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Don’t try to be


something you’re not!


A good many over-zealous entrepreneurs (are there any other kind?) seem to think that the solution to their financial woes is to try to be all things to everyone…”Whaddever ya need, we got it!” I heard a small business owner say recently, and he wasn’t talking about one type or category of products or services. He meant, literally, that he could provide ANYthing.

Well, of course he couldn’t really do that, but he was ready to pounce on any opportunity to make a buck — willing to stand on his head and spit wooden nickles if he thought it would part you with the money in your pocket. A huckster? Not really. He was simply misunderstanding that those who purport to be jacks of all trades are no longer credible or desirable in today’s world.

When economic times get tough,

dig in, don’t spread out!


People want knowledgeable, reputable, professional specialists –doctors, plumbers, teachers, builders, most retailers, consultants, lawyers, manufacturers, online businesses, et al. Most of us save up to deal with fly-by-night generalist businesses for when we’re on vacation and expect to get “taken” by those who cater to tourists . . . but not the rest of the year!

It’s easy and tempting to jump on a customer request when it’s not something that’s really up your alley if you’re expenses are dragging you closer to the brink of desperation than your income can comfortably offset. It’s easy and tempting, but it’s also stupid! In the end, trying to be all things to all people will turn around and slap you in the face . . . or kick your butt!

Force yourself to stop and think about what YOU want when YOU are on the buying end. If that’s not enough to turn your brain around, remember the old  Miracle On 34th Street Christmas movie storyline about how much the Macy’s Santa does for Macy’s by sending customers that Macy’s had no ability to serve to Macy’s competitor, Gimbels.

That’s not just some fantasy Christmas movie. There are millions of similar dynamic incidents that drive successful entrepreneurial enterprises today. What people want from you is trust. They want honesty. They want you to help them solve a problem, not try to sell them something they don’t need or want. Should you send everyone to your competitor? Of course not.

But customers don’t want to deal with a business that pretends to have the answer to their dreams because it represents a “quick buck” opportunity. Professional salespeople know this. Many entrepreneurs do not, and continue to try being something they’re not. Bottom line? People are not stupid. They know when a business owner is pretending.

The best solution is authenticity. It wins more business in a minute than years of make-believe.

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Make today a GREAT day for someone!



2 comments so far


  1. Bob Caseyon 16 May 2012 at 7:42 am

    Hey Hal…remember Marketing class presentations at Iona College with you selling pots and pans, and me hawking Bowling Balls?!

  2. Hal Alpiaron 16 May 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I do indeed, Bob! And nice to hear from you here. Thanks for the college days reminder (whew – another lifetime!). Well. on the subject of “Misrepresentation,” I think my pots and pans were better quality and more useful than your bowling balls. Hmmm? Visit again soon. Best as always – Hal

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