Being smart does not preclude one from being completely clueless in other matters. There have been numerous business owners I have met, who have, unfortunately, fallen into this category. It can be infuriating, but since I am in a proper business atmosphere, I must maintain complete civility and decorum even in the face of stupid behavior. It is not an easy thing to do.
Here are a couple of true stories that will serve as examples:
Several years ago,there was a guy who ran an Oriental Rug store up the street. Needless to say, he had expensive stock (some of the higher end models running up into multiple thousands of dollars) In my prospecting phase for local clients, I came across this guy’s website. Seemed like a slam-dunk. A Homestead DIY platform with zero SEO, poor navigation, and pathetic results in the listings. It was, for all intents and purposes, a useless website. How you making any money, dude? I’m here to help!
Winter in this part of NH can be unforgiving. We are a tourist town, and businesses do pretty well for about 7-8 months, and then it’s time to hunker down during the late fall into winter, praying for spring the whole. Some places do okay with “leaf peepers” (foliage tour buses), and then skiers passing through, and of course occasional Christmas shoppers, but more businesses than I care to think about have come and gone, victims of old man winter. Not many people are walzing around in 20 degree weather looking to throw a rug into the back of their SUV, but something like that might just happen during the nice weather, so let’s at least get the website in front of some eyeballs.
So, one winter day, I walked up to the storefront to give him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and there he was, outside on his steps, having a cigarette and checking out his phone. He looked up, and I began my pitch. “Hello, Mister xxxxxxxxx, my name is Mike Philbin, I live right down the block. I am an experienced internet marketer who helps local businesses with their websites by getting them to the top of Google, where potential customers are looking for oriental rugs…. and I stand by my ranking projections. I can help your situation a lot!”
He looked back down at his phone “I already have a website”
“Yes, I know” I countered, “but it’s not showing up anywhere if anyone searches for oriental rugs in New Hampshire, and I can get your business in front of a lot more consumers”
Maid Whiz tossed his cigarette into the street, flicked the back of his hand at me like I was some kind of annoying gnat, and started walking back into the store. “I’m all set” he said – and then he was gone.
He did actually close up shop, or went out of business, or whatever, a few months later. There were rumors that the joint was just a front or write-off for a wealthy foreign business owner who could care less about how many rugs he sold. The other rumor was that it was a business alright, but really had nothing to do with selling rugs. Hmmmm…..
Who knows?. The only given, is that in my mind, the guy forever remains Clownie