. “UH, THANKS BOB…BUT I DON’T NEED (OR WANT) A PICTURE OF YOU.” “What I’d Really Love to Have…” (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 6. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 7. Now that’s what I’m talking about. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 8. In B2B Marketing & Sales, You Often Have the Wrong Perspective: Yours. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 9. You Have a Quota Your Customer Has 2 – 3 Gigantic, Burning Hot Priorities Your marketing and sales approach needs to resonate on their terms, not yours. Your Customer Has 2 You Have a Quota – 3 Gigantic, Burning Hot Priorities (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 10. Sound obvious? Consider this: In a London, Ink study of 50 B2B proposals, the average amount of focus on customer perspective was just 7%, based on word count. Web Site Design/Dev, $100K Custom Content/E- Budget Newsletter, $70K Budget • % of Proposal Devoted to • % of Proposal Devoted to Customer Perspective Customer Perspective o Vendor 1: 20% o Vendor 1: 6% o Vendor 2: 3% o Vendor 2: 8% o Vendor 3: 5% o Vendor 3: 3% (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 11. To shift your perspective and have an effective marketing and sales strategy… You have to understand your Customers’ Elevator Rant. What are their biggest challenges and priorities? What are they complaining about when you’re not around? It might not be directly related to what you are selling. Understanding your Customers’ Elevator Rant helps improve every aspect of your marketing and sales mix. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 12. How do I uncover my Customers’ Elevator Rant? Try asking your customers  (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 13. Engage 5 – 7 customers in a non-sales dialogue. 1. Their Perspective on Their Business The most valuable • What are your top 3 business challenges next year? 45 minutes you • What key initiatives have you prioritized to address those will ever spend challenges? with your 2. Their Perspective on a Specific Functional Area customer. • Does (industry) have a reputation? • What do you expect from a (functional area) provider? The best time to • What are (functional area) providers missing? talk with customers is when 3. Their Perspective on Your Business (Connect the Dots) you are not trying • How do your priorities and challenges relate to to sell them (functional area)? anything. • What would make you a customer for life? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 14. BUT WILL OUR CUSTOMERS ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 15. Since you asked… Bu sin ess c h a l l en g es > k ey in it ia t iv es > Peo pl e pr io r it ies CHALLENGES I NI TI ATI VES PEOPLE PRI ORI TI ES I NVOLVED Big g est bu sin ess c h a l l en g es HR EARLY? • External: trying to divine • External: stayed behind • We’ve involved HR in plan on No strategy amidst uncertainty, re collecting own data how to involve staff in getting healthcare payments, etc. on outcomes/ quality, analysis; use operational plan to • Vendors really need to define value prop. We will have to adjust. have to leap forward. restack resources; seats on the • Spend a lot of time with clients—understand what they need vs. Everything will change • Designed to address bus. • Everyone’s looking for more tell them what they need. within 3 years, we don’t market factor – prove • We’ve used HR a lot to set Example 1 know how. what we do works. goals, deliverables, make value from us at the same or • No more suitcase, here’s what you need. • But don’t chase rabbit trails; Clinical outcomes, connection between indiv perf lower prices. • Need great strategic listening skills. goals are a part of operational Discipline of acting and not patient quality acting. measures. plan…rely on HR for this. • Business strategy/ • L onger sales cycles these days. • Helping other staff succeed! prioritization and HR • Pulling out what is usually consulting which we would normally pay for. redacted • Some staff are finding themselves in new roles. functions are totally • Then they can shop around for price. • Set goals, stay clear on independent. No need to • Once we got nod, then there’s negotiation. objectives. involve HR during formation • Internal: we have grown but • Strategic plan, identify No of business priorities. • redacted Level of people who have these jobs aren’t strategic. seeing net revenues decrease, new sources of revenue, Example 2 • Two types: good at day to day 5500 forms, insurance renewals, so need to make major big internal shift, look adjustments/ corrections to for new opportunities. • Retention is far and away the # 1 concern and challenge. • operational/ admin, 401K. “Cu st o mer f o r l •if e? Then more senior people in big orgs that are a partner—never going ” higher net revenue with new initiatives, then new non- New tech platform (A M S). Web site, to get someone like that due to outsourcing, budget, size, etc. dues revenue – greater rebranding. return. • W hat we’re missing is: ― what are we missing?‖ • HR providers should focus on understanding that staff retention and • Esp when we get involved with workforce rationalization: how do we need to operation in 6 • CEOs/ ED’s change in recruiting is greatest challenge in coming years due toknow they workforce 3 years; skills, dev current staff,TPO & L ondon, Ink Proprietary & Confidential, • ― People don’t leave getting new ones, etc. aren’t HR experts. They companies they leave • Boomers exiting, difficult to replace skill set, millennials. know there are things • These are things outside of day to day resp of on site person—they don’t have time to managers.‖ • Candidates aren’t readily available, not looking. they don’t know. think about and we don’t expect them to bec of their hours. Will it be greener on the other side? • TPO’s relationship with • M ost HR providers do good job dealing with tactical part of HR needs; where a lot don’t do is us gives them an 5 initiate strategic part of HR. M ight have capab but don’t promote it. Proprietary & Confidential, TPO & L ondon, Ink opportunity to • Strategic: every department: accounting, HR, production needs a biz plan for the year, chapter proactively assess and in biz strat: what does HR see as challenges, internally or externally. recommend—even (or • Have to be able to market it…it’s really a conversation; perhaps day to day consultant isn’t especially) without being capable but C-level person more appropriate. Very easy for HR providers to get wrapped up in asked. tactical needs of a company. • Strategic conversation needs to happen with C- L evel person, not HR redacted • Our HR person had high level HR position for 30 years but bec there are so many changes on reg basis, she can’t keep up • TPO gathers latest changes (health insurance, etc.), disseminate to their team, bring to us. consultant. • Don’t know that they do this but would be a nice benefit, great service offering. • Would definitely value • TPO could be experts in disseminating info. broader perspective on best practices— • I have 1 HR person and she’s great, but I look at TPO as having an HR team. I have a desig knowledge areas beyond consultant but that person should bring entire TPO org knowledge to bear on big issues. what our consultant is • Not sure if TPO functions that way—is there emphasis on changing trends, directions that comfortable with. they download to the individual consultant so that person is bringing collective knowledge. • That would be very valuable: not just hiring consultant, hiring team. • This should be proactive. • Not interested in the idea that I have to bring them in. They know the big picture so they should be thinking about this. Proactively: if you want to achieve these Proprietary & Confidential, TPO & L ondon, Ink goals, here are recommendations we would make for you to be successful. 12
  • 16. How many of you would like to have customers “for life”? How many have actually asked your customers what it would take for them to become customers for life? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 17. Technology Outsourcing Firm 1st Gen Message 2nd Gen Message Elevator Rant We keep you up We get to know “I need someone to help and running! your business! us make sense of big technology trends coming down the road, so we don’t get blindsided or miss an opportunity.” New Revenue New Positioning Opportunities New Service Offering (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 18. Business Intelligence (BI) Consulting Firm (Public Sector) 1st Gen Message 2nd Gen Message Elevator Rant We’re BI software We know the “60% of BI software experts! public sector. implementations fail to meet expectations. Tell me what I’m doing wrong.” New Positioning (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 19. Data/Solutions Firm 1st Gen Message 2nd Gen Message Elevator Rant We provide Our solutions “There are a thousand other competitive deliver ways we can use your data. intelligence in competitive So stop trying to sell me your your industry. intelligence to existing solutions and start your call centers. helping me figure out where else I can use your competitive intelligence. And don’t charge me for consulting hours.” New Revenue New Service Opportunity Offering (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 20. The customer’s answer to the “customer for life” question is usually their Elevator Rant. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 21. HOW DO WE SHOW CUSTOMERS WE “GET” THEIR ELEVATOR RANT? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 22. How do we show prospects that we “get” their Elevator Rant? 1. We write it down in our proposals. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 23. Use the “Proposal Word Count Test” # of Customer Focused Should be at least 25% Words in Proposal Customer Focus = Quotient Total # of Words in Usually under 5% Proposal (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 24. Your proposal should start where your last conversation left off. • I heard your overall business challenges and priorities. (NOTE: This is not their pain point relative to what you are selling.) • I accurately understand your requirements/pain. • Here’s our overall approach given your situation. • Here’s how we will address your requirements. • Here are some other ideas and recommendations to think about. • Now, here’s some more about us. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 25. Even the file name of your proposal sends a message Customer-Focused Vendor-Focused (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 26. How else can we show prospects that we “get” their Elevator Rant? 2. We reflect it on our Web site. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 27. It’s Not All “About Us” • We obsess over the “About Us” Section • Do we spend enough time on “About You”? o Articulate their Elevator Rant o Describe how you address the Elevator Rant o Define our sweet spot in a way that resonates o Give examples/case studies! Your goal should be for prospects to see themselves in your web site. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 28. How else can we show prospects that we “get” their Elevator Rant? 3. We incorporate it into our elevator pitch. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 29. Don’t focus your pitch on you or your service. • What we are. (Quickly establish what bucket you fall into.) • Why people need us. (The Elevator Rant they can identify with.) • How we serve that need. (Your approach that addresses the Elevator Rant.) (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 30. But we’re in a commodity business. It’s so transactional. It’s hard to differentiate. Everyone focuses on price. • Then the Elevator Rant is even more critical. • It positions you as customer focused. • It can help differentiate your entire marketing approach. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 31. Summary • Change your perspective from “About Us” to “About You.” • Understanding your Customers’ Elevator Rant is critical to having a successful marketing and sales strategy. • The Elevator Rant isn’t hard to figure out. Just ask your customers. • Do the “Proposal Word Count Test” today. • Talking to your customers when you’re not selling will yield new revenue opportunities. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  • 32. Thanks! Bob London www.londonink.com President bob@londonink.com London, Ink LLC +1 240.994.7644

Editor's Notes

  1. So before you go off developing your elevator pitch and distributing it to your sales team, executives, managers and other employees, make sure you invest the necessary time and effort to uncover your Customers’ Elevator Rant. It’s certain to pay off.Bob London is president of London, Ink, a Maryland-based marketing and communications consulting firm, and serves as a Virtual VP of Marketing for growth stage companies that need an injection of marketing experience and leadership to drive key initiatives and results. Learn more at www.londonink.com and www.insideoutbranding.com.
  2. That’s enough about me, lets talk about you. What do you think about me?
  3. What is ERDefinitionWeb design/devWho loves getting rfps? Why? Price comparison. Hard to differentiate ourselves.We are service oriented!We get to know our clients’ bizOur Proposal is completely self-focusedWord countDid you differentiate yourselves?ER ExamplesCoreUpstreamHow to get ERTalk to customers when you are not trying to sell them somethingGive eamplesHow to Use ERPitchStart with rantProposal – wordcountWeb design/devWebLiving FAQs (inbound marcus)Here are my requirements???
  4. How to get a free headshot: Pay thousands of dollars for your son’s bar mitzvah and the photog will take a headshot of you for free.
  5. That’s enough about me, lets talk about you. What do you think about me?
  6. We’re perceived as a commodity.Our space is crowded.Customers are demanding more value for less money.Customers want ideas for free!It is hard to differentiate.Prospects are focused on price.RFPs suck!How are we going to grow?OK, we want a proposal: here’s a chance to show your stuff!
  7. B2B Marketing/Sales Elevator RantCommodity businessCustomers want more for lessCustomers want ideas for free!Hard to differentiateHard to get to the decision makerProspects focus on priceRFPs suck!The Customer Elevator Rant (CER) is what your ideal prospect says on the elevator ride with his/her boss when you are not around. The CER is your prospect’s candid, specific and sometimes emotional articulation of his/her pain in trying to get some part of his/her job done correctly–perhaps something your product or service can address.The only way for you to know if your product or service solves that pain is for you to figure out the rant. Here are some very basic ways to start doing this:
  8. Ask the Prospect. Yes, it’s obvious but think of how infrequently we ask questions unless we’re already trying to sell something. As soon as a sale or deal is in the air, the prospect will go into his corner and put on his company hat, and is unlikely to share any real insights with you. Any successful salesperson will approach the prospect at least once or twice before trying to sell something. They will ask him how things are going. What’s his experience with customer support or service delivery. What was his golf score at the management off site and, by the way, what was on the agenda. Once they start talking, listen carefully as the rant may be in there–it might jump out at you or it might be somewhere between the lines.
  9. EXAMPLE- healthcare services firmExternal: trying to divine strategy amidst uncertainty, healthcare payments, etc. We will have to adjust. Everything will change within 3 years, we don’t know how. But don’t chase rabbit trails;Discipline of acting and not acting.External: stayed behind re collecting own data on outcomes/quality, have to leap forward. Designed to address market factor – prove what we do works. Clinical outcomes, patient quality measures.how to involve staff in getting analysis; use operational plan to restack resources; seats on the bus. We’ve used HR a lot to set goals, deliverables, make connection between indivperf goals are a part of operational plan…rely on HR for this. Helping other staff succeed! Some staff are finding themselves in new roles. Set goals, stay clear on objectives.EXAMPLE – medical device association#1 is med devices converging with IT, greatly changing the marketplace of who’s making devices, what stds need to be set, who’s going to maintain them, huge mkt shifts, potential to impact us greatly. Haven’t yet impacted but we’re going to change somehow. Biggest challenge is to be ready for that and position ourselves for a very different marketplace. A bit late to party—Mary came 3 years ago. Did org assessment and said we are late—we’ll be extinct. Predecessor didn’t want anything to do with changes and neither did staff.Establish credibility with non-trad (IT pple in hospitals not medical) audiences – bunch of projects in the works. Help clinical engineering audiences see that they need to change to be ready—so they are valuable and have jobs. Strategic plan goal around creating their future.
  10. Anecdote about asking for referrals – Optimal Networks. Largest client might not renew. Need to get out and ask for referrals! Meet with clients intending to ask for referrals. How’s business?
  11. Who loves getting RFPs? Why? Price comparison. Hard to differentiate ourselves.We are service oriented!We get to know our clients’ bizOur Proposal is completely self-focusedWord countDid you differentiate yourselves?
  12. Who loves getting RFPs? Why? Price comparison. Hard to differentiate ourselves.We are service oriented!We get to know our clients’ bizOur Proposal is completely self-focusedWord countDid you differentiate yourselves?
  13. Who loves getting RFPs? Why? Price comparison. Hard to differentiate ourselves.We are service oriented!We get to know our clients’ bizOur Proposal is completely self-focusedWord countDid you differentiate yourselves?