Go fishing

I was out fishing with my brother the other day, when it occurred to me that selling is not about hunting or farming, it’s more like fishing. If you are like many of my clients, this is the time of year that you’ll be stretching out the blank strategy canvas and devising your game plan for growing your sales in 2017. Whether you are looking to grow your sales from existing clients (farming) or new prospects (hunting), the principles of fishing still apply.
Any great fisherman knows that in order to catch a bucket load of fish, you need to do three things really well. Firstly, you need get to know your target species better than your own mother. You need to know where they hang out, what their life cycle looks like, what they like to eat and when they like to eat. Secondly, you need to know the best methods for catching them (trawling, jigging or netting etc). Finally, you need to know what is the best bait to hook them.
Just like fishing, your sales strategy needs to have these three things covered too. Firstly, you need to know your market inside out and backwards. You need to go much deeper than just understanding the industry vertical that you are targeting. You need to get inside the mind of your customer and get an intimate understandIng of their problems and aspirations.
Based on this intel, you then need to map out the methods that you’ll use to approach them. Your choice of method will depend on what works for your market, not necessarily what’s popular at the time. If you’re targeting baby boomers that run construction companies, maybe cold calling would be more effective than LinkedIn?

The final piece to the puzzle is your message. Even if your message gets through to your target market, you won’t get any bites if the content and delivery is irrelevant and boring. When it comes to content, less is better, but you must hit the nail on the head. When it comes to delivery, your message needs to be conversational and confident.

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