Recently while on vacation, my youngest son and I took a few hours out to go fishing. Nothing serious. Catch fish and release them. We get our fill of fishing for the year. See you next year. We are no threat to the fish as none of them end up as our dinner.

While waiting for all the excitement to start as my bobber floats alone on the water, my mind drifted off to my own business development activities for current customers and prospects. Then that same convoluted mind started thinking about the similarities about fishing and business development. Who said fishing wasn’t exciting?

Fishing and business development both have a few things in common:

  • PATIENCE: You rarely toss in your line and catch a fish immediately. Same with sales. In both cases you must plan to be in for the long haul to get results.
  • EQUIPMENT: Fishermen will use whatever seems to be catching fish by fellow fishermen. Newest poles, lines, reels, radar and lures. Salespeople will use technology, mail, cold calling, networking, events or whatever it takes to meet new prospects or to keep in contact with current customers. If it’s new, it must work!!!
  • BAIT: If fish are hitting on worms, cheese or smaller fish, watch for other fishermen to copy what is working at that particular time. In business development you’ll use your expertise as well as your colleague’s experiences to attract your targets. In addition, the product and or service you are providing hopefully will attract the biggest catch of them all for you.
  • LOCATIONS: Fishermen may not be loyal to one spot when fishing. If the fish aren’t hitting, it’s off to another location. In business, if an area in their market isn’t producing the results they are looking for, let’s pack up and head to a new area.
  • THE BIG ONE THAT GOT AWAY: This actually could be a close story contest between a fishermen and a salesperson. Who has the greatest story on the fish and or prospect that go away? I bet some are legendary.
  • MOUNTING: Fishermen will pay hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars to have their prize catch mounted for all to see. In business, a prospect that converts into a customer may find their business/story in ads, commercials or annual reports of the company that “Landed” them. In both cases, you see the pride in the fishermen and company of their accomplishment.

I don’t this analogy will make it into any scientific journals, even on a slow news day. But what it does tell us is that every now and then, let your mind rest, like when fishing. Let ideas and thoughts come to you that may help you in your business life. And if you catch one new idea/thought, you’ll never have to tell the story about the big one that got away.

Good fishing and business development to you!!