Is it Stupidity or Laziness?

By: Dan Kennedy on: November 1st, 2010 8 Comments

The incredible stupidity, cheapskatedness, laziness of business owners is most visible in their consistent bizarre behavior regarding present customers vs. new customers or prospects.

They are loathe to spend money and time on the people who have already proven they will patronize them and, in fact, do patronize them. But always willing to pour time and money into chasing the next new customer. They are in ardent, sweaty, drooling lust for the next new conquest, completely uninterested in the already conquered.

There are many reasons for this far too numerous to analyze here. They range from perverse human nature to economic ignorance to boredom to foolish belief in customer loyalty and on and on and on.

The car dealer spends $50,000.00 a week on newspaper, radio and TV ads to bring in new customers but God forbid he spend a couple hundred bucks on a mailing or a couple thousand bucks on a party for his present car owners. It’s hard to find any business where this combination of stupidity, cheapskatedness and laziness is as magnified as the car business. It is a very good thing everybody buys cars, because in pretty much any other business, most dealers and almost all the salespeople’d starve, deservedly.

But on different levels, the same nitwit behavior pervades most businesses. My dry cleaner advertises like a banshee in Val-Pak and local papers; not once in the 3 years I’ve spent no less than $150 a month have I gotten a piece of mail, and to add insult, the coupons say: for new customers only. He is fortunate I hate the thought of trying to find another competent dry cleaner so much. The dealer I bought my last car from, not so fortunate.

If you want to start ‘mind capture’ somewhere, start with the top 50% or 40% or 30% of your customers. Make sure what they are talking about EVERY week of their life is YOU.

Then move on to doing the same in a target prospect group. Or your industry or community.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

8 Responses

  1. Scott says:

    I’d like to fire the phone and cable companies for doing that.

  2. I have a client who regardless of the constant bombardment of this same type of advice still refuses to go back to the list that he has…I for one hate ,loath looking for someone, something, new when someone has already proven himself to me…what a waste of time and I’m sure I’m not the only one hmmn.

  3. Craig Valine says:

    “Stupid AND lazy.”

    So many know better. Their goals are incongruent with their actions – and vice-versa. Wish we could save the world. But, we cannot. Can only help those who want to be helped.

    Great post!

    Craig Valine

  4. Rob Anspach says:

    Grocery stores are the same way! I always see an add in the paper but never once have I gotten so much as a thank you card or Christmas card…and since I signed up for their stupid tracking card you’d think since they have my info they would send me specials or heck email me… But noooo!

    Just plain stupid!

  5. Charles Muamba says:

    Hey Dan,

    Great post! I suspect it’s a mixture of the two (meaning stupidity and laziness). I’m always fascinated by the “but my business is different” or “that would never work in our industry” responses I receive whenever I introduce different marketing strategies to stimulate growth amongst small business owners and professionals alike.

    However, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that stupidity is solvable. And with people like you and I and the GKIC community out there teaching and showing people how to prosper in their business the No BS GK way there’s reason to be optimistic about solving the stupidity problem.

    On the other hand, laziness is simply not solvable. There’s an old saying that goes a little something like this: you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make’em drink. Unfortunately, this is the category that the lazy people fall into.

    Charles Muamba

  6. Have to agree with Rob … I use my card every time and every once in a while the cashier will spit out a coupon for a similar product which is nice but these people know exactly what I buy every week but never do I get an advertisement directly targeting me … how f’n hard is that grrrrrrrr.

    Same with my car guy … bought a nice used car from him .. not once now in 2 years has he contacted me. Only GM dealer in town and you’d think they would have a simple postcard follow up system in place … month after month or 12 cards at a cost of say $1.00 .. a whole $12 bucks … maroons


  7. Awesome… I thought it was just me who got pissed off when local companies did horrible marketing :)

    I think the worst place to find horrible marketing is in the yellow pages. So pathetic it makes me wanna cry…

    Jeremy Reeves

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