Fishing and Selling (Which has nothing to do with selling fish.)

When I was a kid, I loved to fish. I grew up in the "country" so I had lots of creeks and ponds around me. The great thing about fishing the creeks was I could wade for miles and never see anyone. And, the fishing was fantastic. Back then people thought these creeks only held catfish and carp. They had no idea that I was catching tons of smallmouth and a few largemouth bass. For a kid who enjoyed fishing and being outdoors, it was heaven.

I thought about this today while I was doing my morning exercise. I walk about 3-5 miles (depending on the day) along a creek near my home. But, unlike when I was a kid in Ohio, I now live in the burbs near the most populated areas of the United States. Needless to say, I'm not alone on the paved walking path.

However, today it was raining and it kept most people away. And, I was able to see a giant blue heron, dozens of baby rabbits that eat the tender grass along the trail, one deer and a few hawks and songbirds. Nobody was fishing.

The last few times I fished my creek back in Ohio, I discovered that everyone and their brother had learned about the bass. And, like where I now live, my favorite holes were already taken by people. But, I also knew that most people tend to gather where the "pickings are easy" so I headed off upstream where I had to hike through thick brush and slippery rocks. After about 30 minutes I realized I was once again all alone with the closest fisherman about a mile away.

And, guess what, the fishing was just as easy as it was 40 years ago. I had a blast and caught a smallmouth every few casts. Fishing is kind of like selling. You have to go where the fish are and you have to offer them something they want.

While everyone else is moaning about the lack of fish, you don't have to cast where everyone else is "fishing." In fact, creating new areas of opportunity and doing what the competition is unwilling to do will get you far more fish than being like everyone else. Or, maybe it would be a good time to try something different – say like fly fishing – if you've always used lures or bait.

Some fishermen and salespeople never think about changing. They fish the same water, use the same kind of bait and presentation, and always fish for their favorite species.

Here's a tip. If you aren't getting any bites doing what you're doing, you need to change what you're doing. Don't laugh now. I talked to a guy yesterday who has seen his business go steadily downhill for the last 3 years. When I asked him what kind of changes he has made in his marketing over that time it turned out he was doing the same things he had done in previous years when things were profitable.

You have to flexible, willing to change, and, oh yeah, do the hard work!

But, when it all comes together, you'll have a blast!

You can learn about other sales and marketing ideas in my book, Listen First – Sell Later, available at

1 thought on “Fishing and Selling (Which has nothing to do with selling fish.)”

  1. Fishing is kind of like selling. You have to go where the fish are and you have to offer them something they want.
    I LOVE THIS. This is a great post!

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