The Small Talk Problem: A Shameless Plug

by John Cloonan
September 20, 2018
The Small Talk Problem: A Shameless Plug

“So, what do you do?”

How often do you hear this question? How often, after you hear this question, do you get this?

“And what does your company do?”

If you work for a company that makes products, it tends to be pretty easy. You make stuff. It’s tangible. According to what the “stuff” is, you can either hand me one, or show me a picture of one. If it’s a digital product, you might be able to demonstrate it to me.

In services industries, that’s not quite as easy. You may provide services where the recipient isn’t the client, like in crisis response. You may offer something that only makes sense to someone in a certain industry – like file review or independent medical exams, which are only generally understood by insurers. So if you’re in one of those industries, what do you say to people when they ask what your company does? And how do you differentiate yourself from other companies that do that same thing, or illustrate the value of what you do?

There is a way – you start with “why.”

Figure out why you exist, and go from there.

I’ll be doing just that as a pre-conference training at the EAPA 2018 Conference & EXPO Minneapolis. On Tuesday, October 9th, I’ll be working with a group of employee assistance professionals to use the “start with why” framework to define the EAP industry, answering the questions:

  • Why do EAPs exist?
  • How do they fulfill the promise of that existence?
  • What activities are involved?

I’ll be helping those EAP pros boil those answers down to a 3-5 sentence elevator pitch. We’ll practice delivering that pitch, and then creating some presentation materials to back it up.

We’ll also work together to help those EAP businesses differentiate themselves within the larger framework of the industry, with a view to having each company represented by a variation on the theme.

So if you’re going to be at EAPA, come in early to take advantage of this event! You do not have to be a member to attend, nor do you have to attend the full conference! If you need CEAP PDH/CE hours, 4 will be available by attending.

Register today! 

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John Cloonan

Marketing Director at Kinetix
John knows how to tell a good story, where to tell it, and to whom. He’s created brand stories and strategies for companies from startups to $1B plus, and shared more than a few as a public speaker. His résumé reads like War and Peace. He’s been a marketing consultant, agency owner, corporate marketing leader, and an adjunct marketing professor, not to mention motorcycle racer and inline skating instructor. If you see a blur on the interstate, it’s John headed to Kinetix HQ, where he conducts the marketing orchestra. Catch him on LinkedIn:
John Cloonan

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