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Fish or Cut Bait

Fish or Cut Bait

David Villa

Stop “Keeping an aquarium” and start “Reelin’ em in”

Fisherman: A person who catches fish for a living or for sport. An Angler. I grew up in the greater Tampa Bay area in the beautiful state of Florida and spent my entire childhood fishing with my grandfather. He was a true “fisherman”. He seemed to always know where the fish were biting and always knew exactly how to catch them. Rarely did he ever set out for a day of fishing and come back empty-handed. I have on many occasions equated the “art of fishing” and catching fish with the “art of selling” and closing deals. If you think about it they have several similarities. Let’s look at the two and compare side by side to see if we can use the steps necessary to catch fish to help us increase our sales closing ratios.

Let’s start with the obvious: We must pick the right spot. The old adage “fish where the fish are biting,” comes to mind. Once we have the right spot, it’s time we look at the equipment we use. This isn’t “Mayberry,” and a cane pole isn’t going to cut it! We are going after the “Big Ones,” so we need “tackle” that is up to the task. The proper rod and reel will make you a better fisherman. Many anglers are unaware that the fishing rod is one of the most important tools for catching and landing fish. How many times have you gone out and only landed half of the fish that bite?

It’s All About The Bait!

Bait – lure – decoy – enticement

So we’re in the right spot and we have the right equipment, now it’s all about the “bait.” Choosing the right kind of fishing bait is very important and it could mean the difference between you catching a fish and you not catching anything at all. It’s the same in sales. If you want the potential customer to “bite” then you must use the right “bait.” They BIT They’re on the hook. That’s it…we are home free… right? Wrong! Now comes the Artistic part. First, you must “set the hook.” It is at this point I have personally watched too many fish wriggle off the hook, or swallow the bait and take off. Once they bite we must take the additional step to quickly set the hook. Ask a qualifying question to ensure they are engaged.

Ok…now we’re ready to start reeling them in, but remember this is an “art,” and if we just yank the rod (like I did as a kid starting out) then we risk breaking the line. As I watch a lot of people who are reeling in a sale, it becomes evident that the actual process of reeling a sale in – that is “fighting” for a sale – is new to most of them. The tendency is for them to simply start winding the reel handle regardless of what the prospect is doing or saying. Or perhaps they make the mistake of allowing the line to go slack when fighting for that sale which takes all the pressure off the potential customer.

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Once that happens, it usually means a lost catch. One or two shakes of the “fish’s head” on a slackline will dislodge almost any hook. You MUST keep a tight line to the “fish” at all times during the fight. Keeping pressure on the fish will force it to fight and tire more quickly. Let’s wrap this up…I think you are getting the picture. The two processes are very similar and are easily compared.

So we get the bite, set the hook, reel the fish in…now what? The fish isn’t in the boat…we haven’t caught anything yet. The last step is to get some help. That right call in the back up. The T.O. (turn over)…a lost art in many cases, but a sure way to land the fish. I see it…it is right at the edge of the boat…bring the net and help me scoop this fish into the boat! So there you go…how to land the sale. No excuses…no matter the lure (product) you sell – spinner type lures, plugs, jigs, soft plastics, spoons, or flies. “Now cast out your line”

David Villa, CEO of iPD Agency

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