To be successful at fishing or sales, one must first respect the art of the game. This starts by understanding the predator pray relationship. There is quite a difference between going to a body of water with a fishing rod, soaking your bait all day, and consistently catching fish.

Knowing your craft for sales means understanding customer environments, competitive, regulatory and general problems customers must solve. Listen to an investor conference call, look at customer financials, spend some time on emerging opportunities, trying being a partner, not a distributor. Above all respect your craft, do your homework and do not just show up with a PowerPoint and offer to buy lunch. This is not the relationship your customers are seeking.

Try not to use a shotgun approach to power fishing when trying to cover lots of ground. Good fishermen know when fish are shallow or deep. They know when to start out using a top-water tactic, and when to switch up to a finesse approach or go back to trolling a pattern. If your sales methodology is sending out lots of LinkedIn connection request or emails, then consider telemarketing with a script in front of you, not a sales representative.

Understand potential feeding patterns (budget cycles), local baits (front lobe issues), and seasonal patterns (financial reporting cycles) is imperative to closing deals or catching fish. Timing and motivations are two critical elements in both fishing and sales. Good fishermen and sales executive understand patterns, and use them to their advantage. Knowing the right person to call is half the battle. Take time to understand the motivations of your customers wants versus needs will put a good sales executive in a winning position.


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