Don’t talk to anyone you can’t make money from.

Don’t talk to anyone you can’t make money from.

by Dave Curtis on 10/13/2011

2 Broke Girls - NYC Bus passing Domenico Vacca at NYC store at 367 West Broadway in Manhattan

2 Broke Girls – NYC Bus passing Domenico Vacca at NYC store at 367 West Broadway in Manhattan

When does marketing become psychological torture? When you drive down the street and see endless billboards, read the paper and ads are placed everywhere – up to 50% of the paper… and television with endless commercials, junk mail bombarding you with offers and supermarket coupons and ads everywhere “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

That’s not torture. The television commercials, ok, maybe.

I met a recognized marketing expert looked up to by the business community for her hard headed making money abilities. Because I do technical work on the web we had to work together to get some advertising and marketing done on the site. Her quote to me, when I asked her how to get good at marketing, is one I’ll never forget: “Never waste your time talking to anyone you can’t make money from.” (I’ll never forget because other than that time we worked together she almost never talked to me, seriously.)

The Haves and the Have Nots. At some point that kind of “one golden rule” pure marketing gets out of control. Get everyone’s money away from them. Kill all the players on the field and be the only one left with everything there is to own. We see it as the main reason for the Occupy Wall Street protests. It’s the old cliche “Money Talks, Bullshit Walks” and I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it, and I’ll never be rich because of it. It’s not that I’m stupid and don’t understand how to do it, or that I can’t be hard enough (I can pull a trigger and whistle a happy tune at the same time), it’s just that I will not force myself to treat people that way simply because they can’t use my services.

But that’s not really what marketing is about, is it? It’s more about the 80-20 rule – spend 80% o your time with the 20% of your clients you make 80% of your money with, and 20% of your time with the 80% of your clients you make 20% of your money with. That works with niche marketing too – if it’s not services and time spent, then it’s time you’ll spend promoting the products that sell the best and make you the most money.

What that’s also saying is don’t waste your time on the people who want something from you for free. If your site doesn’t advertise “FREE” then you need to erect a wall immediately and politely the moment you see someone asking you for something free when you’re not in the free products and services business. Keep a list of numbers handy near your phone or in your pocket all the time for these folks. These numbers should include places like Goodwill, the Red Cross, a few soup kitchens and the Salvation Army. Once you get a call from someone (or even while talking in person) give them a copy of those numbers with a name “talk to Bobby, he’s really good” etc without telling them the names of the organizations – that will give them the message. You’re not in business to provide charity to everyone, but if you’re like a lot of good people you do provide charity to at least one favorite community cause. (Read more about this in my article So What Is a Brand?).

That said, if you’re interested in friendship and like a chat, so do I. You can friend me on Twitter at!/SEO_NYC