Bob Janet: Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Bob Janet: Shooting Fish in a Barrel


My friend Bill Tucker, president of the Florida Building Material Association, recently wrote in his association publication e-BLUEPRINT:

“The members of one of our business round tables were discussing how to increase sales, when one of them commented on the need for training.

Without thinking, I quickly reminded him that during the construction boom, few members attended the numerous sales courses offered by FBMA. That’s the way it is; when shooting fish in a barrel, you don’t need to

learn how to aim.

“How many salespeople are sitting around waiting for someone to call?,” he continued. “How many are still hawking the same old products with the same old lines? How many are looking to the same, rather than developing new customers? How many believe they don’t need sales training?”

Whenever I am asked, “When do sales professionals no longer need sales training?” I reply, “When they quit breathing!”

Because no matter how good you were at selling and marketing yesterday or how good your are today, there will always be competitors and economic changes that come along that you must react to in order to maintain success. Those who are prepared do not REACT to changing times and conditions, they ACT before the changes adversely affect them.

It is human nature, and sales professionals are certainly no different, to take the easy way out and become lackadaisical. When times are good we do not have to have as sharp an aim when shooting fish in a barrel.

We don’t have to be sharp when the customers are calling and all we have to do is fill out the order forms. That time is over for most industries, at least in the near future.

Sales professionals need to sharpen their old skills and learn new ones to improve their aim to stay at the top of their profession. It might be too late for those who refuse to change their ways, but it’s not too late for most of the rest of us.

It is not too late for those who make the commitment to rededicate themselves and their businesses to the art of selling and marketing. Start refreshing and re-learning selling and marketing skills and techniques to become the sales professional and businesses that are able to proactively leverage the changes in your market.

I once heard that the great football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, when asked how he turned a losing football team into a winner, replied, “I thought to myself, someone has got to do something about our poor performance. Then I remembered – I was someone.”

If you are that “someone” in your organization, the someone who needs to and can do something about it, it is time to:

• Become more aggressive in marketing and selling

– Create and use a sales marketing plan.

– Determine who your best prospects are.

– Learn and use selling skills and techniques that attract customers to you.

• Dare to be different than the competition.

– The business that gets noticed and is remembered will be the

successful seller.

• Dare to market and sell differently than you did when you could shoot fish in a barrel.

It is time to learn (re-learn) the selling and marketing skills and techniques it takes to gain and retain your most profitable customers. We are no longer shooting fish in a barrel.

Bob Janet of Sales Growth Now provides seminars and keynotes to help companies increase sales and profits. He can be reached at 800-286-1203 and