One of my favorite pastimes is to enjoy the serenity and beauty of fly fishing for trout. Sometimes it feels a bit odd to try and outsmart a fish after working in high powered intellectual environment. Hard to believe for some that it is such a worthy adversary. Once in a while the mighty trout can help teach us valuable lessons for our business lives…
It was a warm day in central Pennsylvania and I was very excited to be going out on the stream with a guide who I used before. His name was Jack — about 80 years old with the vigor of a person far less in years. We made our way through the woods to our destination and the excitement of the chase was starting to get very strong.
I had pre rigged my fly rod with a fly that I thought would work. Once we reached the stream I started to enter the water. Jack was furious with me. He asked me what I was doing (not that nicely). I told him I was getting ready to cast to a likely spot across the stream. He made me exit the water, sit on a log and observe. He wanted me to keep looking at the water to try and better understand what the trout were feeding on. Were they rising or eating below the surface? Sipping or splashing when they ate? While it was hard to sit and observe, I learned valuable information on what would make my day much more successful. If I had jumped to it as I wanted to, I would’ve been using the wrong fly, and potentially lose my shot at the fish.
Wow – too often in our sales meetings we jump to solutions the first chance we get. We don’t take the time to fully understand our clients’ behaviors and needs. We don’t prepare properly. Worst of all, we can get lazy because we’ve been doing this a long time. Often that rush to solution will hamper our ability to be successful further down the road. Take the time to prepare, ask the right questions and listen to what is being told to you.
What kind of fisherman are you? The one the jumps into the stream with a pre set fly or the one who can battle the wary trout because you understand their feeding activities?