Anonymous Distributor

Be careful what you want and wish for because, as marketing blogger Seth Godin explains below, you often get exactly what you deserve.

If you want employees to go job hunting in order to leverage you into giving them a raise to keep them, then by all means, only give them a raise when they go job hunting.

If you want vendors to nickel and dime you for the last penny, then by all means, stretch out their payments and use them as a free source of cash.

If you want the home seller or the art dealer or the agent to put their goods up for auction to maximize the price you’ll have to pay, then definitely punish those that don’t have auctions by seeking to pay them as little as possible.

If you want Internet companies to auction off your attention to the highest bidder, the best strategy is to only use services that don’t charge you a fee.

If you want to be spammed, buy something from a telemarketer or an e-mail pitch.

If you want gotchas, fine print and the hard sell, buy your car from someone who promises you the lowest price and then figures out how to make a profit some other way.

If you want customers to throw tantrums in order to get better service, my best advice is to only give a focused, urgent response to customers who throw tantrums.

Most of all, if you want customers to hear about you, make something worth talking about. And if you want customers who are loyal, act in a way that deserves loyalty.

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You’ve probably read “The Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker,” but you, like me, never grow tired of being reminded of this story’s moral and our laughter that follows:

An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.

The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican fisherman how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “Only a little while.” The investment banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish.

The fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The investment banker then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The investment banker scoffed, “I have an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”

Then, he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, where you would run your growing enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”

To which the investment banker replied, “15 to 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the fisherman.

The investment banker laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”

“Millions, señor?” asked the fisherman. “Then what?”

To which the investment banker replied, “Then, you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

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Contact the Anonymous Distributor at anonymous.distributor@gmail.com or read his blog at www.anonymousdistributor.blogspot.com.

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