Author Archive


John Ingrisano Biography


MAKE NETWORKING WORK FOR YOU »

by John R. Ingrisano Think of networking as mostly free, word-of-mouth, marketing.  Here are some ideas to make networking work for you: Be in touch.  Thanks to email, it’s never been easier to stay connected with clients and prospects.  Send out very, very short mini-newsletters (200 words at the most) once a month or so […]

PRACTICE EXCEPTIONALISM »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur We remember exceptionalism … and the people who do the exceptional. We remember the bad stuff:  Recently, while talking to a cell phone company representative, I was told I needed a ton and a half of special add-ons that would more than double the cost I was told I would […]

OFFER: FREE PRESENTATION OR WORKSHOP »

HERE’S A FREE OFFER … WITH A FEW STRINGS ATTACHED:  Do you need a quality keynote or motivational business presentation for your 2013 annual meeting?  Or a speaker for a sales or customer service session or after-dinner talk?  An established business journalist, public speaker and sales trainer, I am giving away a free one-hour program […]

ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT »

by John Ingrisano “Will somebody please do something?”  I’ve heard that phrase now and then over the years from frustrated parents, unhappy customers, even business managers. There’s only one problem with this complaint/demand:  It has no clarity, purpose or direction.  Do something?  Do what?  Please be a little more specific.  Seriously, I use the example […]

“BURN THE SHIPS!” »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Hernando Cortez knew the value of total commitment.  In 1519 – just 27 years after Christopher Columbus discovered the New World – Cortez landed on the coast of Mexico, thousands of miles from home.  He arrived with 11 ships and about 600 men.  Their goal was to conquer the vast […]

ALWAYS BE GRACIOUS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur   I know a fellow who once threw a handful of customers out of his restaurant because they were really wolfing down the chicken on all-you-can-eat night.  (After the fourth platter, he announced to the men, all sport fishermen, “Okay, guys, that’s all you can eat,” as he ordered them […]

NOTHING BUT THE VERY BEST »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “Make every product better than it’s ever been done before.  Make the parts you cannot see as well as the parts you can see.  Use only the best materials, even for the most everyday items.  Give the same attention to the smallest detail as you do to the largest.  Design […]

THREE SKILLS THAT CAN GUARANTEE BIZ SUCESS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur My daughter recently opened her own hair salon.  She will be a total success.  I know this for sure – no, not because she is my daughter, but because she has the three skills that can virtually guarantee the success of any business owner. Success Skill # 1:  Relationship skills.  […]

GIVE ME STUBBORN DETERMINATION ANY DAY »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “Few things are impossible to diligence.  Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.”  — Samuel Johnson   My father was “not all that smart.”  Those were his words, not mine.  The rest of the phrase went like this:  “I just never gave up … ever.” It worked out […]

BEST ADVICE: IGNORE ADVCE »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “Seek advice, but use your own common sense.” – Yiddish Proverb   As a business owner, I love good advice.  However, there is darn little of it out there, at least in terms of my specific situation.  I have also grown to detest unsolicited advice, if only because it always […]

SUCCESS IS ABOUT PEOPLE SKILLS … DUMMY! »

SUCCESS:  IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE SKILLS … DUMMY! by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.” – John Hancock   Genius is no guarantor of success.  Neither is hard work by itself.  I teach a one-day seminar for Fred Pryor/CareerTrack called “Dealing with […]

DEFINE SUCCESS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “In accomplishing anything definite, a man renounces everything else.”  — George Santayana   Back in my lean, mean, meat-eating younger days, I would have agreed with the above quote from Harvard Philosopher (no, not the musician) George Santayana.  I was maniacally dedicated.  Business was my king … almost my god. […]

MOTIVATING LOOKERS TO BECOME BUYERS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur A few years ago, having decided to run away from the States for a while, I started a store on St. Thomas in the Caribbean that sold Jimmy Buffet shirts and other island-dream paraphernalia.  I studied when to help customers and when to stand back and let the sales cycle […]

KEY CONTACTS KEY TO BUSINESS GROWTH »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur   Building up a customer/client base can be hard work … until you get it down to a system.  One effective system is to establish half a dozen or so mutually beneficial relationships with what are known as “Centers of Influence.” These are people who can send customers your way.  […]

BUILD UP YOUR GLOBAL NEIGHBORHOOD … AND YOUR SALES »

One of the keys to success for many businesses is to create/promote a sense of belonging, of community, even if the business is far-flung and worldwide. We see this in “buy local” campaigns. We also see it in expansive chains such as Starbucks, which creates an atmosphere of the neighborhood coffee shop … even in […]

BURN YOUR SHIPS! »

You know as well as I that successful business owners are dedicated … sometimes maniacally so.  They give it their all … and they succeed.  It is not about luck; it is the result of ferocious dedication. So, do you want to be a success?  Here is how:  Burn your ships! In 1519, the Spanish […]

THE FEMININE TOUCH IN BUSINESS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Fifty years ago, it was a man’s world.  The majority of women who were in business were secretaries and personal assistants.  Women rarely ran the show.  That has since changed … a lot.  In fact, the very nature of business has been overhauled and re-invented since women began to move […]

SIZE DOES NOT MATTER! »

A Lesson in Customer Service: SMALL STONES TO THE REAR! by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Can one foolish statement make or break your business?  Well, this is a story I heard at least 45 years ago from a man, a friend and mentor, who experienced it at least 20 years before that.  It was one […]

YOUR ATTITUDE WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR BUSINESS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur As a hands-on manager-owner, your most important business-building tool is your attitude.  I saw a great example of how this works a few months ago when meeting with two fast-food restaurant managers, both affiliated with the same chain.  The stores were almost identical in terms of demographics, and both relied […]

TEN TIPS FOR SETTING YOUR 2012 GOALS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur It’s that time … time to set goals.  Start thinking about where you want to be by the end of 2012.   Are goals important?  In business, they’re everything.  If you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll never get there … or, well, you get the picture.  More to […]

DEFINITION OF A SALES PROFESSIONAL »

Biz Humor … DEFINITION OF A SALES PROFESSIONAL by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur The sales professional makes the difference when it comes to both making the sale and maximizing the sale. This is perhaps best illustrated in an anecdote told by an associate years ago.  When asked, “What’s a salesperson?” he replied:  “Let me tell […]

HOW I DESTROYED A GREAT BUSINESS »

Tales from the Trenches … by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur [If you have a story of business success or failure – how you did something amazing right or downright stupidly wrong, and would care to share it – send me an email with as much detail as possible.  If your tale is chosen, I will […]

BEAT THE RECESSION: DITCH THE HUNKER-IN-THE-BUNKER MENTALITY »

  I can pick winners and losers.  As the Great Recession continues to stumble along, more and more businesses are finding that there is just no more fat to be cut.  Many have pared back, cut down, reduced expenses to next to nothing, and are just holding on … hoping and wishing. Bad news:  These […]

PAIN OR GAIN: WHAT MOTIVATES BUYERS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Pain or gain?  That is why people buy – always!  As Entrepreneur Dan Paulson points out in his book, Apples to Apples: How to Stand out From Your Competition, “every purchase is an emotional purchase.” Your product or service either takes away the pain (I need a car or else […]

CLUB YOU: MAKE CUSTOMERS FEEL SPECIAL »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Want to build a loyal clientele?  Then sell “membership” in your special club.  No, you do not need an online enrollment (though airlines and hotel chains find this effective).  Nothing formal like that.  Just do like Starbucks does:  Make customers feel that, when they do business there, they are part […]