Rats vs. Dents


By Robert Pease, Pipeline Performance Practice Lead for Heinz Marketing

Did that get your attention?

I don’t know where I heard this the first time so apologies to its creator as well as a big thank you. I do use it frequently when talking about customer acquisition and how to get prioritized as a “must have” vs. a “nice to have.”

This is a more dramatic version of the vitamin vs. painkiller comparison but they both get at the point around priority, urgency, and commitment to action.

It goes as follows….

If you wake up tomorrow and see a rat in your house, how quickly do you want to do something about it? Do you really care what it costs as long as the rats are gone?

If you wake up tomorrow and see a new dent in your car door, you will be frustrated and mad (if you are me) but the car still runs, gets me to where I am going and, if on the passenger side, not something I see or think about much – until a friend teases me about the dent in my door.

Get where I am going here?

If you are selling (or doing marketing to support selling), what is the “rat” problem you solve that will cause someone to immediately listen to you, commit to the path you suggest, and become your customer in the near-term?

If you truly are in the “dents” business, how do you become the go to for “dents” providing fast, painless, quality service that removes that nuisance and increases the value of your car for that next trade in?

I don’t like rats or dents but have found this an effective way to take a hard look at messaging especially that is used to engage and convert prospects.

It’s rarely a good place to be when no one disagrees with you about the problem you solve but is in no hurry to address it – the car still drives.

What are the rat problems your customers have?