Tom C. had a brand-new business that he was excited about. However, like so many entrepreneurs just starting out, he struggled to explain his business in simple terms. Instead of a clear, concise “elevator pitch,” he found himself rattling off credentials, rambling about specific aspects of his services and causing prospects to tune out and turn away.
Furthermore, he was spending a lot of time talking to potential referral partners (who understood his business model), but still struggling to identify his prospective client and target market.
So, we built a workshop designed to do four things.
1. Help refine his “elevator pitch”
The LSP method can help focus scattered thoughts and refine messaging. It took a little work to iron out the message, but once he had it, he breathed a huge sigh of relief. He then realized how simple the message needed to be and how much he had overcomplicated it.
Once he had wrestled through the messaging, his purpose was clear for the rest of the session. One of the benefits of the LSP method is memory retention. The process of using bricks to hand build a model representing your thoughts and ideas, is the brain’s process of solidifying a better understanding and retention of the developed concepts.
If you ask Tom today what his elevator pitch is, he can tell you in seconds flat without having to think about it or explain it away.
2. Help him better understand his potential customer
Tom came into the workshop saying he didn’t really understand his prospective client, but once he started building, it became clear that he knew more than he thought he did. A few key questions lead to a fantastic model demonstrating four walls his prospective clients had built up around the services he was offering. And like most people, money was one of the four walls.
We then narrowed those segments into three separate emotions and had a conversation about how to work around them. During that discussion, Tom made an off-the-cuff comment about the clients in the denial stage not being worth his time.
We then explored some reasons for the walls that the prospects had built up. Again, Tom initially didn’t think he knew why they were there, but the right question revealed that a bad experience common to his industry was leading to the close-minded attitudes he was combating. That was a powerful exercise and led to a central concept to the work we were doing.
This example demonstrates the power of “hand knowledge.” Science doesn’t fully understand the connection between the mind and the hands, but considering all the ways people use their hands, it seems only logical to assume that there is one. However, in normal conversation, people are only tapping into 5-10% of the brain.
Tom’s example demonstrates this concept perfectly. When asked why his prospects had all these walls built up, he said he didn’t know. When asked to build a model to explain it, the reason became perfectly clear.
3. Help define his value proposition
And then the magic began. Now that we knew what the customer was thinking and why they had walls built up around his service offering, we could explore how he helped clients break down their walls and solve their problems. But when I started asking questions, he froze. This is when the ugly “Imposter Syndrome” made its appearance. He rather timidly admitted that he didn’t understand the value he was adding.
“Imposter Syndrome” is something almost every entrepreneur in the world deals with at some point in their journey and is totally normal. We discuss it often in our Entrepreneur Close-Up podcast.
But in this case, I discovered the power of the Brick to overcome this issue. Returning to the model and rephrasing the question opened his eyes to the value he truly did bring to the table. I watched him light up and transform as he realized his own value and worth. It was empowering to him and magical to watch.
And as he built out his value, his elevator pitch showed up again in the model. We had now come full circle and brought it all together in one simple, easy to explain, fun to deliver statement of value.
4. Help identify client target markets
In our final exercise, I had Tom build some examples of different types of businesses that might be interested in his services. After building as many as he could think of, we arranged them around the table in proximity to various areas of the customer landscape and started making connections between types of customers and how they felt about his services.
This was an enlightening exercise! What clearly emerged from the board is that the customer he thought would be the easiest to access, would likely present the most resistance to what he was selling. So, spending time and energy on that market could have been a demoralizing waste of time!
Instead, we discovered a unique opportunity for a client base who might be facing some unique issues he could help with.
The power of working in three dimensions cannot be understated. In this instance, it allowed a client to refine a marketing message, realize how much knowledge he had about his potential clients, work through Imposter Syndrome and identify a new target market with more potential than he realized.
And we did it all in just over four hours.
The lessons he learned are deeply ingrained in his brain, are easily recalled to memory and will likely stay with him for the entirety of this journey.