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Just around the corner from my house are a few speciality shops catering to the residents in our neighborhood.

Over the past six months, there’s been a vacancy in one of them and each day as I walk past it on my way to my office, I’ve become more curious as to what kind of entrepreneur will rent that space.

A couple of months ago, my curiosity was answered.

A gentleman named Antonio rented it (he’s from Italy) and his speciality is making chocolates from a family recipe he says, no one else offers in Sydney.

He opened his chocolate shop with trays of his family recipe chocolate that he proudly displays as you walk by his shop window.

Antonio has a great personality. Whenever you walk by his shop he’s always smiling and offering a sample.

You can see he is proud of what he does and LOVES his product.

There’s no doubt, he is very knowledgeable from his years of experience in his field.

He even wears one of those fancy chef outfits that gives him a real authentic “chocolatier” look.

The chocolate itself isn’t bad, but it certainly isn’t a game changer.

Over the last couple of weeks as I’ve walked by his shop, I’ve started to make mental notes to myself about his odds of making his entrepreneurial venture a success.

Will Antonio succeed in his new venture?

In my opinion, he’ll be out of business within the next six months.

Here’s why:

He feels so confident that his “product” is so much better than his competition, he doesn’t feel he has to be aggressive about marketing it to the residents in the neighborhood.

He knows his stuff and he shouldn’t have to create a sophisticated marketing system to fill up his store with customers, he believes.

His mindset is “create a great product, word will spread and success will happen without a focused and systematic marketing plan”.

How do I know this?

Because his store is mostly empty! Except for him mixing the ingredients of his family recipe.

I’ve been asking myself, why isn’t he actually “working” when there are no customers in his store?

When I mean “working”, I mean planning, strategizing, implementing, meeting with other shop owners to do a joint promotion, calling the Chamber of Commerce, designing flyers, on the street to invite people in, offering courses on making chocolate, writing a book, etc.

He has what I call the “Expert Syndrome”.

Meaning he knows his field and product so well, why should he focus most of his time on a marketing system that automatically attracts new customers, if his knowledge trumps others in his field.

This syndrome is rampant among many entrepreneurs who are hitting a plateau in their business.

(They were doing fine before the global economy went into a tail spin).

There’s a certain air of over confidence about them, not arrogance per say, but an attitude of strength based on their product knowledge.

But when you ask them to show you their marketing system to attract highly qualified clients or customers on an automated basis, they default to only their “sales skills”.

One thing I know for sure as I continue to work closely with 7-figure entrepreneurs to make breakthroughs in their businesses: no matter how great your product or service is, it won’t bring you success unless you psychologically remove yourself from it and focus on creating a trust-based sales funnel that you can count on to bring you qualified customers.

I’ve spent the last 10 years honing our sales funnel and our marketing systems that now bring us clients and customers automatically and at will.

I’ve tried to talk to Antonio about helping him build out his sales and marketing funnel, but he doesn’t want to divert his attention away from where his confidence lies, his product knowledge.

If you want to make 2012 your best year ever, begin thinking about a “system” of marketing that creates an endless funnel of potential clients.

That’s the hall mark of a successful 7-figure entrepreneur.

The universe has a way of washing away guys like Antonio who believe in their product and expertise so much, they can’t “step out of their own mindset”.

Your comments are welcome below.

To your success,

Ari Galper

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