To my fellow entrepreneurs (and/or marketing professionals and/or anything selling anything….which is 100% of us), don't forget to focus your time and effort on "believers." While it's worth reaching out to a broad potential customer base, for instance, you will not win everyone over. The second you determine that someone is a non-believer, don't waste any more time on them. You cannot change someone's religion….as Don Draper points out below…at least not without a tremendous amount of effort. Never forget that time is your most valuable asset. Rich or poor, this asset is the most precious asset of all and, unfortunately, it rapidly diminishes…for all of us.
In general, people form and develop impressions based on things totally out of your control. Everyone has a different set of life experiences that shape who they are as individuals. This includes, among many other elements, someone's risk tolerance, integrity and overall character, as well as whether or not they are open to new information which would supersede their current beliefs.
Never forget these lines from Don Draper below; do not waste time on customers or colleagues who will never be believers.
Ken Cosgrove: (To client) I’m not telling you to listen to anyone, but this is a very fresh approach.
Don Draper: It’s okay, Ken. I don’t think there’s much else to do here than to call it a day. Gentlemen, thank you for your time.
Client: (shrugs) Is that all?
Don Draper: You’re a non-believer. Why should we waste time on kabuki?
Client: I don’t know what that means.
Don Draper: It means that you’ve already tried your plan and you’re number four. You’ve enlisted my expertise and you’ve rejected it to go along the way you’ve been going. I’m not interested in that. You can understand.
Client: I don’t think your three months and however many thousands of dollars we paid you so far allows you to refocus the core of our business.
Don Draper: Listen, I’m not here to tell you about Jesus. You already know about Jesus. Either he lives in your heart or he doesn’t. Every woman wants choices. But in the end, none wants to be one of 100 in a box. She’s unique. She makes the choices and she’s chosen him. She wants to tell the world he’s mine. He belongs to me, not you. She marks her man with her lips. He is her possession. You’ve given every woman who wears your lipstick the gift of total ownership.
Client: (pause) Sit down.
Don Draper: No. Not till I know I’m not wasting my time.
Client: Sit down.