I’m going to show you two very powerful ways in which a simple fish can help you sell. Here are two stories that will help you build the perfect sales environment, drive sales success and create a sales process that delivers results. Both stories focus around one simple thing….a fish!
Let’s start by visiting the fish market….
My very first job was at a national DIY store. Not long after I had started the chain of shops started to introduce FISH training. For those of you who haven’t heard of this, it’s an amazing training programme based on the famous Pike Place fish market in Seattle.
This particular fish stall is packed every single day with audiences of people who come to watch and buy from them. They choose them because they create a customer experience like no other. The energy, fun and positivity attract customers, creates business and builds customer loyalty.
I can’t count the amount of sales teams I’ve been bought in to support that have had the opposite approach. Their dull office environment, lack of culture and energy and minimal drive have a deteriorating impact on their sales pipeline and results.
Here is how I’ve taken inspiration from the fish market to help build successful sales teams:
1) Create the right sales office – In my opinion there is nothing more restricting for sales people than a chicken farm style office. Rows of bland boxed off desks that separate sales people. You need to create an office environment that creates energy, encourages creativity and drives productivity. This should include plenty of colour, an open environment where sales people can work together and feed off each others energy and creates fun.
2) All energy needs a source – It doesn’t have to be you as the sales manager/leader if it’s not your strongest point, but find a good source of energy. Someone who can help drive the fun every single day but driving fun that produces productivity and not distraction. Sales teams thrive on banter, jokes, laughing, having fun etc because it fuels them to make their calls, send emails, go to meetings.
3) Find the right people – When you recruit for sales people make sure they’re the right fit for your team and business. Put the wrong people in a good team and you’ll soon lose that spark. Be picky with those you select for your team, make sure they have the right skills, dynamic and energy.
4) Create an exceptional customer experience – Imagine you’re talking to someone who’s happy, engaging, enthusiastic and fun. Chances are you’ll enjoy the conversation and you’ll like the person you’re talking too. Now imagine a conversation with someone who’s dull, robotic and non engaging. Who do you think you’ll be likely to buy from? Make any engagement with your prospects or customers memorable ones, make them engaging and a positive experience. You want them to remember
5) Have lots of fun! – If you’re having fun, you’ll work hard. If you’re having fun, your customers will have fun. Now always keep the balance as too much fun can become distracting and non productive. I recently saw a bag of around 200 coloured “ball pit” balls bought into the office and all out ball throwing war started! The fun, energy and competitiveness that was created was amazing as well as the atmosphere. A side effect was then an increase in productivity, activity and results!
Now let’s go and do some real fishing….
The second story I want to share is from my first fishing trip. Now I don’t mind fishing, I enjoy the thrill of the catch but I do struggle a little with the patience part! Sitting around for hours waiting can be challenging. It’s also difficult knowing all the different types of fish, which I found out the hard way after catching and nearly touching a very poisonous fish!
When you fish the first you thing you do is make sure you have the right equipment. You then find a suitable fishing spot, bait your line, cast it in and wait. Once you get a bite you then have to carefully reel the fish in, giving caution not to let it slip away. Do all of the above and you’ll successfully catch a fish!
Whilst fishing I started to see the crazy similarity to a normal sales process. From getting ready, the process to the requirements to catching a fish it aligns well with a typical sale.
- You need the right equipment – You won’t catch a fish with a toothbrush just as you won’t get the sale unless you have the right equipment. Whether it’s the right phone, computer, data, CRM, marketing etc.
- Make sure you pick the right spot – A great example of this is the argument around social selling. There are absolutely industries and sectors that aren’t on social yet, so why waste time social selling to them? You need to find the place where the most prospects are and where they are likely to engage. That might be at networking events, via cold call, cold email, industry events etc.
- You need the right bait – I’ve watched enough fishing documentaries to know there are a lot of different baits used to catch different fish! It’s the same in sales, you need to use the right prospecting method to catch the prospect you want. A cold call might work for a small business, but for a large business you may be better using a social approach.
- Patience & Persistence – You need to have both patience and persistence. You need to be patient in waiting for a prospect to answer or reply but you also need to be persistent and not give up. It took me 2 calls a day for 3 months to finally get through to a prospect a few years back. Patience and persistence!
- You need a process – The best fishermen have a strict process on what they do, when they do it and how they do it to help ensure success. If you don’t already, find or create the ideal customer journey from first contact to purchase and turn that into your sales process.
- Practice makes perfect – The more you practice something the better you get. I’m not great at fishing I’ll admit to that (a job for anyone who wants to teach me!). However I know if I did it more I’d soon get good at it. My very first cold call was terrible, but after making tens of thousands, I’m very good at it now. The same with my first meeting, pitch, close etc. The best fishermen are the ones who’s done it for months/years, who do it a lot, who have gained experience through practice.
And there it is, my two stories to help you sell with fish!
I hope you found this blog helpful and informative! If you enjoyed this post please do click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network, thank you. I’d love to know your thoughts as well so please let me know what you think in the comments box below!