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My buddy Bubba is a pretty good fisherman. He rarely has a dry haul. He could probably be a professional guide. No, he should be a professional guide, because he’s not much of a businessperson. I wonder what kind of fisherman he’d be if he fished the way he runs his business.

Bubba on Marketing

If Bubba fished the way he marketed, he would sit in the boat and wait for the fish to jump in of their own accord. When they didn’t, he would complain about the quality of fish in the lake.

“Darn fish,” Bubba would mutter, “They don’t care about nothing but free bait. They’d take it if I just gave it to ‘em, but they won’t come and get it.”



Is there something you could do better? Different?

“Don’t know what it would be. Look at my boat. It’s all pretty and shiny. Look at the decals. Got my B.A.S.S. sticker. That’s supposed to get me fish. Pffffhht. I got all the equipment. I’m wearing the right fishing uniform. No, you just don’t understand what it’s like in MY lake. The fish are different in MY lake.”

Why don’t you try using some chum? Give the fish a reason to come over here.

“What? That’s expensive. ‘Sides, if I do a good job fishing, the fish will find me.”

Bubba on Sales

If Bubba fished like he sold, he might bait a hook and throw in a line, but he would leave it unattended. The fish would have to shinny up the monofilament fin over fin for Bubba to catch one.


“Whatcha want?”

Maybe you could throw in a line like that guy over there? He’s fishing on the same lake and he seems to be bringing in the fish.

“Pshaw. He’s using lures. I won’t use lures. That’s a dishonest way to fish.”

He’s catching fish. What’s wrong with it?

“It’s artificial.”

The fish seem to like it.

“Why, it’s dishonest. Look at that guy set the hook and reel in that poor fish. I’ve got too much integrity to do that.”

Bubba on Innovation

If Bubba accepted new innovations in fishing the way he does in business, he would scarcely have advanced beyond the use of a spear.


“What now?”

How do you know if there’s any fish in this spot?

“It’s where I always fish.”

But are there any fish here?

“I like this spot.”

Maybe you could get a fish finder?


Get a fish finder, with sonar that locates the fish for you. Then you’ll know where the fish are.

“They’re too expensive.”

Not if you want to find fish.

“They don’t work right.”

It’s the way most people fish in this lake now.

“It’s not the way I’ve always fished.”

You can see the fish on the screen.

“It don’t tell you what kind of fish it is. Why it could be any kind of fish.”

At least it shows fish. And, I’m told that once he gets some experience with it, a good fisherman can tell the difference between the blips to figure out which fish is which.

“Don’t have time to learn all that. I’m too busy fishing.”

Bubba on Inventory

If Bubba stocked his tackle box the way he stocked his truck, he would spend more time cruising to the marina than fishing.

Bubba, how come you only have one sinker in your tackle box?

“Only need one. I can make it work in all situations.”

What if it’s too heavy and you need a lighter one?

“I make it work.”

What if you can’t?

“I’ll run to the marina and buy me a new one.”

Doesn’t that take a long time?

“Only 30 minutes each way. This way I don’t have to keep sinkers I might not need. Besides, they got free coffee in the marina and it gives me a chance to chew the fat with the other fisherman.”

How well would you fish if you fished the way you work?

Matt Michel
is the CEO of the Service Roundtable. Email him at [email protected] to subscribe to his free Comanche Marketing newsletter, become a friend on Facebook, become a Facebook fan of the Service Roundtable, connect at Linked In, read Matt’s blog at, follow him on Twitter @ComancheMktg, or just pick up the phone and call him at 214.995.8889. If you just want a better way to fish for customers, visit the Service Roundtable. For a free tour, contact Liz Patrick toll free at 877.262.3341 or by email at [email protected]

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