Unbreakable Laws of Sales 7th Law: Selling is like fishing – you need the line, the hook and the bait

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If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all? –  Joe Namath

There is a price for everything. Even the item that is classified as priceless still has a selling price. Its selling price is ‘‘priceless!’’ Every prospect has a price. Every prospect has something that will attract him to buy. It’s the duty of the salesman to identify this.

The concept that I call, ‘‘The Fishing Metaphor of Selling,’’ uses fishing as an allegory to communicate that a salesman is like the fisherman. The concept highlights the unique similarities between the salesman and the fisherman. Figuratively, in this model, the salesman needs the line, the hook and the bait in order to perform a successful sales process.

Everyone goes for a target:

Fishermen and salesmen seek to attract something. The fisherman seeks to catch fishes, whereas the salesman seeks to win customers. The two professions are in the business of attracting their targets. It takes a process to attract these targets and the process should be followed if you want to succeed in the venture.

In the hook, line and bait model, the LINE represents the skills of the salesman; the HOOK represents the salesman’s strategies; and the BAIT represents the things salesmen use as incentives to attract buyers to their product. This model must be applied for successful selling to take place.

The fishing metaphor of selling is encompassing. It covers everything that will make a buyer buy a product; both from the buyer’s perspective and the salesman’s point of view.

Let the value surpass the cost:

The relationship between the seller and the buyer should be balanced. The buyer buys total value in exchange for the total cost he is paying to the seller. When we talk about customer value determinants, we compare total customer values (which are the benefits derived from a given offering) versus total customer cost (which are the bundle of costs the buyer is expected to expend in the offering).

It is natural that the buyer will prefer that the things he receives as benefits and value exceed the cost he is incurring.

In measuring customers’ satisfaction, the expectation of the buyer is matched with the performance of the offering. The buyer will be satisfied if his expectations are met. He will be delighted if his expectations are exceeded. On the other hand, the buyer will be dissatisfied if his expectations are not met.

In the fishing metaphor of selling, I teach that the bait must be good enough. People buy when their reasons for buying are met. It is the duty of the salesman to unravel the things that will attract the buyer. Most times the buyer may not let out all in his mind but by asking the right questions and qualifying the prospects, the salesman gets the right answers.

Keep selling!

The fishing metaphor of selling seeks to provide solution to the salesman. The salesman is equipped when he adopts this theory because all the sales fundamentals: strategies, skills and incentives are in place. The model accommodates the three vital aspects of selling!

The fishing metaphor of selling also teaches that if you want to succeed in selling, you must be seen to be doing your best at all times – just as the fisherman keeps his line in the water all the time. Products and services don’t go on vacation. I have not seen where companies decide that their products should go on holidays – unless in the special circumstance where a company decides to put sales on hold for uncommon reasons; but this is not an everyday happening.

Selling is an all time thing. It’s an everyday task. It’s not a one-off job. Companies expect salesmen to sell every minute, just like the fisherman expects to catch fishes all the time! Your products should be on the shelf of every store in town. The services your company offers should be the talk of the town. This task is achievable but you must be ready to work. Get started with The Fishing Metaphor of Selling!

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