Marketing and Sales Approaches - Hunting vs. Fishing.

Recently I was listening to a presentation on network marketing by professional speaker Chris Widener that resonated with me. The presentation focused on these two styles of approach to sales, leaving me with a clear visual I thought worth sharing.

When I think of hunting, I think of actively stalking through a wilderness setting, being cautious and secretive, being deceptive, entrapment and big guns. If I'm going to be a successful hunter, I'm going to combine everything I know about all that I just mentioned, get close, bring out the big gun and shoot my target, hopefully killing it humanely.

On the other hand, if I'm going to think about fishing, the picture that comes to me is one of casting my rod and waiting for a tug. A little set of the hook when the fish comes to my lure, some reeling and the choice at the end of the process; catch and release or knocking it over the head and bringing it home.

So relating to sales I'm pretty sure I've ran just as fast in the other direction as any game animal would when approached by a hunter. That's nature isn't it when we feel we're being stalked? We've all met them. The call comes. In our case it was an invite to an acquaintance's place disguised as a social get together. There you are in the woods, unsuspecting, visiting with the other herd members and bang! Big guns come out and you're all trapped in the name of politeness to sit through a sales pitch you didn't see coming. Am I likely to take this hunter up on another invite? Probably not and Pierre, my husband, was left with such a feeling of having been had that he was unable to even appreciate the effort put into the whole approach. I certainly don't want to leave people with the impression that I was left with that night and it seems to me that those folks put a lot of effort into creating their "blind" and scared the game away anyways.

When I discovered the opportunity that led me to my current state of business, it was conducted with a very different approach. Oh there was bait. I nibbled. When I bit, it was my own idea and when I received the "knock over the head" it came in the form of a revelation that I can and very much want to do this. There was an application process that gave me every opportunity to taste and chew on this lure and thirty days to be released with no risk to me at all. Now that is the type of sales program I want to be involved with.

Some of the pointers I would give to one starting out wanting to fish these networking waters would include the following:

- There has to be fish...and as long as there are people, there are fish. We can't necessarily see them but we need to know they are there and we need to carry on with this knowledge and belief (mindset) cemented that not only are they there but we know we can catch them. Like the avid fisherman, never quitting and never minding the weather. Sometimes they bite better in the rain, which leads to the next fishing tip.

- The fish have to be hungry. Now we can start looking at where the fish are biting and when. What is going on in that back eddy there? Are they suffering the side effects of recession? Have they realized that they are tired of the limitations of trading time for money? Are they looking for a growth opportunity in the face of the corporate world shrinking? Has their family situation changed recently into one where their focus could now include activity beyond the children? Has their position been recently outsourced? Many things make us hungry and for different things. You get the picture.

- This brings us to bait. We need the right type of bait. Most importantly, we need to realize that we ARE the bait. We might have an excellent idea or an excellent product. We are still the bait and if we are not appealing, no fish in their right mind is going to come anywhere near us. We are all different and we all attract different fish. What we need to concentrate on is the development of the unique double top secret blend that is our own and will attract the fish we want to catch.

- To develop our bait, we need to concentrate on our presentation. Are we high or low pressure? Polished? Professional? How knowledgeable are we? Have we put the effort required into the development of ourselves to put the scent of confidence and leadership into the water?

All analogies aside, though I really like this one, the advice that I most want to share is we've got to work hard and work harder on ourselves. We've got to remember that our "bag limits" or results, or income, are directly related to the work and commitment that we put into our own personal growth. That said, remember that "a bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work"

-Kelowna Lund


Kelowna Lund is CEO of Barrettelund Consulting Inc. located in northern BC, Canada.  For more information please visit her website

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