Even novice fishermen know that if you want to catch fish you have to bait the hook and cast your line out into the water. It’s not often that fish jump in the boat.
Experienced fishermen will often “chum” the water prior to fishing. Chumming is simply baiting the waters. Chumming draws the fish in and increases your chances of catching fish.
Business is a lot like fishing.
In business, we employ “marketing” tactics and strategies as a means of chumming the waters to draw potential prospects in for a closer look, and instead of using hooks and bait, professional salespeople will prospect and follow up and follow through with prospects until they either buy or die.
Whether you are a business or a salesperson, if you aren’t constantly and consistently marketing (chumming) and prospecting (casting your baited line out into the waters), it’s very likely that you will spend a lot of time sitting in the stern of the boat waiting for something to happen.
The best time to chum and fish for new business and added sales is when you are flush with success.
Activity breeds activity. Just take a stroll down the dock at the local marina at the end of the day when the fishing boats are returning. People are hanging out down at the boat that had a successful run out into the ocean, the boat that caught the sailfish or hit the mother lode of tuna, not the boat that almost caught one. People are naturally curious. They want to see the catch of the day for themselves. Every captain knows that the best time to sign up the next charter is when you’re at the dock with a boat load of fish.
One of the most productive methods for catching saltwater fish is by trolling, i.e., engines in gear with the boat moving forward and multiple baited lines in the water.
At some point in the sales process, nearly every buyer stalls the sale by questioning whether or not now is the time to buy. Salespeople most often overcome this concern by showing the prospect that other people, people just like them, have made the decision and are moving forward with ownership.
Play any momentum you have to your advantage because activity really does breed activity. Now is not the time for idling in the water! If you’ve had good sales year-to-date, don’t stop now! Chum by ramping up your marketing to draw additional interest, capture new leads, and build value in and confidence for your product.
Bait you hooks. Call past prospects and tell them that something exciting is happening in your business. Invite them back out to look at your new models. Troll for leads and sales by following up and follow through with prospects, and asking for leads and referrals.
So go fishing! Chum. Bait hooks. Use multiple fishing lines. Troll. Keep the engines in gear and the boat moving forward. Don’t fear needing a bigger boat. You’ll solve that need tomorrow. Just get out there and fish today.
Deborah Fisher is an award-winning top-selling producer in both B2B and B2C industries as well as a leading, award-winning marketer in a highly competitive industry. Based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, she specializes in helping clients develop sustainable sales and marketing strategies and tactics to achieve Client goals.