Fishing For Business?

Caught fish image
Photo by RichardBH

Imagine sitting on a quiet lake in the early morning. You’ve been out on the same boat, on the same lake for a week, but you haven’t yet caught anything. Today you take out your favorite lure, attach it to your line, set the bait, and cast your line. You wait a little bit, feel a slight tug on the line. After a long struggle, you reel in your catch and see it’s a big bass. Why did that fish bite your hook today?

If you could, you could interview your fish. What attracted it to your lure? What was it doing before it noticed it? Why didn’t the other fish grab it first? Was it hungry for the lure, bored, or feeling something else?

Of course, you can’t interview a fish. But the same experience is what most businesses go through. Businesses create a lot of marketing, and wait for the phone to ring. When it does, they’ve begun the process of landing a new client.

When someone contacts you, do you know what made them reach out to you? Was it a recent review in your local newspaper? Did their friend recently use your services? Was it recommended on Yelp? Did your website come up on the first page for a Google search?

After someone contacts you (and especially after they’ve become your client), you must find out exactly why they made that first contact. Since there’s no easy way to find out why people don’t contact your business, you must attempt to hone in on those that do. If one person needs your services, then others will also.

In many cases, your clients won’t know exactly what triggered them into making contact. You might hear, “I’ve been thinking of contacting you for a while…”. Ask them specifically if they saw your Yellow Pages ad, newspaper review, website, pay-per-click ad, signage, or talked with someone who recommended you.

Collect this data and notice the trends. What do your “better” clients have in common? What sparked them into action? Then do more of what worked, and less of what didn’t.

When you need to fish for clients, use a marketing strategy that you know works for your business.

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