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Better Business Idea #53

Don't Cry, Don't Eat!

© 2001 by Michael C. Gray

October 31, 2001

During one of our tours in Cancun, our guides shared a local expression -"No llorar, no tomar!" or "Don't cry, don't eat!"

The context was, if we didn't tell them what we needed to be comfortable (a soft drink, more air conditioning), they couldn't help us.

On the streets, though, you can see this concept in action. The street vendors, taxi drivers and condominium salespeople are all barking for business! They know if they don't aggressively "go for it," their families will starve. (I have to give them credit. I heard "May I help you?" one time. Most people approached with "Hello" or by asking an involvement question. There is some good sales training going on there. However, tourists can feel assaulted when so many people are "trying to be helpful." Our eventual response was to be rude, keep face front and walk on, possibly saying "No, thank you!")

Although our situations may not be so desperate, the same concept applies to our businesses. You may provide the best product or service in the world, and that may also be the world's best-kept secret! It's not doing any good for you or the customer unless the customer knows what you have to offer.

So, the challenge of the business person is to cut through all of the noise of everyone else's messages, and get his or her message through.

The best way I have found to do this is with direct response techniques. (Attract the customer to come to me for help.) But we should never underestimate the difficulty of the task.

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Michael Gray, CPA
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