Friday, January 29, 2010

Targeting: Fish Where The Fish Are

Let us for a moment get back to selling for introverts as follow-up to the post "Cold Calling for Introverts".

Successful selling is very similar to fishing. While what I am going to share applies to selling in general, it is particularly important for us introverts. After you read this, you are likely to say it's just common sense. And you'll be absolutely right. Yet it surprising how so many professionals don't do this. So if you're doing it, great. If not, it's something worth considering seriously.

Similar to selling, fisherman's success lies in effective targeting. Rather then casting his net randomly, to maximize returns given his limited energy and time investment, he must first determine the type of fish he wants to catch and then identify where in the vast waters they swim. Once and only once he has identified this does he cast his net.

When I first entered sales, not having any formal training, I started with door to door selling, i.e. randomly casting my net. Talk about hard work. Sometimes I caught minnows, sometimes a cat fish and other times huge whales. Some of them fitted well with what we could handle given our capabilities, others it not so. It was hit and miss at best. Lots of activity and energy spent with overall relatively small net gains.

After some time, a clear pattern emerged, where I was able to clearly identify my ideal client and where they hung out, i.e. to which groups they belonged to. With that information at hand, I joined those organizations and spent all of my time and energy fishing in those waters only. As I did that, I began to catch more whales rather then minnows and we all ate nicely for long time.

Therefore if you are not target as such as the moment, please take the time to identify what your ideal clients look like and where they hang out, in other words what type of fish do you want and where do they swim. Also find and join groups that represent your clients. For example, if you want to catch guppies, join the National Association of Guppies. This way you'll be fishing where your fish are. For further information on how to do this, read my post entitled "Sweet Spot: Maximizing Business Growth and Profitability".

Next, in some of my upcoming posts, I'll share some of the introvert friendly methods that have for me lead to meetings and ultimately sales--without cold calling.

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