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The Chocolate Man and His Sales Strategy

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

Ari Galper

Ari Galper is the world’s number one authority on trust-based selling and is the most sought-after sales conversion expert for Business Owners. His newest book, “Unlock The Sales Game”, has become an instant best-seller worldwide. Ari has been featured in CEO Magazine, Forbes, INC Magazine and the Australian Financial Review. He is considered a contrarian in the sales industry and in his book, everything you learned about selling will be turned upside down. No more chasing, no pressure, no closing.

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15 Comments

  1. Uday Shetty

    When we start our business, we have to think, do the strategic work before we start doing our opertional work. As time goes by, we get busy with our routine sales and other operational,work. This article reminds us that thinking activity is the work of the owner… And if we fail to do the strategic work, our shops will eventually be empty… Nice article..

    Hyderabad, India

  2. Sadiq

    Crystal clear judgement, ari

    Chennai Tamilnadu, India

  3. Nilesh Soni

    I m working in MetLife Insurance from last 4 years as a Manager handling team of financial advisors. This story will help me a lot to have paradigm shift in our mind. There are lot of challenges, I m facing in managing business. Need to think differently.

    Mumbai, India

  4. Andrew Cavanagh

    It’s a sad fact but the businesses most likely to survive and thrive are those that market themselves more effectively…not those with superior products.

    If it was all about the product McDonald’s would simply not exist and we’d all still be eating at local diners and restaurants.

    In a perfect world the businesses with great products and services would also become great marketers or they’d have great marketers working for them.

    Cairns Australia

  5. Jasmin Pandya

    This applies on me perfectly. I think i am too moving in that mode. Thank You Ari for giving me an early warning.

    Mumbai, India

  6. Mark

    So true Ari, continious leads is the only thing that matters. I could use an improved sales funnel. I could use focus, I could use results. I just wish I had the money to truly immerse my self in your system

    Chicago

  7. George Huss

    Wow. Thanks for putting this so clearly. So true, so true. Thanks for your work, Ari.

    Richmond, Virginia USA

  8. Marjorie Janczak

    As they say: You don’t know what you don’t know.

    But very sad when people don’t know yet allow their ego to get in the way of allowing the knowledgable experts to help them out.

    Antonio might be an expert in chocolates but it’s a pity that he is refusing to seek marketing expert help.

    It really is a lesson to all of us entrepreneurs and thanks for raising this very important point to us again Ari, because it is something that entrepreneurs easily fall for.

    Germany

  9. Brian Keen

    Absolutely right Ari. And thanks for the reminder because though I know better I’ve recently caught myself being so distracted with preparing new product and attending to enquiries that I have blinded myself from this golden rule… the cycle for refreshing content and marketing programs just gets shorter and many of us haven’t adjusted. No comfort that I’m no orphan either!

    Nambucca Heads NSW

  10. Patrick Christensen

    Wow, I though I was reading about my parents. I worked with my dad in our bakery until I took it over. Word of mouth was his belief except during the holidays when he did some ads. I could write a book about their business beliefs.

    Downingtown, PA USA

  11. Peter Morrison

    I see it so many times, in some people it is almost an arogant attitude, “She’ll be right”. We can all slip into it from time to time but we must remember to keep asking ourselves, “How can I do this better”. Thanks for reminding me

    Sydney

  12. Paul

    No “resting on your laurels” in this “new economy.” You are right Ari.

    San Diego

  13. Tonia

    Great insights as always!

    Sydney

  14. Rex Randell

    Valid comments Ari and close to home as I have seen the exact same attitude in myself in times past and more recently. Sometimes our own pride prevents us from getting out of a sinking ship or we get out too soon without looking for the opportunities and learnings along the way.

    Perth

  15. Martin

    The hardest step to take is asking for help. Our comfort zones insulate us from exploration, experimentation and solutions we didn’t think of ourselves. Smart business people recognise do the same old things get the same old results.

    Nottingham UK

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