Reel Your Customers In, but Don’t Break the Line

Reel Your Customers In, but Don’t Break the Line

One of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had was deep sea fishing in Baja, Mexico, while on vacation. The thrill of hooking, reeling in and catching a beautiful swordfish is something I’ll always remember.

Prospecting for clients and the sales process for that matter, are very much like fishing. It takes a lot of patience, hard work, but the thrill and the rewards are all worth it. Let’s take the similarities one by one.

You have to have the right bait to catch the right fish. If you want to catch a marlin, bass or trout, expert fisherman will tell you that you need to have the right kind of bait at the end of your hook to attract the fish you are going after. Similarly if you want to land the right client or customer, you need to know what it is they want. What is their pain? What are their needs? Is there something of value that I can add to this prospect? Your marketing and your message needs to address the prospect's need and provide a solution to their problems to attract them.

Sure you can cast a wide net and try to catch everything in its path. This approach doesn’t work if you are trying to grow your business in a particular direction or with a specific type of client. So you first have to know what ails your prospect. Then you must have the right tools.

Only the right equipment will bring in the fish you want. Fly fishing for example takes a specific type of fishing rod, with a particular type of fishing line, then add the right technique to catch the gamefish you are after. Only the right equipment will increase your chances of success in catching the right type of fish. In the same way, your business needs the right “stuff” to help you land that account. Make sure you have the right message, the correct marketing approach, and proven products to attract your customer. You might want to do a services or products audit before you go after that prospect. If you don’t have the right experience or skills set, then that prospect might not be a good fit for you. But do know how you will approach them in the first place.

Use the best technique in bringing in your fish. In fishing, you don’t need to reinvent the “rod” so to speak, you just need to know where the fish are and the right technique to bring it in. For example, the technique you would use in deep sea fishing is not the same you would use in fly fishing. Each has its own methods of catching your prize fish. The tools you are using to market yourself or your company ar eonly as good as how you use them. Social Media or other marketing tools in themselves are not going to bring in the sales, it is how you use these tools to interact with your prospects and clients and the message you communicate.

Remember, don’t pull on the line too hard but you also can’t give them too much slack or you’ll lose them. I think it takes maturity and polite persistence to gently bring in the customer you are pursuing. I know I’m on the right track with a prospect when they thank me for following up with them. That means for every business that is following up with their prospects, there are other businesses that are not making that extra call to land that account. And that’s good news for my business.

I like to find similarities between business and other activities or pastimes that touch our everyday lives. They can give you a perspective on what it is we are doing and why we are doing it.

Posted by Ramir Camu on 04/01 at 12:27 PM in BusinessMarketing

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