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(kray-tee-o): to have power, be powerful

  • Writer's pictureClay Sharman

Prospecting Must Evolve The Same Way Fishing Did

1995 – Amazon and eBay launch their websites, giving birth to what would ultimately become eCommerce.


Pretty soon, millions of websites are up and running, creating an online shopping bonanza!

Two cartoon goldfish looking at a fish hook
"See son? No reason to bite on that hook at all."

Except back then, the whole digital prospecting strategy appears to have been built on the premise that people are essentially like fish.


Think about it. You buy a website (the boat). You launch (row) your website to the middle of the Internet (ocean). You rely on SEO and third-party customer lists (fishing rods) to interact with prospects (the fish) and your lures (content, campaigns, ads, paid search etc.) are even called clickbait! Then you sit and wait for the fish, uh, prospects, to find your website.


That was 1995. Now, fast forward to 2024. Has anything really changed?


I’m gonna ask a few simple questions (and answer them) that seem to be about fishing but may in fact have a hidden meaning. See if you can spot my very nuanced intent.


  • Does the type of rod you choose impact the kind of fish you can go after? It does. But only if you understand the types of rods available and how best to use them.

  • Do you believe that the type of bait you choose can be the same for every fish? It can’t. But understanding how types of fish respond to different lures and bait will absolutely make a difference.

  • And do you think that fishing in a creek will get you the same fish as fishing in the ocean? It won’t! But understanding what kinds of fish live in different bodies of water makes planning how to catch them much simpler.


Are you catching what I’m casting?


Wouldn't you rather know what prospect audiences actually like instead of guessing? Or how about being able to predict campaign response accurately while delivering better customer satisfaction? More importantly, imagine being able to talk to them personally, like people! If you can meet prospects on their turf (not surf ‘n turf) you will become experts of your craft, able to navigate huge areas of opportunity the same way a master fisherman or fisherwoman navigates the ocean with a fish finder and the appropriate lures.


In short, you must learn to fish, I mean market, using the right technology to help you identify where your prospects are, what they like and respond to, and then you can build effective strategies on prospect engagement based on real audience understanding!


Like the right fishing equipment, those tools exist and are ready to help.


And who knows, along the way you may even learn who in your audience hates fishing analogies.    

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