Customer Seduction

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I’m starting a new service for entrepreneurs teaching them to apply the lessons of successful madams like Heidi Fleiss and Anna Gristina to attracting customers for your startup.

Call it Customer Seduction™

Key ingredients include:

  • Fine-tune your elevator pitch until it leaves them gasping for more
  • Give prospects an “extra” to tantalize them into signing up
  • Collect a massive amount of personal details on your clients
  • Devise creative ways to satisfy even the most deviant niche client segments
  • Make sure to promise a “happy finish” once they engage with your services

And finally:

  • Threaten to expose the most unflattering side of their data if they don’t upgrade to premium service levels

Have additional elements for Customer Seduction™? Share in the comments below!

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R.I.P. My Startup

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Just hit a low point in my career as an entrepreneur. I really wanted to work on this idea I had for an ecommerce site that sells Sneeds for working mothers. But then I found another site doing exactly that already. And then another one. And then I realized that all the Sneeds I would be selling are already available on Amazon.
Clearly there is no opportunity for another Sneed eCommerce website. So my wonderful little startup has failed before it ever got a chance to fly.
In fact, the more I think about it, there is no sense in trying to start any new eCommerce businesses. All the good ideas are taken. Big companies like Target and Walmart are scooping up more and more online shoppers. Those companies, as big as they are, are probably all going to get swallowed up by Amazon themselves. How could a poor little Sneedstore ever hope to make it?

Where to get advice

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Hah-hah. Advice.
The only way you’re going to learn to be a successful entrepreneur is by doing it yourself and learning your lessons the hard way.
Anyone trying to give you advice is not going to know the special circumstances you’re trying to work under, so their advice is irrelevant. It’s more likely that the companies they worked for a) had more investment dollars to work with, b) were a b2b while you’re a b2C, c) were a b2c while you’re a b2b, d) started in a different phase of the economic cycle so everything was easier for them e) weren’t competing with ConHugeCo so everything was easier for them f) had customers who were not as smart as yours so they were easier to market to g) you are inventing a whole new category of service that will change everything.
Face it, ultimately, anyone giving advice probably just has some sort of ulterior motive. So you have to beware and keep your distance.

Middle Class Pan Handling

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I love the proliferation of entrepreneurial reality tv we have nowadays. Just what every startup founder needs to do in order to be successful: binge-watch a bunch of shows in which other people pitch their ideas and WIN MONEY from super rich investors.

Shark Tank is the granddaddy of these. It plays nightly at our house. The best moments are always when the entrepreneur is hesitating over whether or not to suck it up and take the miserly terms offered by the sharks. We get totally into it, shouting, “Take Marc Cuban’s offer, dumbass!” In case you ever go on the show, remember: Marc Cuban is the best. He has the most money, so if you get an offer from him, that’s like winning Double Jeopardy.

Now there are a bunch more ways to sit around pretending you know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. The Apprentice (is that still on?). West Texas Investors Club. The Profit. Techstars. Make me a millionaire inventor. Bar Rescue. Kitchen Nightmares.

Spend lots of time studying the lessons these have to tell you. Take note of how they exemplify interpersonal communications at top volume. Absorb the formulas for success that they present. Learn to calculate ownership percentages at lightning speed so that you will be able to make split-second decisions about investment offers. These lessons will take you far, I’m sure.

Keep going

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When you’re an entrepreneur, you may find that sometimes things just don’t seem to be working out the way you expected them to.
For example, you launch your website selling widgets for housewives, and those stupid housewives don’t visit your website.
The important thing to do is to keep going. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t try to stop and reexamine your strategy. Don’t change your product. Don’t change your marketing efforts.
And whatever you do, don’t call it quits.