Many years ago I was visiting my folks in Florida and they had a pond in front of their condo. As you may know, that’s not unusual for those retirement communities down there. So, one day I was fishing for bass in the pond. I was using a rubber worm that I brought from home for bait and it was working very well. I caught several two- to three-pounders. Add to it the solitude and fine cigars and it was a blast!
While bass fishing, I noticed there were huge, and I mean huge, carp swimming around the edges of the pond. These big guys were in the 10 – 20 pound range! I imagined an unbelievable fight if only I could hook one! But there was nothing I could do to catch them, I thought, because they were put in the ponds to eat the excess grass that grew around the shorelines. I didn’t have any baits in my tackle box to attract them.
The following week, I was fishing with my professional guide in the Florida Keys. We were trying to land bonefish. Very challenging to catch. They swim up from deep channels onto the flats to feed on shrimp. Fishing for them is awesome. It is like hunting because these foot plus long fish swim into 10″ deep water to feed and you can barely see their movement. They’re referred to as the “grey ghost.” Bonefishing is challenging on many levels; not the least of which is that they are difficult to see and are easily spooked by noise, making them tough to catch.
While quietly on the hunt I shared the above carp story with my guide who simply replied, “have you tried using grass as bait?” Duh. What logic?! Why not give them what they are looking for?!? It was so obvious: give them grass. That’s what I’d been doing as a marketeer. Venmark International specializes in publicizing products. But, that’s not why clients hire us. They hire us for other marketing requirements such as advertising, new market development, sales lead generation, driving traffic to websites, attracting and supporting distributors, dealers and representatives, and much more.
The sales parallel is stunning! Give clients the benefits associated with your product or services, not the features that generate them. If you want to catch the carp in Florida ponds that are put there to eat grass, you’ve got to use grass as bait. If you want to catch clients you’ve got to find out what they’re really looking for and address those “needs” with specificity.
© 2019 Steven M. Stroum (with permission to share)