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Life Health > Running Your Business

Got a sales challenge? Get creative.

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How do you succeed in getting a big account when all your previous attempts have failed? If you want to catch a big fish, perhaps the sports fishermen of New Zealand can give you some ideas. After all, they face a very difficult, if not insurmountable, challenge—one that would stop most fishermen dead in their waders.

The coastline off the beaches of New Zealand is teaming with red snapper and other delectable saltwater species. The sandy beach can go out for hundreds of yards, making it difficult to fish from the shore. And the waves are so powerful that if you wade out too far, you risk being swept away. Of course, you could rent or buy a big ocean-going boat, but that would cost a lot of money.

Clearly some creative fishing strategies were needed to address this seemingly insurmountable challenge. So the local fishermen hit upon the solution: kite fishing. All they need are a kite, an airborne rig, the right bait and a beachside seat. When the kite starts bobbing, they jump up and fight like crazy to haul their catch onto shore. I’ll tell you, seeing those kite fishermen in action is truly a sight to behold.

As sellers, if we’re going to be successful landing the big clients, we need to expand our thinking about what’s possible and get creative. Instead of giving up, we need to consider all the ways we can impact our outcomes. For example, we could:

  1. Use some new bait. If your message isn’t enticing to the big fish, they’ll swim right by it.
  2. Change where we’re fishing. Perhaps you need to target different decision-makers. Or, maybe you need to go to the events they attend.
  3. Cast a wider net(work). Maybe someone you know can make a connection. Go to LinkedIn. Check out your second-level connections.

The point is if your current prospecting methods haven’t yielded the results you desire, then you need to try something new. Experiment, change things up, get creative. That’s what it takes in today’s market if you really want to reel ‘em in.

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.


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