Home > Ideas > The Fish has no off day!

The Fish has no off day!

A fisherman goes fishing every day – there are no off days; yesterday’s harvest is gone – it won’t get him any more money today. If he has to earn today he better go out to the sea again.

In Sales if you don’t Prospect you are nothing – how much of your present activity will translate into business in the immediate future can be answered by studying the size and status of your prospect list?

You will have prospects that are turning into customers right now, some that would provide you business in the weeks ahead and a longer list of people whom you can convince after a little or a lot more of work.  This would the message from your prospect list if there is regular activity in your accounts / territory.

I met a young Sales Executive today – it’s been two weeks since he joined a new organisation. When asked to explain the activities done in the last fortnight he said there had been 2-3 joint visits with the senior Sales Executives but for the rest of the time he had been indoors studying the customer list and product catalogues.

Quite surprised by the revelation I asked what he’d done in his previous assignments – my intention was to understand whether he had any Sales experience. He had close to 2 years’ experience as a Sales Executive – he knows what needs to be done.

Usually young Executives are inhibited to meet prospects for the following reasons:

–          They are not sure how the meeting would go (Fear)

–          No experience in making a Sales call (Lack of training)

–          They do not know what’s to be presented during the call (Poor preparation) and

–          They are afraid of the questions the prospect might ask (One or more of the above reasons)

These issues can be handled with training, coaching and some confidence building. But there are a few, like the young person I mentioned above, who are waiting for a favorable alignment of celestial bodies to start working in the market. His concern was not the product or the customer, but that he did not have a motor-cycle yet and that he had not studied the clients list of the organisation thoroughly. The man obviously was hoping for miracles while he shammed.

This young man needed a thorough talking to and I did just that today. My message was this:

– A Sales Executive’s core task is to meet prospects and promote business

– Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s how you learn

– If you can’t answer the customer’s queries you can always call the office

– Use the public transport if your motor-cycle is not available

– If you don’t meet customers/prospects you are shirking your primary responsibility

By avoiding visits to the prospects this young man was writing his own obituary – business will not pour from the heavens, he has to go out there and find it.

Sales Executives, if you wish to see a steady inflow of business, be prepared to cast your net daily.

And the fish is available in the sea every day …


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  1. ram..
    May 2, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Jayadev,well said.i ahve experienced this .When i dont meet few prospects i find it difficult even forecast …Need to renet the net and go fishing.

    • JayadevM
      May 2, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Ram, I am hoping that more Sales Professionals would realise this every time they see Sales dipping … and the earlier they spot the problem the faster things can be turned around.

      May you find a good catch!

  2. May 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Well Written…Each and every word well Planned. More Important is the second part, once the sales starts off, its not going to last on its own. Everyday the fishing has to happen for a sustained results.

    • JayadevM
      May 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Thank you, Ramesh.

      Am glad you could relate it to your work and derive the right lesson. Do update us about your success stories.

      Best wishes and regards.

  1. May 1, 2012 at 12:13 am

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