From the Peak Your Profits!® newspaper column by:
Jeff Blackman, J.D., CSP, CPAE
Business-Growth Specialist

© Blackman & Associates, LLC


“Jeff, I’m struggling with my new role, not sure if I’m in sales, marketing, service or constant negotiations. Please help me define who I am and what I do?”


Intriguing question. Because the “line of demarcation” for any job or role is seldom so narrowly defined, that it requires you to be inflexible. It may require you exhibit multiple skills, attitudes and behavior, relevant to your/your company’s success, i.e., customer acquisition, satisfaction and retention.

Perhaps I can best help you, by sharing a “fish story.”

I have a love/hate relationship with fishing. What I hate about it, is that it’s slow. It ruins a good boat ride. And it becomes a very expensive nap!

What I love about it, is that it teaches you important lessons. Personally and professionally.

What I especially love about it, is that it provides quality time with those important to me. My son. My Dad. My brother-in-law. My nephews. My friends. And their kids.

We have landed little nibbles and big ones. In lakes, rivers, gulf waters and oceans.

Some of the valuable lessons learned while fishing are:

  1. Persistence pays.
  2. Always seek new pools of possibilities.
  3. Dangle the hook and bait in the water in front of the fish. (Sounds like marketing.)
  4. When the fish bites, set the hook and reel him in. (Sounds like selling.)
  5. Bait your hook, with what the fish likes to eat. (Sounds like negotiating.)
  6. Once the fish is caught, keep him comfortable. (Sounds like customer service.)
  7. Attitude matters, yet you’re compensated for your behavior and results.
  8. Listen to the experts, i.e., Captain Jimbo Hail who taught me how to jig in the Gulf of Mexico.
  9. Don’t brood over rejection. It’s more fun to talk about the one you reeled in vs. the one that got away.
  10. You’ve gotta be in the right place at the right time and then know what to do while you’re there!
  11. Reap the rewards, i.e., having red snapper we hooked in the gulf, prepared by a gourmet chef at a local restaurant, within two hours from the time we caught it.

So how can you always find a great fishing hole with plenty of fish? Here’s a simple, yet profit-peaking marketing and business-growth exercise.

Answer the following questions as they apply to you, your products or services, your business, your prospects, your customers or clients and your marketplace:

  1. What are your customers’ CSCs, critical success considerations? (What factors matter most to them and influence whether they’ll give you and your company           approval?)
  2. What have been your most successful strategies to build your business?
  3. What buying trends are you seeing?
  4. What other organizations or businesses serve your prospects or target-markets, with whom you might create a strategic alliance?
  5. What professional organizations do your prospects belong to? (How can you create and attain visibility within these groups?)
  6. What trade, consumer or professional publications do your prospects read? (How can you position yourself as an expert, i.e., as a contributing writer, a resource for interviews, etc.?)
  7. Do you have unique benefits or hidden assets about your company and people, your prospects could receive significant value from, yet you’re not telling them? (If so, what are these benefits or assets? And how will you communicate them?)
  8. What specific problems are you solving in a prospect’s or customer’s life?
  9. What results and outcomes do you deliver to customers?
  10. What are the top ten reasons a decision-maker should buy from you and your company, rather than a competitor?

Profit points:

  1. Daily, conduct the world’s fastest strategic plan, by answering these questions:
    • Where are you?
    • Where would you like to be?
    • How would you like to get there?
  2. To gain market share and wallet share, capture mind share. Meaning, create favorable impressions about how you can positively impact others.
  3. Find out what everybody else is doing, then don’t do it! It’s okay to emulate, just don’t imitate. Instead, innovate!
  4. Realize, you’re rewarded for behavior and performance, not intent.
  5. Know your metrics. What’s working? What ain’t? Measure results, i.e., new customers, average sale increases, deeper penetration and growth with current customers, dollars in the pipeline, sales volume, etc.

Happy fishin’!

Go land some BIG ones!

LEADERSHIP: Winston, Wisdom & Winners!

Byline: Jeff Blackman

Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s Amazon bestselling books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, the 5th edition of Peak Your Profits and the recently published, (December, 2022), BULLSEYE! Hitting Your Targets at Home and at Work, which became a best seller within four days of its release. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults