I think I like fly fishing because it is cerebral and has so much in common with B2B sales.
In fly fishing, you have to understand in great detail the species you are fishing for. You have to know what they eat and where they hang out and combine that knowledge with what is going on in their environment, such as water temperature and water flow rates.
In sales, you also have to learn about your prospect in great detail. You need to know what is the measure of their business success and what niche they occupy in their industry and combine this knowledge with external factors like the company’s value proposition as compared to their competition and economic factors.
Armed with a game plan, the fly fisherman must select the right fly to attract the attention of the fish. Then he must present it in so delicate a way that he will not spook the fish and make him willfully leave when he is and come on the fly.
In sales, you must provide the prospect with enough enticing details about your offer to get him to leave his comfort zone and rise to your offer.
Once the fish takes the fly, the fisherman must know the exact moment to set the hook. He must not be too rough, or he risks breaking the delicate line. He then needs to gently reel the fish in, trying to avoid snags that will allow the fish to get away.
In sales, the salesperson must know the exact moment to close the deal and stop talking. He must then manage the process, keeping the pressure on and avoiding snags, until the goods or services are delivered and money is exchanged.
In the end, the image of a customer on a fishing line is a powerful image. You can pull him in, but you can’t push him to buy.
How do you fish for new customers?
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