You Can’t Say the Wrong Thing to the Right Person

In my most recent blog post I related an incident in which I was telling a friend about a nutritional program which has the dual effect of eliminating toxins from the body and also achieving weight loss in people who have excess weight - those who do not have weight to lose can actually gain muscle mass as the product contains very high-quality whey protein - but the point of my post was that my friend - who was gulping down a coffee concoction which has over 1000 calories at the time was very skeptical of the product that I was telling him about - a nutritional product which has been endorsed, by the way, by many medical experts, including the former nutritional advisor to the White House. What I wished to bring out by relating this incident was that it can often be very difficult to convince people that a product or service is good for them, but they have no trouble believing that something is bad for them. We seem to expect bad news and be suspicious of good news - why is that? There are many products in life which are good, and many people who wish to do good things - why be skeptical of them?

I received a comment on my blog from Drew Berman, one of the real leaders in the nutritional company which I was writing about, and a really positive, motivational person. A terrific guy to know. He stated the situation in a somewhat different way, but the point was the same: You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person or the right thing to the wrong person.

Drew’s comment resonated with me because on the very day that I wrote my post, I had a meeting with another long-time associate, and I was telling him about my experience in creating one of the first spas in the world for men. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned that when I first opened the spa, I had a burning desire to convert even the most hard-core guys into clients, so that, if a woman told me that her husband or boyfriend was the kind of guy who would never go to a spa, I would say “Just send him to me. I’ll convert him.” This was the kind of challenge I was looking for in the early days.

However, after a while I figured out that trying to convert the guy who was dead set against what I had to offer into a client simply wasn’t worth the effort. I stopped trying to prove something and just focused on attracting perfect customers. And who was my perfect customer - the guy who was looking for the personal care services that we offered at the spa. If someone told me that either they or their husband or boyfriend would never set foot in a spa, I’d say, fine, we’re not looking for that kind of client.

Thanks, Drew. You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person or the right thing to the wrong person. Or, as Johnny Carson used to say about sketch comedy: If you don’t buy the premise, you don’t buy the bit.

If you have a business, stop trying to convert the unconvertible and focus on the people who already get your message.

It’s a lot easier and makes a lot more sense.


One Response to “You Can’t Say the Wrong Thing to the Right Person”

  1. Drew says:

    This is great Alan. I love your wit and wisdom. I like what you say about people expecting things to be bad for you and are skeptical of things that are good for you. Lets you and I try to change that paradigm - let's get people expecting the good news and skeptical of the bad news