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A Timely Business Lesson From A Superstar Entrepreneur

Steve Sipress & Gary Vanyerchuk

Today I’m attending the third and final day of the annual conference of a software company, even though I’m far from what anyone would call a “techie.”

Infusionsoft helps thousands of small and mid-sized businesses around the world compete with their larger competitors, without the need for a bloated marketing budget or a huge staff. That’s what makes their annual gathering a hotbed of enthusiasm and celebration for the world’s best and brightest small business owners and entrepreneurs.

And that’s why I make it a priority to be here every year, along with about 1500 other geeks and non-geeks alike.

Speaking of a non-geek who made it a point to be here…

One of Monday’s keynote speakers was best-selling author and social media expert – and a superstar entrepreneur in his own right – Gary Vaynerchuk.

As even the most casual “Gary V” fan knows, he is an unabashed New York Jets fan who has made crystal clear his firm intention to buy the team at some point in the future. That’s why it was a blast to sit in the front row wearing a Jets t-shirt, and then “Tebow” for him right in front of the stage when he thanked me for making him feel welcome.

Which leads me to the main point of his message:

Your great-grandparents had a better idea about how to do business right than you do today, because they took the time and effort to find out what their customers really wanted, and then delivered it in a personal way.

Today, entrepreneurs are far too caught up in always looking for “the newest shiny object,” thinking and hoping that internet technology will allow them to automate the entire process of “doing business” and bring them untold wealth and success. Or, they think that they can continue to use outdated marketing methods of just a few years ago to achieve success in today’s economy.

Big mistakes, cautions Gary V.

As he writes in his new best-selling book, “The Thank You Economy”:

Gone are the days when a blizzard of marketing dollars could be used to overwhelm the airwaves, shut out the competition, and grab customer awareness. Now customers’ demands for authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty, and good intent have made it necessary for companies and brands to revert to a level of customer service rarely seen since our great-grandparents’ day, when business owners often knew their customers personally, and gave them individual attention.

Or, as he told the live audience on Monday, “As the world gets more Jetsons, we need to get more Flintstones.”

That’s bad news for big and small companies alike that fail to continually adapt to an ever-changing reality, and for people who insist on looking for the easiest or laziest way to build a business, instead of being willing to do whatever it takes to get results.

I myself have never been afraid of hard work. In fact, an early mentor of mine taught me that “Easy is never good.” That was during my 9-year career in door-to-door sales, where I learned more about people (including myself), the power of goals, perseverance, determination and most of all how to truly connect with customers – than any schooling or life experience could ever come close to teaching me.

I also learned that the key to selling anybody anything is to first listen to what they want, and then simply give it to them – instead of the common misconception of a good salesperson as someone possessing the ability to push anything onto anyone, regardless of their wants or needs.

Thriving in the Thank You Economy means going the extra mile to get to know your prospects and customers on a personal basis, and interacting with them in a caring, authentic way.

Technology – namely social media – can definitely help us to do that on a larger scale than ever before. But only if we use it properly: to listen, instead of as a platform merely to randomly spew our own self-serving sales messages into cyberspace.

A powerful message from a persuasive presenter.

If you’re not making it a priority to attend real live events like this on a regular basis, so you can associate with and learn from sharp, positive, action-oriented, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, then you’re likely to make other disastrous mistakes as well, such as hiding behind technology, not properly adapting to today’s constantly-changing times and ignoring the fact that what made businesses successful 100 years ago is the key to success in today’s world, too.

I hope to meet you in person at a live event soon, and discover your deepest desires for yourself, your business and your family. Hopefully I can help you achieve them, by helping you to connect with and help more prospects and customers.

Thank you for reading my post, and thank you in advance for posting a comment below.

6 Responses to A Timely Business Lesson From A Superstar Entrepreneur

  1. Alberto Reply

    April 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    It is as simple as this.
    If you want to be a winner, then hang out with winners period

    And being a winner doesn’t mean winning every game or every outcome.
    A winner is someone that fails a lot, learns from their and other’s mistakes
    and never ever ever quits until that winner reaches their goals.

    Surround yourself with winners.

  2. Steve Sipress Reply

    April 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    You got it, Alberto. That’s why this event is known as “not just a software conference — but a gathering for sharp, successful entrepreneurs.”

    When I stopped making excuses and started making it a priority to attend events filled with smart marketers, my business REALLY started to take off.

    Highly recommended.

  3. Karen Morby Reply

    April 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Nice blog wish I could read it. How do I get rid of the strip of social media junk at the left of the page?

  4. Steve Sipress Reply

    April 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Lol, Karen. I just clicked on a little arrow and it went away (after I clicked on a few of the icons to share this post!). Hope it works for you, too.

  5. Phil Faris Reply

    April 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Steve,
    Great post. Gary calls it the Thank You Economy I call it the New Economy because the rules of engagement have changed. If you don’t go the extra mile you won’t survive. Companies like Sears, RIM, Kodak and Sony focused on what they knew not what customers wanted which resulted in lost sales, profits and customer loyalty. Companies and individuals who don’t learn from others mistakes will experience the same results.
    Keep spreading the good word.

  6. Steve Sipress Reply

    April 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks, Phil.

    I also call it The New Economy (as do many others), but Gary picked his own name for it and it got him a #1 New York Times Best-Seller.

    There’s another lesson in marketing.

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