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Breaking the Ice

Want skeptical customers to warm up to your product? Here's the scoop on how to win them over.

By Don Debelak

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Entrepreneurs: Inventor Peter Lerman, 51, of Bethel,Connecticut, and licensee and marketer Lou Matinale, 42, presidentof MatonyProducts, a company that licenses products from inventors

Product Description: Lerman's invention, the Sno-Easy, is anergonomic shovel that allows the user to shovel snow withoutbending or twisting. It features a "helper handle," whichpivots on two axes in different directions: up, so the shovel canbe picked up without bending over, and then in a second direction,allowing the handle to be twisted to dump the snow. After Lermandeveloped the product, he met Matinale through a mutual contact in2001; Matinale agreed to handle the production and marketing. Nowsold at retailers like Home Depot, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, theSno-Easy shovel retails for $19.99.

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