Tuesday, September 02, 2008

So, What Does Your Company Do?

The Tuesday after Labor Day is kind of like January 2nd for me. It's the official start of the Fall Season, whatever that may mean for you. After years of living in New York, it means new art gallery and museum shows, the season of "serious" films, new restaurant openings. It's also the day when my school year would start which instilled a strong sensory memory that kicks in every year and makes me want to buy new notebooks, pens, pencils, and crayons.

So, I always welcome it as if it were a new year, but with the quickened energy that is part of the brisk autumn weather, regardless of temps in the 90's.

All this is a preamble to a renewed commitment to write on a more regular basis and publish here. Most days, there's so many ideas for posts flitting through my head, after reading another blog, an article, whatever and like many others, I'm sure, make a mental note that I'll write about that 'later' only to not make that happen. No more!

So, I saw a Twitter post this morning -

"New rule w/ vendors. If you can't tell me in one page (exec. summary), you can't do biz w/ me. I am happy to delve in further if I have Qs."

A few minutes later, I got a new email in my inbox in response to a Website inquiry I'd made last week asking for more information to understand exactly what the company had to offer.

"Our mission is to create a competitive advantage for small and medium-sized retailers like you by providing them with everything they need for achieving retail business success.

To help us better address your specific need and goals, please provide the following information:
Revenue band: Under $1M, $1 to $2M, $2 to $5M, Over $5M
Once we have this information, the appropriate consultant will contact you to setup a convenient time and date to dicuss your needs."

I understand the need to qualify a prospect. But, I'm not even a prospect at this point in time. The mission statement says the obvious, but says nothing. I'm not a retailer per se. I'm investigating different tools for my clients.

I still don't know exactly what they do. And, it's already gotten to be too much

I recently changed my elevator pitch. Now, when people ask me what we do, my response is, "We help our clients send massive quantities of email responsibly and successfully and then, make sense of all the resulting data."

Pretty simple and straightforward. Most people now ask me for advice, for more information specific to their own needs (pain points) relative to their marketing goals, a more complete explanation of all the services we can offer.

Nice, huh?

What would you like to know about us?

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Anonymous Bobby Hewitt said...

You hit on a very good point and one that is often overlooked by many companies. In this day and age where we have to fit what we do in the length of a tweet, it is also vitally important that your company value proposition is utterly clear without any marketing jargon that gets in the way. Great job of communicating what you do clearly yet leaving it open enough to let your prospects ask questions.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:13:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lydia Sugarman said...

Bobby-Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog entry and comment. Of course, it doesn't hurt that you agree!

Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:08:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Josh McCormack said...

It's shocking how some companies can't quickly tell you what they actually do, free of jargon and nonsense.

And while I'm very upfront about pricing (we post it on our site), I really don't like the idea of treating people poorly if they don't have tons of money. Be wise, people! One day those small companies will be big, or will be bought out by giants and in charge of a lot more than they are today.

Josh McCormack
Owner, InteractiveQA
Drupal, Information Architecture and Quality Assurance

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 5:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lydia Sugarman said...

Thank you for taking time to read an "old" post. It reminded me to keep it simple and stick to that description of what we do!

And, yes, you're right on point! This is such a great time for small companies to set themselves, their services, and their customer service and support apart from the big guys. Ideally, we don't lose that when we're the big guys.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 5:24:00 PM PDT  

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