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Ray Makela

By: Ray Makela on March 25th, 2019

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Match the Hatch to Break Through the Noise When Prospecting


Prospecting is a lot like fly fishing. In this episode, we talk about the similarities between those two practices, and how by "matching the hatch" you're much more likely to break through the noise when prospecting.


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*** Enhanced Video Script ***

I'm calling this episode, "Matching the Hatch." Matching the hatch to land more deals and catch bigger fish. The phrase "matching the hatch" in fly fishing is used to describe the ability of astute fishermen to research what the fish are biting on.

The fishermen look into the stream, look at their surroundings and figure out what is it that the fish are biting on at that particular time. Then they use an artificial fly that's consistent with whatever the current hatch is. The hatch is different given the time of day for the stream, the water temperature, and even the type of fish that the fisherman is targeting.

At times, fish will only feed on that particular hatch that's emerging from the stream, and to fish with another lure would be futile at that point.

What does this have to do with selling skills and sales training?

Well, when we're prospecting for new business, we often use generic lures, and we cast them with enthusiasm in hopes that we'll find a fish, a prospect, who happens to like that particular lure at that specific time.

We've all heard that sales is getting more difficult. The buyers are further along in their sales cycle, they're more informed, and there's more competition. You can think more fishermen are vying for the same number of fish in the pool or stream. So to break through the turbulence, we need to differentiate ourselves and our products, and we can do this by matching the hatch.

What this means is that it's not enough to define a generic persona or a target market. We need to do our research on that prospect in a company and determine how we can bring unique insights and pique their interest. We need to figure out what those big fish are feeding on, and we need to cast accordingly.

That may mean checking their LinkedIn profile, talking to their network, and figure out what's important to them and what problems we can help them solve.

If we can present our value proposition—that's the fly or the lure—in the context of what's most pressing to them, we're much more likely to get their interest or get a rise out of them.

When you're targeting big fish, remember to research the flies that they're feeding on, and match the hatch.


Sales Training Research Report by Sales Readiness Group

About Ray Makela

Ray Makela is CEO and Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.