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