The Custom Fish Tank Installer Never Rings Once…

 September 25, 2013
Posted by Eric Simonds

The Custom Fish Tank Installer Never Rings Once…

By Eric Simonds, MsFP

I was at a networking event when I met a very gregarious man; a very likable guy.  He happened to be a vacuum cleaner salesman and an installer of custom fishtanks. That is not what he really did, but he did own two completely dissimilar businesses.  So different, that only one of the businesses would appeal to most people but in my case, both of the businesses appealed to me.  I do not want to reveal the businesses because the combination of revenue streams would immediately give away the individual in question.


Anyway, the gentleman was a classic networker.  He saddled up, introduced himself and instantly wanted to know about me.  I, in turn, tried to find out about him.  This is the dance that business people do at these events.


“Tell me about you…”rip money


“No, I insist, please tell me about your business


“I really want to hear about your business, what kind of clients are you looking for…”


Meanwhile both people are secretly ignoring the other and practicing their elevator speech in their head… nodding and acting interested.  Shaking hands and taking business cards that they never look at twice.  I prefer to collect business cards, talk about stuff of little consequence at the event and instead schedule a time for later to speak to those with whom I chose to continue the conversation.



Suffice to say, I don’t care for the standard procedure and try to avoid these types of discussions at all costs but I was not about to sit there while this guy had the nerve to ask about MY business.


So we went back and forth for a while until I found out he sold vacuums (once again, he is not really a vacuum cleaner salesman) and I happen to be in the market for a vacuum.  I told him he had spoken to the right guy because I was ready to buy a vacuum today.  The more we talked, the more I found out and after a while it came out that he also installed custom fish tanks (for the last time, not his vocation, but just as random as vacuums and fish tanks!).  Not only did I want a vacuum but I NEEDED a fish tank.


I told him that he had a sale and that he needed call my office the next day.  In addition, I had two clients who also needed custom fish tanks.  He said he would call me first thing in the morning and we parted ways.


I have never heard from that man again…


I sit here, having bought my vacuum and fish tank from other providers, and am still not clear on how or even if, this guy is still in business.  If anyone out there thinks I should have called him, I don’t work that way.  When I have something that someone else wants (in this case money) and lots of places to get it (like vacuums) they need to come to me.  When someone has what I want, and limited places to get it (like money) I will gladly contact them.


This guy’s business approach reminds me of taking an unstable person and putting them on a 23 hour a day suicide watch… so much time invested, yet completely ineffective.



Eric Simonds has a passion for helping others. Over the past 12 years, Eric has gained his skills and credentials through both private and public sector careers in policy and compliance. This experience, in addition to his Masters of Financial Planning from Golden Gate University, allows him to provide quality financial planning to all Maine families through Saltwater Harbor. Eric takes great pride in operating his own financial planning practice, knowing he makes a difference in the lives of his clients. His motivation for success is fueled by his clients’ accomplishments and ability to achieve their financial dreams with his guidance.

Eric is both a 2011 National Huguenot Scholarship recipient and the sole 2012 National Association Professional Financial Advisors Merit Scholar. In addition to his Masters in Financial Planning, Eric also holds Bachelor degrees from both the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine. Highly involved in his local community and family, he resides in Brunswick with his wonderful wife, Kate, their two amazing sons, two naughty dogs and a cat.