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Are you using the right equipment?

By Brian Barfield

76417850-mainLast time, we discussed the importance of finding the right location—or hot spot—when it comes to fishing and sales. Now we turn our attention to the importance of using the right equipment, by which I’m referring to your selling skills and knowledge.

Sometimes people assume I am not ‘into’ learning product knowledge or selling skills because I am so focused on connecting with the customer and looking out for their best interest. I can understand how they may come to that conclusion, but that is not the case. It is important to remember you must have the right location, equipment, and bait to find success. If any of these is missing, you are basically standing on the shoreline watching your fellow fishermen reeling in your catch, as it were.

Over my many years in the jewellery industry, I have acquired some great equipment from mentors like Shane Decker, Brad Huisken, and Terry Chandler. These great men have taught me knowledge, passion, and, most importantly, integrity. There are many other great leaders, sellers, and co-workers I have worked with over the years that have contributed to my success. Why am I sharing this with you? It’s simple: everyone you work with has the potential to teach you something using the skills and talents they possess. Many times you are unaware of the impact they have had on you until you discover the little treasures they left buried within you.

The most important equipment you need on a fishing trip is the fishing pole and tackle. In relation to sales, this would be your product knowledge. Why is this the most important, you ask? Well, picture yourself having an amazing boat (i.e. selling skills) to manoeuvre around the lake and find hot spots, but when you get there, you realize you do not have a fishing pole. In the sales world, product knowledge is the foundation of your success. As such, every store should set aside at least 30 minutes each week to focus on a brand or product they carry. If you are not doing this on a regular basis, you will find the previous scenario taking place. Think of it this way—it is better to have a pole and fish from the shore. At least you will have a chance of catching something!

Once you have obtained your product knowledge, it is important to find the right boat, meaning your selling skills. These could encompass the basic greeting, asking open-ended questions, overcoming objections, and closing, all wonderful skills every sales associate should learn. For many of us who have been in the industry for a while, it is time we upgrade and get a better boat with better equipment, such as sonar, to find fish.

When you begin to learn to manage yourself, maintain your levels of passion and energy, understand the modern day customer, and impact people’s lives in a meaningful way, great things will happen. It is then your responsibility to share it with others and help them out along the way. The problem is many people flaunt their accomplishments and run over the poor guy in the canoe, sinking his chances for greater success. I feel great satisfaction in helping others find the same success or greater than I have. You should give it a try and see how it feels to impact someone’s life in a meaningful way.

In closing, I encourage you to take a close look at the quality of the equipment you are using by reflecting on your product knowledge. Next time, we will close out this series by focusing on your bait, meaning your selling style.

This article is based on the book, “Modern Day Selling: Unlocking your Hidden Potential,” by Brian Barfield. For more information, visit his website at or e-mail him at

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