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If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all. –  Joe Namath
Everything Has a Price Tag!
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. Each prospective customer has something that will attract him to buy. It’s the duty of the salesman to identify this. The concept herein which I call, ‘The Fishing Metaphor of Selling,’ uses fishing as an allegory to communicate that a salesman is like the fisherman. The Fishing Metaphor of Selling navigates the unique similarity between the salesman and the fisherman. Figuratively, in this model, the salesman needs the Line, the Hook and the Bait to perform a successful sales process.
Everyone Goes For a Target
The notion teaches that Selling and Fishing have similarities. Participants in the two professions 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 procedure should be followed if you want to succeed in the venture.
You Need the: Line, Hook and Bait
In the Fishing Metaphor of Selling, 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 products. This model must be in place for successful selling. The concept 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 total cost he is paying to the seller. When we talk about customer value determinants, we compare total customer value – 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, and will be delighted if his expectations are exceeded. On the other hand, the buyer will be dissatisfied if his expectations are not attained. This is one of the issues the fishing metaphor seeks to address. The world of selling has gone very strategic; every action the salesman takes must be for a purpose. The salesman must ensure that he is applying the right strategy in the right market selling the right products and services. This applies in product promotion and in everyday sales activities. I teach that the bait meant for the prospect or customer must be good enough and the right incentive must be used for the right market. Buyers don’t just buy. They are attracted to buy and the attraction must be ideal. The salesman should build something very attractive around his products and services. This gives the buyer the reason to buy. People buy when their reasons for buying are met. In fact, I believe that buyers buy when their reasons for buying supersedes the salesman’s reasons for selling! It is the duty of the salesman to unravel the things that will catch the attention of the buyer. The first duty of the salesman in this context is to discover the buyer. The second one is to find out how to win him to his side. Sell Value all the time! Nothing beats this in selling.
Keep Selling!
The fishing metaphor of selling seeks to provide solutions. The salesman is equipped when he adopts this concept because all the sales fundamentals: Strategies, Skills and Incentives are in place. The model accommodates three vital aspects of selling! The method 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 water always. Products and services don’t go on vacation. I have not seen where companies decide that their products should go on holidays – unless in special circumstance where a company decides to put sales on hold for uncommon reasons; but this is not an everyday happening. For this reason, the salesman must continue to be on the move; prospecting and closing sales! 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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This article was first published on 18th August 2017 and updated on October 5th, 2017 at 12:04 pm


George Emetuche is a Brian Tracy endorsed best-selling author, sales trainer, life coach, on-air personality, motivational speaker, sales, and marketing consultant. He is the Chief Executive Salesman at The Selling Champion Consulting Limited. The company trains salespeople and other professionals on winning sales strategies. Reach him via sales[@] or

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