Tag Archives: sales funnel

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small business bliss

Small Business Bliss and the Entrepreneur Myth

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Small business bliss may be an attractive option. It is definitely a shiny object for some. I’m often asked about entrepreneurship and owning a small consulting firm. Is small business ownership for you?

The Entrepreneur as a Consultant

The consulting field has often been viewed as desirable since the cost of entry is low. The idea is, hang a shingle (or throw up a web page) and you’re in business.

In practice things are not always that simple. A consulting business may seem like an attractive shiny object, in reality it may be a different story.

The other view is that people who can’t get a “real job” start a consulting practice. This view point often develops because some white-collar executives or technical experts lose a job and then struggle to find a replacement, so they start consulting.

In the for what it is worth category, this is not how I started. I made a conscious decision to leave a solid job and start my practice.

In a thriving economy, the lure to start a business is strong. That is, it is strong for the true entrepreneur. Those persons who want to consciously start a venture, not so much for those who only consider it when the chips are down.

There are many hard lessons for small businesses and entrepreneurship. There are also a fair amount of myths (here are ten) about earning a living doing this type of work.

Small Business Bliss

Today the shiniest objects glow even stronger because the assumed funnel is so big.

I’m going to start a video blog.

My goal is to create a unique podcast.

I can sell these on the internet.

Certainly, the world-wide-web is an ocean of opportunity, yet very few find true success there.

In sales, the discussion is often structured around the sales funnel.

Yes, our on-line world seems to broaden the funnel. The reality is that finding your lost goldfish in the ocean is a difficult task.

Even with eyes-wide-open.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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trusted relationships

Trusted Relationships and Other Marketing Fails

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Everyone seems to agree that trust is important for business relationships. Do you have trusted relationships or are marketing efforts slowly eroding them?

Recently I received a call on my cell phone that I wasn’t sure I should take. I didn’t recognize the number and largely I don’t openly distribute my cellular number, but it also isn’t a secret.

When I answered the call, a female voice seemed somewhat robotic, but honestly, I couldn’t tell for sure. Was this a digitized voice, an advanced form of telemarketing? I was thinking, “Siri is that you? Cortana, Alexa, is it you?”

I interrupted, asked a question, and still I was stumped. Was a real person on the other end or a computer? I stopped listening and starting trying to think of ways to trip up the caller. Finally, after I quit interacting the caller hung up. I’m still not sure.

Marketing Fails

My email inbox gets some interesting messages. First, if you want to build a business relationship with me, my name is Dennis, not Denise. This is not the same as Denny or Dennis. Denise is not my name.

Occasionally, I will get the popular, “I wanted to reach out to you personally” email, yet the content is a complete duplication of an unknown volume of email messages that many others have also received. I guess I am somehow missing the feeling of personal.

Certainly, we cannot ignore the database merge email. Do they spark anyone into action? They start off friendly because if they have the correct name in the database, and a little bit of data about you or your company, at first glance they appear sincere and trusted.

They may start off with, “Dennis, will you be at Expo 2.X in September?” or they may try to be more friendly, “Dennis, we’ve missed you.”

In a moment you feel violated. You thought they were addressing you personally. You are really just another number.

Trusted Relationships

Many people will give you the benefit of trust. You don’t always have to earn it, at least not the first time around. As we all know trust can be destroyed in a moment. Rebuilds are difficult and costly.

If you are seeking new opportunities, building a sales funnel, or otherwise trying to grow a business that you believe depends on trusted relationships, be careful how you market.

Trusted relationships take time and sincere effort. Do your efforts feel sincere?

Easy for you, may mean easy off for your target.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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