I am always a bit reluctant to use “fishing” metaphors to explain key marketing principles, because it comes across so predatory.  I’m not an advocate of predatory tactics in sales & marketing but in any case, this metaphor makes the point.

A key component of effective marketing is selecting a good target market.  Most marketing guru’s will tell you that your ideal market is one that will recognize your unique value proposition and have the ability to pay for it.  As an angler chooses the fishing hole based upon the fish they want to catch, a business will select a market based upon the customer they wish to attract.  If the “fish” aren’t biting you have two key options, move to another fishing hole, or change your bate to something more attractive to your target.

If you have selected a market that has a “BAP” (big audacious problem) you can solve, and you know they have the ability to pay for it, then all that is needed is to determine how to attract their attention.  Of the 3 marketing “M’s” (Market, Message, Media), your message and media is the “bait” you will use to “hook” a chosen prospect. As in fishing, finding the right bait may require some trial & error.  Sometimes finding the right message can take a number of attempts, so monitoring the response to each message is important.  If you get a lot of “bites” on a particular message, then keep using it.

Once you “hook” a prospect, you need to be able to reel it in.  Many businesses are strong at marketing only to lose the interested prospect with a weak conversion (sales) strategy.  As in fishing, if you try to set the hook to quickly or not quick enough, the fish may get away.  The key to converting an interested prospect to a new customer is to “set the hook” with a call to action, which could be a special offer or it could consist of just asking for the opportunity to serve them.  Once your prospect says “yes”, don’t stop there. The hook is set but you have not fully landed the prospect until you have a sale and you are positioned to serve the prospect with extraordinary products & service.

Once you catch your targeted prospect, don’t kill it!  Care for it, nurture it and then release it back onto its habitat so you may possibly catch it again. If treated well, it may even go back to its group and share the wonderful experience and send others to experience the value you offer.

To survive in business, requires good fishing strategies.  Select a good place to fish, select attractive bait and once they start biting, reel them in!

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