The Elevator Pitch

CC image: ‘Elevator Doors’ by Ricardo Diaz

When you go to an event with friends you always end up meeting new people. Whether you are at a ball game or a BBQ, it is inevitable that someone is going to ask “What do you do?”. This is your chance to either amaze them or repeat the boring paragraph HR used when describing your position.

Here is a great response to “What do you do?”.

“Do you know what your most valuable asset is? Most people make mention of their home, cars or other high value possessions. Although those are valuable your most important asset is your future income. This is the income you will make over the life of your professional career. My job is to protect that income by limiting your exposure from liabilities such as your home, auto and yourself.”

From that response you want to know more about what the person does and you also want to ask questions to see if that person could potentially provide value for you.

Much more powerful then the standard “I sell insurance” response.

CC image: ‘Elevator Doors’ by Ricardo Diaz

What Are You Cooking?

How do you connect with your customers? The folks at StickerGiant, an online sticker company, came up with a unique way to connect with their customers. They created a StickerGiant cookbook. The cookbook included photos of each team member, their favorite recipes and of course stickers. Despite the fact that most of StickerGiant’s business is done over the web, their customers now have faces to associate with the company. Will your customers think of you when they make grape jelly meatballs? StickerGiant’s will.

Learn more about StickerGiant at They are the place to go for all of your sticker needs!!

Keep It Simple

How often have you thought up an elaborate promotion to get your team and customers excited about your product(s)? It seems like the more elaborate the promotion the less likely it is to succeed.

Dollar Shave Club does a great job of holding monthly contests that are both simple and fun. Check out their most recent one below.

You should consider “keeping it simple” when planning your 2013 promotions.

Making it Easier

I received three funny Christmas boxes from Makers Mark this year (Me-Wow Weights, 100 year old fruitcake and a chest hair waxing, tanning and styling kit) that conveniently hold a bottle of Makers Mark. Now I am buying three bottles of Makers to give as holiday gifts. That is three more bottles than I originally had on my Christmas shopping list…genius! I cannot wait to see the look on the faces of my friends when they unwrap the boxes. Makers Mark continues to make it easy to spread the word about their product.

To learn more about becoming a Makers Mark Ambassador click here

Say No To “I”


Have you gotten e-mail out of the blue like the one below?

“Hi Brian

I wanted to check in with you now that the world is back at work full force. “My Company” is full service communications firm with expertise in brand development, digital/interactive services as well as, identity and design.

As always “No” is a fine answer but I’ll ask the question.

Is there anything on your horizon that we can help you with?”

The author of this e-mail lead with an “I”, the message is now all about him and what he can do. He never took any time to try and understand what I am trying to accomplish, fix or avoid. He made it about his company and lost my interest. The result, I end up treating his message like the countless other spam I receive everyday.

Let’s try it again, but this time focus the message around “you”.

“Hi Brian,

As you know your brand is one of your company’s most important assets. Managing that brand and making sure your message clearly reaches your customers is essential. Branded companies such as yours work with “Company Name” because of our expertise in brand development, digital/interactive services as well as, identity and design. Whether you need help with the fine or broad strokes of your message, we can help. Where should we go from here?”

Boom, the above message is now about me and a potential situation that I may be trying to accomplish fix or avoid. They have my attention.

Are you a knife or a tool?

When you look at a Swiss army knife you quickly realize it is more than a knife. With a corkscrew, tweezers, screwdriver and can opener, it is clear, this is a tool capable of many functions.

When you offer your customers products or services what sets you apart? Do you take the knife approach, only there to help with one thing? Or are you the tool, capable of helping your customer with a variety of tasks?

You may be a great “knife”, but customers are looking for support in a variety of ways. They are looking for a tool that can help them get more done with their limited resources.

In this case, being a tool is a good thing.

Ring, Ring!

Calling Customer Support can be a painful experience. After you get through the automated system you end up speaking to a person half a world away. Often you can barely understand the person and even “if” you can get your problem fixed it is always frustrating.

In contrast take a look at the popular online retailer Zappos. Touch one button on the automated system and you are talking to a real person. I had to return a backpack yesterday and talked to John at Zappos. Not only did he handle the return, he also helped me find the correct color backpack (my teenagers are very picky). The process was painless and enjoyable.

Great customer service is just one of the reasons Zappos owns the customer experience. Who answers your phones?

Don’t Be A Hero…


How many times have you been in a selling situation where the sales person tells you how great they are and how much they can help your business grow? The sales person is there to swoop down from the sky and save the day. They never stop to ask if you need saving. In fact most have no idea what your organization is trying to to accomplish, fix or avoid.

The sales person is not the hero in the sales process, the prospect is. The role of the sales person is to mentor the prospect giving them the tools they need to be the hero in their organization.

How can your solutions help your prospects become heroes?


Just Add Zombies!


Don’t be a wireless phone company, always fighting over plans and rates. They always battle over the same points and victory is never assured.

Instead focus on what makes you different that provides value to your prospect. Focus on areas where your competition cannot compete with you, if they try they will lose.

Check out how this event company used zombies to set themselves apart from other competitive events being offered.

What is your zombie?

Also check out this cool write up they had in the Wall Street Journal.