I don’t hunt, neither do I fish. So if you want to disagree with this post, just hit reply and let me know your views.
But here’s how I see it:
Hunting is inherently aggressive. You camouflage yourself, conceal your intentions, creep up on the animal, corner it, load a gun, take aim, pull the trigger and BAM! – put a bullet through its heart. This is war.
Now compare it with fishing.
You use tasty bait, elegantly cast the line, present it to the fish, tease it, attract it, use lots of patience and when you catch it, you slowly bring it in alive, hold it tight for a while, admiring it…before possibly even releasing it back into the water.
Hunting and fishing. Both can feed you in the wild, but in the wilderness of business, only one approach works.You see, that next big customer whom you just wish would buy from you…are you hunting for them, or fishing?
I regularly have clients that are on a hunt for “that” prospect. They are at various stages of bundu bashing through the proverbial sales veld. Some have taken aim with the biggest gun they can find: Cold calling. Others believe they have finally cornered the poor customer-to-be and can now force them into submission. I find myself doing the occasional business hunting.
But it doesn’t work.
In business, waging a war for the next customer is like trying to catch a fish with a hunting rifle.
We need to learn from nature when we choose our approach. How does a flower attract a bee in the competitive environment of a spring bloom? Does it shout at the bee, or flirt with it?
It teases the bee by opening up wide full of colour, presenting itself in all its glory, give off a lovely scent, provide comfortable seating so the bee can relax whilst feasting on the nectar.
Certainly this is more like fishing than hunting.
So how do you fish for that next customer?
Tease them. Flirt with them. Show them some real interest. Obviously I mean this in a business sense, such as:
Invite them to come and visit and see for themselves what you offer.
- Inform them that you have something that they may find of interest.
- Show your appreciation for what they do.
- Make friends with them.
- Get to know them intimately by doing your research. What turns them on? What makes them tick? What makes them nervous? Why do they make the decisions that they do? What frustrates them that you could help with?
- Be patient.
Compare this with the hunting approach: Shoving your price-list into their face; insisting that you offer the same quality at a better deal. Squeezing yourself into their diary. Getting angry. Fighting. Getting bullied. Getting more angry. And ultimately, quietly, calling them an idiot.
Seriously, we need to learn from nature here. Remember that flower in spring time…
Make love people, not war.
Learn to fish for your next customer. You have a much better chance of success.