Sales: Don’t Catch Too Many Small Fish

As a kid I have great memories of summers camping and trout fishing with my dad.  I didn’t care how big the fish was but tended to have more fun when we were bringing something back to camp.  It was always a tough day when we went home empty-handed and had to explain our tough luck.

Sales is a lot like fishing in the sense that we feel good when we bring something home.  In B2B sales no one is calling us to say they would like to buy a new widget.  It’s the sales professional working leads, keeping track of customers throughout the sales cycle, and finally uncovering needs to find the right solution in hopes of getting a commission.  This transaction psychology gives sales people good and bad days.  We’ve been called a lot of things but we are human, so we are looking for more good than bad days.

The problem with this mentality is that it leads to poor strategic planning and time management.  We are so focused on closing a sale that we lose site of the “Big Fish”.  If you are new to sales and have not heard of the “80/20 Rule” you should seriously considers its wisdom.  Basically it means that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.  Some important questions to ask ourselves.  How much time are we spending with the 20% that is providing 80% of our sales?

Are we spending too much time with the customers that account for 20% of our sales?  Could we get that 20% from our existing customers if we found new ways to serve them?  Could I work fewer hours if 80% is all I need to live on and spend my time on something more productive?  This principle teaches us that we must be critical on whom we spend our time with and only we can decide through trial and error which customers are interested in becoming part of the 80%.

“Lost time is never found again. ”
Benjamin Franklin

I’d love to know your thoughts on this, please comment below.

Pictures compliments of Google

80/20 Rule compliments of


About Jason B Douglas

I am a results driven sales professional helping others elevate their sales.
This entry was posted in Time Management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sales: Don’t Catch Too Many Small Fish

  1. Hi Jason! Absolutely love the analogy you used to link sales to fishing. I have worked in sales for over five years and it can definitely be considered “lost time” when you can’t make that 80/20 rule work for you.

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