You’re all packed, the tunes are playing and the wind’s blowing through your hair. You’re taken by the picturesque mountainside as you sweep through the long windy road towards your destination. You’ve got all the time in the world to stop, discover and learn a few new things along the way.
There’s nothing more exhilarating than taking the scenic route. You’ve earned your arrival. Been part of the experience and have a story to tell once you get there. This is your road trip... Well not entirely, it’s actually the banks.
The truth is that banks are taking the scenic route to the moon. The good thing is, Ripple’s driving the bus.
Are we there yet?
So you’ve got your killer strategy, your product and your sales pitch is tight, but the client still doesn’t see it. Why? Because they don’t want to be TOLD how to get there, they want to be SOLD.
When clients throw everything into the too-hard basket, it may very well mean they need to be taken on that journey to completely understand how and where their business is going.
It’s a physiological barrier; banks and all clients for that matter, want to be taken down the scenic route, given options; they want to see the ins and outs of every avenue you’ve explored, feel something tangible in their hands and maybe even have a say in which path to take - welcome to the joys of the long sell.
Ripple knows this all too well. Banks, payment service providers and the growing list of prospects are never going to buy what Ripple’s selling (e.g. xRapid) unless they’re given the choice of a few roads to get there (RippleNet, xCurrent and xVia).
The emphasis on a client journey is crucial because it means understanding the client’s needs, considerations and expectations. Like any client adventure, they’ll go through the stages of evaluating budgets, implementation of new infrastructure, timelines, staff retraining, operational efficiencies and more, before even considering a route to take. And that’s only internal logistics; government bodies and regulatory framework play another vital role.
It’s all a hand-holding process. This is why I feel product pilots are extremely important for both parties. Here's why:
The Tissue Session
A product pilot is a bit like a series of informal catch-ups about which direction to take for an idea or product you’re trying to sell. These catch-ups are sometimes referred to as the ‘Tissue session’. (It's called this because ad agencies need to bring out the tissue box for all the proposed ideas that have been axed by the client. Here come the tears.)
A tissue session allows the seller (Ripple) to test their thinking on their clients (banks) without committing to moving forward (yet). A client can pick and poke at an idea to find its holes and weak points. This allows us to strengthen the thinking collaboratively, in ways we never really envisaged before. You'd be surprised at the amount of valuable insights that can be gathered by actually listening to your client. Ripple are listening with open ears.
Valuable insights, conversations and data are precious to Ripple on this journey, taking them out of the experimental stage, so that next time they pick up another bank along the way, they can be sure it's a smoother, more direct trip towards their destination.
Aside from the importance of results and numbers, the ultimate goal of the Tissue Session (pilot) is for both parties to form a unified direction before hitting the big green ‘live’ button. This gives a smart seller (Ripple) the chance to lead the client (bank) down a particular path, making them feel like it was their idea in the first place. Success.
For investors, it may seem like the sat nav is in tourist mode, but I assure you it's all part of the course to solidify that the path being taken is the right one. The right one being that of the banks. Why? Because whether we want to hear it or not, in their minds it's their innovative, cost-saving route that will get them there. And that's how the banks will sell it on to their customers.
Banks want to see Ripple’s plan succeed - why would they ignore 40-70% savings? But for it to succeed, they will want their name all over it. For example, the press headline will never read ‘Ripple launches real-time cross-border payments with Bank ABC utilizing XRP’, it will read ‘Bank ABC launches real-time cross-border payments for its customers’ (fine print, last paragraph: powered by Ripple).
This is the ultimate outcome any seller would want. To successfully convince a client that they bought their own idea. You'll have them lining up and eating out of your hand.
Nail in the tyre
The present speculative and volatile markets are the flat tyre we all feared en route to our destination. In the interim, we may see other cryptocurrencies and digital assets zoom past us, only to find their wheels fall off half way down the road. The reason being they’re lacking any sort of mapped journey, real problem solving use-case or solution - and clients will see through this, or fall behind with the pretenders.
The road of utility-based digital assets, like XRP is long-winded, but rewarding. And rightfully so. It’s a road that is yet to be traveled by anyone before. Banks, payment service providers, regulators and governments need to get it right the first time. And who's there to hold their hand along the way? You guessed it. Ripple.
You can smell it in the air
For investors, we know where this bus is headed; we can see it; we can smell it in the air. The scenic route gives us the time to clear our minds from the everyday crypto nonsense, learn more about the evolving industry space and how our investment is truly making a global impact.
You just need to dive into the factual research and information from some of the XRP community leaders (@Hodor7777 and @XRPTrump to name just a couple) to really appreciate this glorious road map we’re all on.
Meanwhile, client strategies are pivoting to the tune of the Ripple thinking. Liquidity is building at a rapid rate and we'll see a line up of clients wanting to get on that bus, ready for Ripple to take them along that journey.
We’re on the right path and day-by-day we're etching closer towards our destination. There's nothing more to do than to sit back, relax and take in the scenery. Next stop…