What can fishing teach us about selling? This week’s Sales Brew uses the many comparisons between fishing and selling to help you create a sales prospecting plan to “hook” your prospect.
Occasionally, when I’ve have had enough for the day, I’ll put out the “gone fishing” sign and head to my favorite spot for some peace and quiet. Hello, this is Walt Gerano with Anthony Cole Training Group. Welcome to this week’s Sales Brew that asks the question, “What can fishing teach us about selling?”
Before I head out, one of the first things I think about is what kind of fish am I looking to catch? This determines my equipment choice, making sure I match my approach to what I’m fishing for. I won’t use a 4-weight fly rod for striper fishing. Where will I go? and specifically, where will I fish when I get there? When I go trout fishing, there are miles of water you can fish, but a little preparation can go a long way towards success. What type of lure or fly will I use? Water conditions, temperature, and time of day, all impact my choice of which bait and presentation might work.
What will I do if I actually get one on the line? In other words, how do I land them? Anyone who has ever fished knows the pain of losing a nice one. When selling, before you make that next phone call, you should be sure of the fish you are looking for. Do they meet your criteria as a targeted prospect? Are they what you are fishing for? Do they meet your revenue expectations and needs? Could you service them effectively? Where and how will you find them? Once you find out who they are and where they are, what’s the best way to approach them?
Should you call, email, or get an introduction? What type of problems do you help these types of prospect solve? And how will you communicate that to them? Remember to talk about the problems you solve, not the products you sell. What type of lure or bait will you use to reach out to them, to see if it makes sense to meet? What happens when you get one on the line and the sales process begins?
There’s a phrase that fisherman, especially trout bums, use all the time. “Tight lines.” It simply reminds us that when you allow slack in your line, you risk allowing the fish to spit the hook and get away. Where is there slack in your sales process? Is your technique solid once you get one on the line? In other words, where and how are you letting fish get off the hook? Just like being a good fisherman takes lots of practice, so does being a good salesperson and unfortunately, it also means losing one now and then.
Go practice your casting and your outreach approaches to create a sales prospecting plan so that the next big one you hook doesn’t get away.